Do What You Love: Great Advice or Not?

Do what you love.  Great advice.  Impossible advice, still great advice.  The purpose of the advice is to encourage people to seek out employment in positions that make them feel fulfilled.  Doing something that you love for a living is what the ultimate goal for any person who is working for a living.  However, we all know that doing what you love is not always possible.  Doing what you love doesn’t always pay the bills.  Doing what you love doesn’t always come easily.  Doing what you love comes at a high price – unless you have a stash of cash to back you up while you are doing what you love or a rich other half supplying you with all the income you need while you are doing what you love.  Let’s face it – there are very few people who actually get to do what they really love and the ones that are doing what they love have had to scratch their way there.  They’ve had to let relationships suffer, starve, be homeless, go through horrifying addictions, but by all that’s Holy they are doing what they love and they worked their asses off getting there.  They are usually the ones that give the advice:  Do what you love.  Don’t ever give up on your dreams no matter the cost!

What are those costs?  Living expenses, car payments, health insurance, babysitters, gas money, dental bills, hair cuts…right?  After you realize that you can’t afford to do what you love, then you also realize that doing what you love would never fit into your life!  The excuses and rationalizations start to creep in.  Before you know it, you’ve sabotaged your dreams before you even go to sleep.  Plans that seemed so simple and easy to work out start to disappear with each reason not to do it.  You suffocate and stifle all the excitement that you started to feel.  That spark that started to burn is snuffed out before any burning desire grows in the pit of your stomach.  You are paralyzed in your status quo.  You don’t move.  You stay right where you are.  Where you belong in your safe little world paying your bills, getting health insurance, paying babysitters, having gas money and getting your hair cut.

Still.  I want to do what I love for a living.  I want to write crazy novels that attract the 50 and over audience while owning and operating a little shop that serves coffee and pastry in the mornings then for lunch I serve up hot crocks of soups/stews with homemade crusty warm breads or buttery, flaky biscuits.  I could offer meeting spaces that are adorned with lovely velveteen cozy couches, fluffy, overstuffed chairs and a myriad of pillows of all shapes, sizes, colors and fabrics.  There would be bright artwork on the walls from local artists.  I would host amateur nights for poetry writers, performance art and music.  There would be old bookshelves lined with every genre of book that I’ve garnered from fun places like book swaps and flea markets.  Books with scratched book covers and dog-eared pages with that musty old papery smell that makes you kinda sneeze when you start reading the story within.  My shop would exude my joy because it would be warm, inviting and fun.  Those are all the things I love.  Writing, cooking, people, decorating, music, and books.

Life isn’t always about your bliss or complete joy.  Sometimes it’s about finding joy and bliss in what you have.  Being grateful and loving yourself for who you have become and for where you have traveled from.  This doesn’t mean that dreams don’t happen or that loving what you do for a living isn’t possible.  Maybe you find small parts in your current employment that bring you joy and love that for now.  I’m not sure.  I don’t like to think that I can’t have what I want.  The universe has been very kind to me and has opened up so many different paths for me to follow over the past few years.  I have lived and learned so much by following the signs.  Questioning my current path sometimes leads to new directions.  Not always new jobs – just new directions, like new ways of looking at things.  We’ll see how things work out for me this time.  My heart isn’t very happy, but my head is still in the game.  I treasure so much about what I do.  I just need to be ready, pay attention and look ahead.

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