As children we are told that we can be, and do whatever we want. We are driven to find that one thing that makes us overwhelmingly content. Whether it is teaching, art, nursing… Being a scientist or fire fighter. The possibilities are endless, or so we are made to think. And once we find that one thing that we know we are meant to do, it consumes every moment of our extra time.
Mine was art. I carried around a notebook where ever I went. I saw people and places that I could absolutely not get out of my head until I drew their likeness within the pages of that notebook. I remember very early on drawing stick figures, and looking at them and seeing so much more. I knew that I had to get better… I knew that I could tell a story with much more detail than that. So I drew all of the time, I studied other artists, and I drove myself to be better with every new image that I put down on paper.
So what happened to me? How did I get to the point where the one thing that I knew I was meant to do became something that I could barely bring myself to think about, let alone do?
Money Becomes a Driving Force
As teenagers we all get that after school job to put fuel in our gas tanks; so that we can run around town with our friends, buy the frivolous items that our parents refuse to buy us, and put a few dollars away for the car insurance that we have now become responsible for. The passion is still there, but the looming obligation of full-on adulthood is right around the corner.
In college, I began to feel that I needed to skip classes in order to work just to pay my bills. Things started to change. Money “right now” became more important that perfecting my craft. Fear and anxiety grew to be much larger than passion and drive.
Being a Good Citizen Leaves Little Room for Dreams
Paying bills, caring for your children, and thinking about your financial future are, of course, things that every functioning adult in society should strive to do. Society tells us, “Get a job…work…pay your bills…”. Working overtime at your job means more money for your family, but little time for passion. At the end of a work day you can barely sit through mind numbing television, let alone muster up enough energy to think about what you want to be when you “grow up”. Now you are already grown and years have begun to slip by.
I am happy…oh so happy… Don’t get me wrong. Life is good. We have a roof over our heads, plenty to eat, and even enough money left over to have a vacation once a year. But why does that have to be enough? I want to be able to look my children in the eye and tell them that they can be anything that they want to be… And I want to mean it!!! I want to be able to say that I pursued my childhood passion with such effort and energy that I made it happen.
I WANT TO BE AN ARTIST AND A WRITER! That’s it, no 9-5 job to pay the bills, and then trying to fit in my passion one hour a month. I want my passion to be my work. That’s what we want for our children, right? Then why can’t we want that for ourselves? Why can’t we find a way to be who we are meant to be?
So I’m telling you, if you can’t do it for yourself; do it for your children, or for your future children. Be the perfect example of, “ You can be anything you want to be when you grow up.” Pursue your passion with everything that you have, and please don’t let it slip into the background of your life.
What can you do today to reclaim your childhood passion?