It’s been some interesting weeks since I’ve made the decision to take a sabbatical. Initial worry about how to get past 3 months is quickly replaced with a growing wonder if that is enough time to do all the things I’d liked/asked to, like travelling, coaching, writing & shooting, studying (!) & getting my certification exams done…. etc etc etc.
Life of a crazily busy woman, yes. But perhaps this is my way of soul-searching? :)
I have also recently finished a book, which as cliche as it was at that time, somehow I bought it. Not a fan of self-help books (cuz they usually state the obvious, duh) – this wasn’t an exception but I wonder if being so stressful at that time spurred me to get it subconsciously. I didn’t start reading it until I made my decision & man, as much as I already practice most of what it says, it was still very refreshing to be reminded of certain familiar things & at the same time, opened to other interesting ideas of not necessarily having to take one extreme or the other.
What do I mean with the latter is basically the (sometimes) painful choice (for some) to stick to their ‘dayjob’, ie. the job you do to pay the bills; or to pursue their passion (which is usually something judged not ‘secure’ or ‘safe’ enough to pay the bills). I have known many individuals who have managed to marry money & passion, and absolutely love their work (it certainly does not feel like it for them though – that’s the point!) but safely said, in the still rather conservative mindset that is the Asian culture, it still warrants a few frowns when you tell someone you are NOT in the corporate world.
One thing that the author said that really resonated with me (the book is full of my earmarking for quotes to re-read!) was that you do not need to be ‘working’ full-time a job in your passion (eg. being a full time photographer just because photography is your passion) – you must however have passion towards something, because that is the fuel that will keep you going & gives meaning to your life, even if you’re working a humdrum, 9-5 boring money-paying job.
That struck me as gold. I have been balancing my life thus far, I’ve loved my dayjob AND get to pursue my passions of travel & photography for years now… but recently for reasons known to myself & a few close ones, it ain’t the job I hate but a difference in values basically means I am not happy.
So with the big decision made, I now have time to really think about what is it that kept me going. Am I to marry money & passion through travel writing & photography (which I have been asked to do so for Egypt, woohoo!) or to stick it out and find a corporate job whom I do love?
Who knows :)
I only know that life is too short to be unhappy. It moved me immensely to chance across a post by one of my fave photographers, David duChemin on how we must treasure the now… because we might not have a tomorrow. It resonated tremendously with me – not just because I experienced similar losses, but also at this point of my life, I know I need to take the chances in order for it to possibly give me the happiness I want.
When you have passion, it is as good as the compass within you that guides you to the direction you need AND want to go. Even at times where the road might seem rocky (is it going to give me enough money to survive? Why do people keep asking me why I’m leaving is because I’ve got a better offer?), as long as you know why you’re doing it, I’m sure things will work out somehow. Even when it does not, you’d love it so much that you’d make it work out by trying a different way of marrying it. Until you get it, simply coz it’s worth it to you.
Because when you have passion as your fire, you’d do well & it will bound to be recognized by those who value true, sincere, hardwork. Have faith, go for it & watch it come round.
And another thing that passion taught me? It pays to open up your heart. Even if it means you might be hurt in the process, it IS part of the journey of feeling your way through things. The most important thing is – you’d have no regrets regardless which way it turned out :)
Out with the philosophicalness. Turning 27 does not mean I should be long-winded :P
To new horizons, and a heart filled with lots of love for it!