My first passion in life, that I can remember, was music. I could be found playing pots and pans as drums and singing at the top of my lungs from a very young age. I carried a cassette tape recorder around and would record myself singing along to my dad's Beatles records. Piano lessons started when I was 4 or 5, viola when I was in 4th grade and in high school I discovered that I was a singer.
When the time came for college, I knew that music was my path. I would study music and singing and then I would get a job in music, probably singing. See that solid game plan I had in place? I actually ended up dropping out of college and started working in hospitality. Music and singing were quietly filed away in a subconscious "hobbies folder".
Today, I do not in fact have a "job in music". I do still sing- karaoke mostly but also at home among binders of sheet music downloaded from the internet, on my parents piano, the same one I played when I was 5. I've been privileged to sing at some of my best friends' weddings and to hum lullabies to my newborn nephews. I realize in these moments that when I filed my music away into that "hobbies folder", other passions were also filed away. I took things that I felt true passion for- helping others (I was a missionary in Honduras), being part of a well-rounded community and bringing people together (I was always the kid running between her music friends, church friends, school friends and lifelong friends and inviting each to be a part of the other)- and subconsciously told myself that these things are "hobbies", not life pursuits or the way to make a career. My life's path wasn't going to be one of passion but a life of hard work, that I was good at, though may not ever love.
As some point in the last couple years, I recognized that being good at something that I wasn't passionate about just wasn't going to cut it. Happiness meant more to me. Doing something meaningful was important to me.
Now, I didn't make this decision in one overwhelming emotional moment of self-discovery (how awesome and less time consuming would that have been?!). I did however, put a plan in place to get myself moving in a different direction and to find those passions that I had pushed to the back of my mind's filing cabinet. I went back to school to finish my degree, choosing to study something business oriented in order to create a more well-rounded resume and background and to give me a springboard for future endeavors. While in school, I took the opportunity to work at a non-profit, which reignited the fire I had for working with people who are making life better for others. I developed a strong passion for my local community, for networking with local businesses and for bringing people together from different walks of life, simply to share a drink & a laugh together.
I am lucky to be able to pursue my passions via various career endeavors (which I fondly call "hustles") and I now recognize that the passions of my childhood are my calling in life.