What do you love to do? this may seem like an odd question, but I think it’s important. What do you find yourself doing when you are beholden to no one, when there is no call on your time or attention and you can focus solely on you and what you want to do?
I’m a big believer in the idea that people should do what they love. Maybe it’s just because I’ve been extremely lucky in the examples around me, but I do think it’s sad that the majority of the people I see don’t appear to love what they are doing.
My dad loves to build. He loves to fashion things with his hands. If he’s not at work or hanging out with my mom, he’s building. Whether remodeling their house or building some random thing he got the idea for the day before, you can guarantee there’s something going on at my dad’s shop. And he’s good at it. More than good, he’s amazing. At least once a month some friend is calling him asking him for help with something. Anytime we visit family someone’s been working on a project they want my dad to come look at. He does what he loves.
My mom loves to take care of people. If you let her, she will doing anything for you. And just like my dad, this is something she’s so good at. She’s an amazing cook, her house is always put together and decorated for every season. People know they can depend on her if they need something. All throughout school my mom was there, taking care of me and my brother and other students. She helped the teachers and ran the PTA and was room mom and let us have sleepovers and has worked with Meals on Wheels for as long as I can remember. She does what she loves.
I have so many more examples of family members and friends who find ways to implement the things they love in their lives. So maybe I’m wrong, and people are doing what they love to do. Sometimes, though, it seems like people are so focused on getting through the next month with money in the bank or worrying about whether their next paycheck will cover their rent that the things they love are so far on the back burner they hardly exist. I don’t think life should be that way.
Obviously, I mean I’m in Los Angeles pursuing what I love with all I’ve got. Many, I know, find this odd. Don’t I know how difficult this is? How many sleepless nights, how many full and tiring days I’m signing up for? But, you see, it’s important to me to do this. I can’t fathom a life where I find some job I may be good at just to pay the bills. I don’t want that. I don’t think anyone should have to do that.
Maybe it’s naiveté. And that’s fine. I know that my dad’s job isn’t what he loves, and that if he had gone through life doing only what he loved my life would look very different. I know that it isn’t realistic for everyone to do what I’ve done, in fact it’s hardly realistic for me. If you find yourself feeling lost or heavily burdened, I encourage you to think about what you love. Think about the quiet times in your life and what you did with them. Do those things again. Whether you can pursue that full time or it’s something you’re able to do once a month, I think it is so important that our lives are not constantly focused on getting to the next point. We must do what we love. And if you’re like me, and what you love is hard and people don’t understand, that’s okay. Do it anyway. For as long as it keeps you happy and you stay sane. Maybe one day it won’t be what you love anymore, and that’s okay. Do it while it is.