I used to think I didn’t have a passion.
I was good at a few things and worked hard, but there was nothing that really lit my fire.
Creativity had always been a big part of my life. However, it never really occurred to me--outside of daydream fantasies--that it could become my livelihood. And to be honest, I didn’t stick to many projects after doing them once or twice. I was a dabbler.
When I moved to Reno with my husband, I finally decided to sell some artwork. After selling a few pieces, I was energized by the idea that I could make money from something I created.
But I still felt like I had not found my thing, yet. I eventually found other jobs--yep, plural--that never felt right in architecture (my first career). And while I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, my little dose of freedom and tiny bit of success selling artwork to family and friends had me obsessed with finding a way to be my own boss.
Eventually, my focus on it grew into defiance, and I decided that I had to figure this shit out or waste away in a career that would always feel like a bad fit.
So I started asking questions. I asked myself. I asked the Universe. I asked God.
At the time, I was commuting forty minutes, each way, to a miserable job. That time in my car became the most intensely introspective part of my days, running through scenarios of what my life might look like if I could do anything I wanted.
During that same period of time, I was testing new products and ideas with Casey D. Sibley Art + Design. I was doing craft shows and becoming more involved in local and online art and design communities. I was making friends with others who were doing the same. I was working day and night around my day job, with occasional emotional breakdowns peppered in.
What the hell do I want to do?
The more I asked, the more other questions surfaced. I picked apart every aspect of what I was doing in my business, pinpointing the parts that made me want to keep going. And I identified the parts that made me want to pack it all up and give in to the ease of shutting off for eight hours a day to accept an easy paycheck at a J-O-B.
Something funny started happening, though. The more I worked and the more I asked, the closer I got to my ideal day.
At first it was maybe one day a week. Then I went freelance with my day job, and started having two days, three days, sometimes a whole week where I did exactly what I chose to do.
I was making more money. My business was growing. More opportunities were coming my way.
My confidence was also growing, and I kept asking the questions. I started allowing things into my life that supported my agenda of doing what the hell I wanted.
Sometimes I would find myself doing things in my business that I didn’t want to do, even though I chose to do them. I would take note, and figure out how to weed those things out.
I continued to ask the questions. And I started feeling really fucking passionate about living the life of my dreams, on my own terms.
. . .
Fast forward to today.
I’m still asking a lot of questions. I’ve decided that my passion doesn’t lie under one category. There are a lot of things I enjoy, the most enjoyable being the ones that I decide to do.
It’s a really simple concept!
I want to do what I want--whatever it happens to be each day--and share with others that they are free to do the same. This idea has become so ingrained in everything that I do. It’s reflected in the work I create and in the conversations that I have with others.
You don’t have to accept a life that someone else created for you.
You don’t have to identify one thing that you are good at and only do that for the rest of your life or until you retire.
You don’t have to pursue a career that other people think will be a responsible move for you.
You don’t have to be told what to do every day.
You can thrive by your own means and make money on your own terms.
But if you want to thrive, you have to ask. You have to investigate. You gotta try some stuff on for size. Wiggle around in it. Get a little uncomfortable. Reject others’ ideals if they don’t make sense for you.
If you want to thrive, you have to ask for what you want. Try some stuff on for size. Get uncomfortable.
Accept that you won’t always know the how.
It ain’t always pretty. But when it’s good, it’s so damn good.
We’re told from the time that we are young children to define who we will become when we grow up. As if it is a definitive answer. We’re not encouraged to change our minds or, heaven forbid, quit.
But what if we accepted that we don’t always know the answers and let that guide us throughout our lives? It’s healthy to say:
You know what, I thought I wanted this, but I don’t.
I only want this a little bit of the time, because I also want this, and this, and a whole lot of this other thing that has nothing to do with everything else…
It’s crazy to think that you might spend the majority of your days doing things you don’t want to do and feel obligated to do because you have to pay the bills. And that’s exactly what I used to do.
What if you could pay the bills and still do the things in your life and business that make you feel free and amazing?
That’s what I strive for now.
So, what about you? Have you figured out the things you love and how to focus your energy there?
If you are finding it hard to do that, what is the sticking point for you?
Share in the comments, I’d love to hear from you!
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p.s. Are you on Periscope? I've been using the app a lot lately to share my thoughts on doing what I love and a little behind the scenes process of some of my work. Follow me there @caseydsibley!