No, really. I'm really asking.
What does your HEART want to do?
What does it want you to do?
Because personally - I didn't know for a long time. More than that, I didn't even think about it, didn't even ask the question, didn't even think it was a relevant question if I HAD asked the question.
I had responsibilities, of course. Mortgage and credit cards to pay. I had a social life. I had holidays. I had things I wanted to do, TV to watch, people to see.
Oh and I had - at the stage I'm about to talk about - a job that wasn't right for me. For me, a bad job. In a good industry thought that I've always worked in and loved - but that finally, finally, got to a point in a job that was just not right for me, where the job was all-consuming.
I had never, really, never really in my whole adult life stopped to ask myself what I actually WANTED to do, what I wanted from my life. Never thought to think that my life was something I could create. I went along with things. I chose from a multiple choice selection as if that were all I was presented with.
So you can do x, y or z.
Do you want to go here, there or this other place? Are you going to buy this, go on holiday there, see those friends, watch what on TV?
And then, are you going to work late again? And slowly, despite being over 40 by now, and also not really in a financial position - so I thought - to have many choices ... I realised a few things.
I DID have a choice.
I COULD take control of creating a life I wanted.
I might as well start with asking myself what I wanted from my life.
And then make it happen. And, crucially, make it happen in small steps.
So for me - I gave in my notice at work.
I had suddenly woken up - is how it felt. Things getting so bad that I finally woke up?
Well, I'll be forever happy they got that bad and I didn't continue sort of sleep walking through my life.
I didn't run away and join a circus. Or travel the world. I used to regularly throw my world upside down when I was younger, start again, do reckless things - I see now that it was because I had no idea what I wanted - and I wasn't asking myself the right questions.
I see that constantly coping with crisis was me avoiding the question I never thought to ask myself.
This time, I tried to look after myself - look after and nourish myself. I mean look after this little new bud of a me, of my heart, that was slowing peeking out the earth. I didn't want to scare it or have it trampled or die in the frost - I wanted to nurture it.
I found a job where I didn't feel terror sometimes on having to go in. Or where my blood pressure soared. Or where I would sometimes get home and shake (whilst guzzling wine before even taking my coat off).
(But where I also met so many great friends as we were all in it together - and, it seems to me now that many of us learnt the same hard, but oh so good, lesson from it).
I found a job I liked, with good people, that I could do on normal hours and normal emotions. And I tried not to be too insane at work by creating the same atmosphere myself that I had hated.
And also - in the new space that was created in my head, in my life, from not being all-consumed ... I tried something, something new and brave for me. I tried sharing one of my passions - Thai cooking. I started a blog. And I started learning to be creative again (a long, long time since I'd done that).
Now - two and a half years later from when I started my new life, as me. Starting to become me.
It's like years of living in darkness - that you didn't even know was darkness - lifted. To do something - just because I loved it. No answering to anyone. Sharing what I loved.
It's been exciting and creative and like suddenly the world came into lightness.
And - this is really important - it's not like I was a dark and gloomy person anyway. It was a personal epiphany. Learning that I could create my own life and take control of it - wasn't like an escape from darkness only - as I think I might have made it sound.
It was the most exciting - and at the same time, most comforting, thing ever.
It's hard, it's hard to start being really honest - with yourself firstly. And then it's hard sharing that too, but you have to, to let your heart open and be free.
Passions you might have had since childhood, and passions you didn't even know you had.
Deciding what's important.
Follow your heart sounds too big. For me, I didn't even know what I wanted.
So I say - ask your heart, and then listen to it.
And then start, slowly and gently, to let it speak more.
My passion is Thai cooking and eating a healthy diet based on Thai eating principles - that's my thing.
My OTHER passion now is sharing how I came to finally realise how important having that passion, is - and in making it happen.
It has to start somewhere, just start. Starting is all you need to do.
Have you found your passion? Or have you always had a good balance?
Interested to hear what everyone else thinks.
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