Passion projects

19 Dec

When I was living in Minneapolis, one of the things that I realized I missed the most was the sheer variety that had been in my life in college. I was taking classes in a wide range of subjects, learning new things every day that often interrelated in strange ways. I was on the newspaper, and doing pep band, and having deep intellectual conversations. For a while I was writing this blog, and then that transitioned into thesis time.

In Minnesota, I went to work from 8-4, drove home, and spent my evenings swing dancing, going to happy hours, and occasionally doing trivia. It was great, but I missed having all those projects, different fun things to talk about that I was working on. I certainly could have made that a part of my life there, but it felt too overwhelming, like I didn’t have enough connections and skills to make things happen outside of just being thrilled to have full-time employment.

Upon moving back, I promised myself not to let that happen again. I found a tutoring gig pretty quickly (helping an awesome kid improve her reading and math) and picked up some freelancing. I started a podcast about our city with one of my best friends. I audited a sociology class (I meant to do the reading, but, well, we all know how that goes). I’m currently knitting Christmas stockings for a random lady off Craigslist. Hey, $200 is $200!

These things are all great, and the definitely help my life feel fuller. But something’s still missing.

In school, there are grand goals. Learning new skills, writing a thesis, graduating! Now, my goals pretty much consist of: do well at work, exercise, clean my apartment occasionally. Not exactly grand plans.

I’m currently trying to figure out what the next Big Goal is. I’ve spent the last year and a half just trying to handle adult life, with three major moves and making new friends and figuring out life as a full-time grownup. I’ve got a handle on it now though, and it’s not a struggle to wake up, shower, throw a lunch together and go do my job for eight hours. I enjoy my job, don’t get me wrong, but it doesn’t give me that spark, that drive, that feeling of being thrilled about how I’m spending my day.

I’m spending a lot of time lately imagining my Dream Life and trying to figure out what kind of work would give me that spark. I’m hoping to keep trying new things and eventually hit on something that I can try to grow, and maybe turn into a business eventually. Because the last thing I want is to be twenty years down the road and never even tried to do something crazy and awesome.

If you have a passion project that you’re trying to grow into a bigger part of your life, I’d love to hear from you! Good luck out there, fellow wanderers.

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