I don’t know what makes us choose a vocation. I suppose we all have different reasons why we gravitate towards a particular job.
When we’re young it’s usually an honest passion. You love animals and want to see them protected, so you decide to become a veterinarian. You wonder what it feels like to step on the Moon, so you want to become an astronaut. Perhaps a painter, an actor, a doctor, a chef. A storyteller.
But then you grow up a little, and you start to realize that the world is not as forgiving of your dreams. Good on you for having dreams, but, you know, there will be some serious bills coming up in your life that you will have to deal with. Or perhaps an actual life that you will need to take care of.
You continue to grow, and you watch the adults around you. You realize that they have responsibilities which you never even thought were an actual thing. What the hell is a tax? That’s how much it costs to go to university? Why do I need to pay three months of rent in advance if I haven’t even moved in yet?
Slowly, your dream – your core passion – dissipates somewhere in the distance of your mind.
That’s OK. No worries. You really should strive to become a responsible adult and contribute to society. Isn’t that what everyone else is doing? Looks like it.
So, you choose a different vocation. One that is based on ‘financial stability’ – which you will later come to realize doesn’t exist. You study, you work hard, you pay all the bills on time (most of the time) and you try to figure out what this whole adulthood business is all about. No idea. But you pretend. At least you try to dress like one.
Then one day, as the world continues to turn around you, the world that doesn’t really care whether or not you’re actually living your life, you notice the Moon. You still wonder what it would be like to step on it. You see an animal that’s hurt and grieve that you do not know how to help it. You recognize the endless stories, worlds, and characters that swim across your mind, and regret that you did not introduce them to your own reality.
This is when the void of your core passion opens. Something is deeply missing. You are not really who you are pretending to be. You’ve left something behind.
I don’t think that our core passion ever leaves us. And I also don’t think that it is ever too late to make a U-turn and run back for it. The void is absolutely terrifying. But without the leap, the regret of never even trying is far worse.
Time for a U-turn.
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