I’m almost 34. I’m in the middle of two young boys, a husband, my mom, and two dogs. I read things, hear things, watch commercials that say I’m supposed to have a passion, a life-dream, something that sets my soul on fire and so on. And then I’m supposed to pursue that dream and make money doing it. And come up with a symbol for that passion and get it tattooed on the inside of my elbow. Well, that seems like a lot of work and pressure. I’m not sure I understand what it means to be passionate about something. I have hobbies and interests outside of my family and day-to-day work, but are they passions? I want a happy and healthy family. That’s it. Maybe that’s my dream, my life’s purpose? It seems so banal. Where’s the excitement? Waking up at 3 AM to find your five-year-old staring at you, that’s terrifying. Where’s the risk-taking? My three-year-old has been up since 5 AM, didn’t nap in the car, and we have a dental appointment. Certain doom, but we’re going for it. Where’s the possibility for profit? Fingers-crossed that the boys grow up to be decent humans and will take care of us when we grow so old we can’t distinguish between a banana and a toothbrush. If my soul is meant to be on fire, does late night acid-reflux count? Should I want something else, or in addition to this, with all of my heart and mind?
For some, sayings like follow your dreams, make today count, you only live once, the only way to find satisfaction is to make your work your passion are motivating. They don’t resonate with me. They make me feel bad; if I’m not pouring all of myself into every moment of my day, then I’m not achieving my purpose. Sweaty gut-wrenching hard work is the only path to glory. Well, guess what. I’ve seen that movie, and everyone dies. Did I pursue my dream today? I had some chips. And my kids are still alive. So, I consider my dream pursued.
If your talent is decorating cookies and dream of opening your own bakery, I hope you do it. You’ve wanted to play second base for The Braves since you were seven? I’ll root for you. I may not now understand your vision of building a Death Star replica in your backyard, but who is to say I won’t get there? And, if you’re like me, and feel like making it through the day with everyone intact and no broken hearts is life worth living, then just keep going.