Do What You love

It’s trav­esty, isn’t it— …not just yet. or at all, even. We make a case for sit­ting still, even for a lit­tle bit.

Cosmopolitan (Philippines) - - Fun, Fearless Life - Cos­mopoli­tan

telling a mil­len­nial maybe she shouldn’t con­sider putting her par­entcul­ti­vated, In­ter­net-honed, and peer-pres­sured Am­bi­tion to good use. Al­most a crime, re­ally, when all 18-to-30-some­things have been con­di­tioned to make “Carpe Diem” their mantra, YOLO their driv­ing force, FOMO their deep­est fear. Yes, I know how hard it is to scroll through your In­sta­gram feed full of friends mov­ing to NY, or tak­ing their dream fash­ion de­sign course, or sell­ing cup­cakes full time, sand­wiched be­tween flat­lays and ty­pog­ra­phy urg­ing you to Live With Pas­sion and Find Your Pur­pose. It’s like a bad cock­tail of in­spi­ra­tion and in­se­cu­rity burn­ing through your gut.

So you dredge up a dream, and make its ful­fill­ment your life’s pur­pose. You pres­sure your­self to make your pas­sion a prof­itable en­ter­prise. You live in a se­ries of stops and starts, Try­ing Some­thing New, then, inevitably, Try Some­thing Com­pletely Dif­fer­ent. We all firmly be­lieve we are spe­cial snowflakes try­ing very hard to find our place in the sun, melt­ing away in the process, burned out by Liv­ing Your Dream Life while Be­ing Ex­tra­or­di­nary.

But what’s so wrong about be­ing or­di­nary? What’s so in­her­ently bad about your 9-to-5, which you fall in and out of love with, that pays your bills and funds your lem­ming for trendy makeup? I’m not say­ing stay in a job that treats you like crap—there just may be over­looked mer­its in stay­ing in pro­fes­sional pur­ga­tory a lit­tle while longer, cut­ting your teeth do­ing things you never thought you’d have to do. You might find that the very things you like least about your job are slowly buff­ing away your sense of en­ti­tle­ment, hon­ing your good work ethic and grit.

Yes, grit—some­thing you only learn when you look down and re­al­ize you’re neck-deep in muck, and— here’s the im­por­tant part— be­ing okay with it, be­cause you know it’s only for now.

I to­tally sound like a bit­ter, dream­less downer. Maybe I am, when you judge my life—at 26, I’ve worked the same job since grad­u­a­tion (gasp!) and re­cently mar­ried my best friend, and with a lit­tle girl on the way (dou­ble gasp!). It seems I’ve set­tled down when ev­ery­one my age is on the way up. But I don’t delve too much into What

But What’s so Wrong about Be­ing or­di­nary?

FE­BRU­ARY 2016 My Life Should BE—I fo­cus in­stead on What My Life Is, Right Now.

And you know what that’s taught me? That it’s not so much ‘set­tling down’ as it is ‘buck­ling down’—there’s some­thing about get­ting off the same el­e­va­tor onto the same of­fice floor for five years that teaches you pa­tience and a sense of see­ing things through, skills you re­al­ize you will sorely need when you’re off pur­su­ing a pas­sion. That there’s noth­ing quite like per­ma­nent life de­ci­sions (like, um, a hu­man child) that forces you to be cre­ative, re­source­ful, and dis­cern­ing with the goals you do have (see, I am not a bit­ter, dream-less ro­bot)—again, a re­al­iza­tion in­te­gral to the suc­cess of your life’s dreams, be­cause face it, some of them might just be a pass­ing fancy. (FYI, mine in­clude be­com­ing a pas­try chef and learn­ing to play the vi­olin. Whether they are pass­ing fan­cies re­main to be seen).

I’m not telling you to live an un­ex­cit­ing, or worse, un­ex­am­ined life. But I do be­lieve in not let­ting your ex­is­ten­tial angst dic­tate your de­ci­sions and lead you into rush­ing your­self to change ev­ery lit­tle thing you find wrong with it. There is merit in wait­ing a few years be­fore get­ting that Mba—be­cause your pri­or­ity of earn­ing and learn­ing how to save money now is just as im­por­tant and char­ac­ter-form­ing. There is value in re­spect­ing your par­ents’ wishes that you work in the fam­ily biz for a while—what you learn there will prove handy when you get to do your own thing. Yes, even that dead-end job or hor­ri­ble boss will teach you some­thing you might not learn had you be­come a su­per­star right out of col­lege. If you can find what’s good about where you are right now, you can be damn sure you’ll al­ways be grate­ful for what you will even­tu­ally achieve. Be­cause you know you’ll get there, right? But it’s only when you’re okay with not be­ing there yet that you ac­tu­ally get that much closer.

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