As a 27 year old, I have come to realise that not only is there such a thing as a ‘quarter-life crisis,’ but said beast is also deeply complicated. For lack of a better phrase, daunting. You spend your whole life growing up knowing what happiness is and all of a sudden, that definition starts diluting as the ice melts in your Long Island Ice Tea calling you to clean up on aisle 13 as the water runs down the 7-year long sides of the glass.
Sure, there are many others out there who chose careers very early on in their schooling and some who did so straight after realising that the wicked witch (school) was dead. While I dont think I fall into the latter category, I most definitely do not fall into the former either. Now this post is most definitely not about career decisions and timing, but its about the space I have found expanding between what I do for a living and what I do for life. After all, the rat race is more like Lance Armstrong growing a tail than those mice in Cinderella that got their fifteen minutes of fame when being cast as her chariot horses by famed director, Le Fairy Godmother.
Passion is a fickle thing which flows mercilessly whether you want it to or not. You will love one thing unconditionally one day and find a new preoccupation while scrolling through 9gag on the crapper the next. But neither of these indicates to the actual source of passion, or in this instance, what brings you happiness. I am fully aware that the definition of passion cannot be constrained by solely what makes you happy, but surely it plays a part?
That was neither here nor there, however, in my search for career ‘happiness’ I feel that I have in fact lost the ability to comprehend what happiness and passion is. I feel that I have been so focused on finding passion and happiness in a career, that I could hardly stomache the effort it would take to find a new passion, even less so for one that is removed from my current routine. This routine being strongly connected to what I do between 9 and 5, Monday to Friday.
I guess I could manage to finally park my car at the local gym, drag myself through a ten minute treadmill episode and then climb on a stationary bike to Victory Cycle through my current perceived daily crisis (ie. The Empire Strikes Back). But, what about all those hours spent scrolling through Pinterest looking for the next thumbnail image that will depict my new-found element while sipping on a Thursday beer? See? The momentum of your current routine is so over-powering that even you agreed with door number two! The only logical next step then would be to enforce the E=MC2 and insert a jolt of energy to propel out of that routine. Go and find something new, but dont only find it, try it!
I have recently taken up origami and I find that it actually allows me to work better knowing that for those ten minutes the only thing that really needs my concentration, is that piece of paper. The final product brings me fleeting admiration, but the effort it took brought me happiness and displayed what would be a passion.
I think that this post is quite disjointed. Much like the ideas it is speaking of. Does one choose a path where your career is synonymous with your passion and/or happiness? Or do you create a synapse between the two with only momentary lightning bolts connecting them, allowing for a broader life experience? I think either is a valid option. But, in a world where the idea of a dream career is becoming less and less achievable in matching the demands of your basic Maslow’s building blocks, is it not then a dream to dream of the dream career? Once we realise this, it is in fact that bolt of energy to find a new passion that will carry your consciousness through those dark days and allow you to pass on to level three.
Take the leap and fold the page.