Work and Passion

Yesterday Maggie said that she would never want a job that involved one of her passions.  I was floored because my whole life, all craved for a job that would involve one of my passions.  I couldn’t figure out why she would say something like that. It made no sense at all.  Seeing how stunned I was, Maggie explained that she would never want something that she loves to become drudgery and she fears that if specific tasks, a schedule and a deadline were imposed on her,  that would contaminate her love for whatever it is she was passionate about.  She wants to work at something that she enjoys but nothing that she is truly passionate about.  She wants to reserve her favorite activities for down time, when there are not expectations or pressures to perform at it.

This is a real opener for me and it came out of the mouth my my youngest daughter. I never looked at it this way.  I did come to a point where I decided I would settle for work I wasn’t passionate about but only because I saw no other way of earning a living.  It was devastating for me to come to that decision.   Is this a way of thinking that could serve me in the future?  I guess the answer to that would be “Yes and No”.

Yes, I can definitely see myself enjoying the things that I am passionate about at home because I already do this.  What I can’t picture myself doing is working at anything that is even tolerable.  I simple do not have the skill or experience to do anything even minimally interesting and at 53, it’s probably too late to get those skills.  But there is more.

The reason why I wanted to be paid for doing something I am passionate about was for validation.  It would be a way of assuring myself that I am good at it.  I guess Maggie has more confidence then I do.  She is confident about her writing and her painting in a way that I could never be about my own passions (writing, documentary film, fashion,  the social sciences, venomous animals ..etc).   And yet, we are both amateurs.   I suppose for Maggie, it is enough to have a circle of friends who appreciate what she does or maybe it’s good enough for her to be aware of her own skills and talents.  It was never enough for me.  Should it be?

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