I always feel the need to preface pieces like the one I’m about to write with a disclaimer. I don’t think this is going to be anything that will offend anyone, but people tend to seek out ways to spin things negatively so they can put you on blast. Although I feel this can be generally applied to anyone, this is certainly coming from my perspective. Everyone has different situations and if you believe it doesn’t apply to yours or contradicts yours, it’s not intentional and it certainly doesn’t devalue anything about you.
I’m opening up my mind for you to come inside and walk around a bit. Take a seat, put your feet up, have a drink and chalk this up to be an opportunity to have a unique experience riding on someone else’s brainwaves.
Today was one of those mornings where the wheels were turning long before I woke up. I slept, but not exactly well. There’s been a resolution I’ve been seeking subconsciously without really knowing I was looking for anything at all. It’s not that I actually found the solution, but by finally waking up with the realization that a resolution has been internally sought after without any conscious effort until now, I’m fairly positive I know why the search is on.
In my situation, I work a day job that I’m more than marginally into. I certainly don’t hate it. The complaints I have are probably the same most other people have about their day jobs. Corporate politics is annoying and ineptitude at every level, upper management all the way down through brand new hires, is beyond frustrating to deal with but inevitably has to be tolerated because company values and standards aren’t where they belong.
When I come home from my day job, I use my evenings to work independent freelance jobs and brainstorm other entrepreneurial avenues. In addition to that, now I have a puppy to train and care for which is obviously time consuming. I don’t really have any complaints about applying my time to either of those, though. I love my dog and I enjoy the vast majority of my freelance work and efforts.
I’ve noticed my focus isn’t at the top of its game. Certainly not what I’m used to. I’m getting the essentials done. I’m meeting my deadlines. I’m showing up to work on time and doing a high quality job. I’m paying my bills. My mind wanders all the time but usually when I’m distracted, I’m thinking of something. That’s not really the case recently. If you ask me what I’ve been thinking about and I reply “nothing”, that’s actually an accurate statement. It’s also extremely uncharacteristic of me.
I’m clearly a little left of center, but this isn’t something I acknowledged until today. I’m fine. This isn’t a rock bottom situation by any means. It’s just a realization.
You might be saying, “Well, your problem is pretty obvious. You’re overworking yourself. You need more time to yourself.” In a sense, you’re mildly right but if it was that simple, I’d just need a little “me time”. I spent most of my summer traveling to NYC, Seattle, Hawaii and Denver. The “me time” away from work was plentiful in recent months. Give life a little more credit than to simplify it that much. In fact, despite how much I work, I’d argue I do a damn good job of making and committing to “me time” more than most.
Life is full of personal double-edged swords and we probably set ourselves up to face them a lot more than we think. Most of the time, those situations can probably be boiled down to what you want versus what you need. What makes it most difficult is when your passion is thrown in the mix and you’re having a hard time figuring out if it’s a want or a need, then weighing up against the clear cut need. One avenue most likely means you’re neglecting your responsibilities, while the other leads to opting out on something that helps define you as a person. For me, the side of the scale that eventually always gains the weight it needs to tip is the established path that directly affords me the ability to keep a roof over the heads of myself and Kylo and puts food in our mouths.
Most people would probably call that the responsible decision.
There’s a question to be raised here, though. If you’re constantly finding yourself opting away from your passion, is it really still your passion? Are you really that inundated with responsibilities so dire that you have to continually choose to neglect something that’s played a major role in building the foundation of the person you are today? As people, we grow in mind, body and essence. The appeal of something you were passionate about at age 20 may not exist the same way at age 30 or 40. It’s a fair question to ask. It’s a good question to ask. But if the answer is no, your passion is no longer your passion, what now? What is?
If you’re passionate about something, and you most likely are, but guilt yourself out of doing it for whatever reason, you’re probably going to be fairly unhappy. The crazy part is that you might not realize it. It’s easy to confuse having happy moments for being truly happy. Having the ability to wear a smile does not equate to being truly fulfilled.
Defining fulfillment is a dangerous endeavor to take on. I’ll just speak for myself. You’d have to be pretty brazen to assume you know what fulfillment means to everyone in a personal sense.
Creating music has always been my passion. It’s always been my main/favorite: escape from the world around us, creative outlet, means for personal growth, way for me to maintain my center and mental sanity, and collaborative activity. I can do it by myself or with other people and receive the same amount of fulfillment from it either way. I always do it for myself, but lend it out to give others the opportunity to possibly enjoy it with me. I find having an area where I live dedicated to writing and recording music is as essential as having a kitchen to cook food or having a bedroom to sleep. The roots of my oldest and strongest friendships span from and are planted deep within the soil of creating music.
Is music still my passion? Yes, without a doubt.
Like a stale marriage, do I think my relationship with music needs a jump start? Yes, it almost certainly does.
Circling back to “me time” and as it relates to my passion for creating music: writing and recording music is a big commitment. It demands a lot of time if you want something to sound quality. There’s almost no such thing as a time where I couldn’t be doing freelance work, so I guilt myself out of spending that time writing music, even if I don’t end up doing any work at all. That’s a problem.
This is, at the very least, a portion of the resolution I believe I’ve been subconsciously searching for. As it’s been in the past, it could very well turn out to be what puts me on the path to find the full resolution. I’ve said on multiple occasions that I need to work on music more often, but in saying that, I always assumed it would just eventually happen. It wasn’t until today that I realized I have the equivalent of a relationship problem with it and if I want to fix it (I do), I need to do something about it beyond grant it recognition. Writing this doesn’t fix anything; it may be a small step and certainly helps me organize my thoughts, but nothing will change until I actively rekindle the flame for my love of creating music. Creating art in general, actually.
The point of all of this might sound fairly obvious but can fall out of sight pretty easily. You need to have a passion. If you have one and you’re constantly disallowing yourself to indulge in it, you’re denying yourself a huge element that helps make you who you are. You’re letting something slip away that once created a sense of gravity around you and drew other people to you.
If you’ve lost your passion, you’re on a path to becoming a shell of a person with little individuality. You’re in threat of alienating yourself from the people who came to love the inspired version of you. You need to revive your passion or find a new one you can be dedicated to so you can continue to grow as person. To continue to grow your relationships. To continue to be truly happy, fulfilled and not let complacency set in to take its place.
Your passion is both a want and a need. It may not be what keeps you afloat financially, but it’s value to you personally is immeasurable. Something that valuable is worth taking a moment to ask yourself some meaningful questions for the sake of keeping EVERYTHING that matters in focus.