Remember when you were about to graduate from college?
Most people don’t really remember what they were doing during those final few weeks of school, but what they do remember is the feelings they had.
Nervous, apprehensive, excited, confident.
If you were one of the “lucky” ones, you had a job offer waiting for you, an award to receive, or better yet, your life planned out in front of you. However, most people are not that “lucky.” They might not have had any job offers waiting for them and they certainly did not know what they wanted to do with their life.
That was me. I was one of those people.
I am from the Philippines and there, quite a high number of students choose careers that will give them job security instead of committing to the things they love or feel passionate about. You can ask any Philippine high school student and they will likely have chosen to become a doctor because it’s “in”, or to go into engineering because the demand of the job is high. There’s a culture that shames art or literature majors for choosing professions without this realistic expectation of security.
I was one of those people who chose a pre-medical degree for that reason. Sure, Dr. House intrigued me, but it wasn’t because I felt passionate about curing people: I already knew, early on, that I never wanted to work for anyone but myself.
I was told that you need to quickly find your passion and live it.
I remember a few weeks before graduation where I was lucky enough to get a few job offers and I was terrified. At first I thought it was because it’s a new phase in my life but later on, I realized that I was terrified because this wasn’t what I wanted.
Don’t get me wrong. There’s definitely nothing wrong about wanting to work for prestigious companies, but if it isn’t the life you envisioned (like me), then you need to fix it.
I wanted to work on something related to my creativity but also appease the science-geek in me. I had many passions and was terrified of having to commit to just one. All my job offers only appeased small elements of my passion, and the thought of having to work a 9-5 job was difficult for me. I didn’t want that life and at 21, people thought I was crazy.
I was supposed to go to medical school and become a neurosurgeon – that was something that everyone wanted to hear me say I would do.
But I chose the “destructive route”, where I started working 3 different freelance jobs online and a bit of photography on the side so I could afford to travel and explore.
Right now, I’m living according to my belief that you don’t need to have identified and committed to one passion. I am not sure what that is but what I do know is that passion is supposed to be in the plural form. Passions.
You don’t have to find your passion and accept it as one and done.
Nobody was built for only one opportunity or one purpose. I certainly don’t see having to work for other people as fulfilling my purpose or my passions, but I see it when I travel, listen to different languages, and experience different ways of living. Passions!
Travel as much as you can – hell, make it your living!
Whatever path you choose, don’t make my mistake: thinking that it’s the end of the world. There are so many great opportunities and windows for your soul to grow. Believe that the “hustle” isn’t all about becoming an entrepreneur but beyond that, it’s becoming your own person.
I never thought I could have a life where I can pay for my own travels and develop myself according to my own schedule and desires, but it happened because I hustled my way while also leaving room for personal growth. I left room for my passions to develop.
Do you believe it? Do you believe that everything you’ve ever wanted can be achieved? If you do, that’s great. You’re already halfway there.
If not, it’s going to take a while but trust that you will get there. Just continue to explore and let yourself grow. That’s what life is all about and of course, remember to never stick with only one purpose or passion. That’s not what we’re made of. Believe in that.