Passion? Is that like…some kind of drink?

I have always felt a bit funny about this word…passion. People talk about how we should find our ‘passion’ and if we’re ‘passionate’ about what we do, that we will never work a day in our lives. Well I have evolved to be a very numbers driven person, so I am looking for some stats here. How many people actually succeed in finding something/s they would say they are passionate about? To take it a step further – how many people make a career/living out of their passion/s? I’m pretty sure some people do – I certainly know a small number of people who have known what they wanted to do from a young age and who not only overcame a number of obstacles to get there, but continue to enjoy their work in all its reality. Freaks. Haha no, course I’m just joking! Well I’m not…but I am…a bit.

passion

I used to be a fairly idealistic sort, who thought things would just work out the way we want them to, provided we followed our ‘hearts’. I would readily drop anything I was working on for a flight of fancy, only to be brought back to earth – face first – when the novelty wore off. However, since becoming a single mother I began to view life much differently – more realistically – and I learned some truths. Things don’t always just ‘work out’ – we grow to deal with our lot, because that’s what we have to do to survive. We aren’t all so lucky to find a passion, either in career or partner, but we are ridiculously lucky to be able to sit here worrying about things like relationships and job satisfaction, rather than where our child’s next meal will come from. We might have to work our bums off to ensure a comfortable retirement, but how lucky are we, if we happen to have a steady job, even if it is shitty!

This might sound all very bleak and dreary, but on the contrary, dear humans! Isn’t it grounding? Doesn’t it make you feel like, all of a sudden, that you have choices? Control? Because we do. Nothing is written! So look around you, at the space you’re occupying right now, because you have control over all of that and every time you venture out to your job, your school, exercise the reign you have over your domain (I’m a poet!)….be the MASTER OF YOUR DOMAIN!

Couple of thoughts before I go looking for that episode of Seinfeld now:

Things aren’t fun until you’re good at them.

If you can’t find anything to be passionate about, be compassionate.

Refs:

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“You have to laugh at yourself….wait! Not too much!”

Self deprecating humour is something that can be used to help or to hinder, depending on how and with whom you use it. I consider myself a connoisseur (thank you, spell check). In fact, I would even venture further and say that two conversational tools have carried me through the awkward social interactions which plagued my adult life – self deprecation and flattery (always sincere of course).

If you were to ask what I considered most important to me, I would blush and hang my head before mumbling a response, because my answer, as a 30 year old, I would say is fickle and fills me with hot shame. What is this terrible thing? I don’t even want to write it…I want everyone to like me. Oh! The shame! I realise many people would say they desire the same, though are able to get over it for the most part, but myself? I struggle to get over knowing that I’ve offended or displeased someone and retreat into myself like an armadillo, face to face with a…well, whatever is tough enough to chew through an armadillo….the general populous in my case.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m working through it, but it is a much reviled trait of mine, carried over from my formidable years (and I’m pretty sure many of you, especially the women unfortunately, might know what I’m talking about). The thing is, while working on my whole ‘Who gives a f**k?’ attitude (yeah you’re intimidated, go on, admit it), I never gave any thought to the self deprecating style of humour I had adopted and still indulge on a very regular basis. Not until I noticed something recently. During a conversation, I made some joke about myself (probably about being stupid or fat or ugly, who knows, roll a dice) and in my hilarity actually took a moment to take in my conversational partner’s face….and I don’t think I was being as funny as I thought I was. And it hit me. This is not witty. This is a problem.

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Many see self deprecation as a rod to fish for compliments but cross my heart, this is not an intention of mine (well, certainly not in the last 4 years or so). I honestly believe the things I say and think that others must be thinking it too, so I try to make them more comfortable by acknowledging the things they must be noticing. It sounds ridiculous out loud, but have to ask… Have you been guilty of this too? If so, then stop! The way we see ourselves often sets the tone for how others see and value us. We cannot hope to garner any kind of respect if we cannot respect ourselves. Ooops! I forgot to insert a cliché alert at the beginning of the sentence there, but hey, don’t those clichés just love to creep up on us? It’s not like we don’t understand these ‘rules’…it’s just in the application that we struggle….speaking for myself anyway.

So this is the new self improvement side project – tone down on the self deprecation and use it solely as a tool to make people more comfortable during times of need. Do not use it at work (unless I become big kahuna and need to put the underlings on side), at uni, or in general conversation (unless they’re really close friends). This will tie in nicely with the ongoing ‘learn to accept a compliment graciously’ project which I’ve been practising. If we can all learn to do this, we’ll be self confident super heroes in no time. Though now I think I’m going to have to pull out the joke book – I have a rep to maintain…

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30th Birthday reflection

I surprised myself today. Much of last year was spent in fear, or at least a silent denial, of the fact that I was in the last year of my 20s. I didn’t want to acknowledge it and I just wanted to leave on an overseas trip so no one could remind me. What a sook! Gosh, even writing that just now makes me wonder what got my knickers all in a knot because today was one of the better days I’ve ever had. I must have scored some kind of awesome present, you say. No! Not at all. I didn’t get anything. In fact, mum forgot to wish me a happy birthday and I had to work all day.

But you know what? There was something liberating about hitting this new decade. I have felt all day like I was granted a membership to a secret, elite club of people who get to not give a shit about the superficial and who can say “f**k you” to those who want to hold onto their 20s by feeding into the same negative attitudes and insecurities that cloud that decade. There is a silently acknowledged camaraderie between people in their 30s, the same way I presume there to be between people in the following decades. An understanding of another’s present situations and values that require much less verbal communication.

So basically, I feel f*kn fantastic, thanks for asking (when I’ve had a red wine, a bit of inner bogan comes out. Not going to apologise)!

Lesson of the day: Don’t be scared of those milestone bdays. Use them as springboards and fire yourself into the new era with aplomb. In short: get over it, “she’ll be right!”.

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