"Follow your passion and everything else will fall into place!"
Ever heard that before? I'm sure you have. Maybe you've even headed on down the path of your passion to find that statement to be true. If you have, congratulations!
Mostly likely though, you're in the camp of those who have discovered following a passion is much more challenging than they first thought.
You see, the thing that they don't tell you about following your passion is; it takes work.
It takes time, persistence, patience, determination, setbacks, successes and failures. There will be moments of revelation, despair, joy, relief, frustration and tears. Following your passion isn't always the magic solution to life that it's cracked up to be.
Now, I don't want to be a downer here. I mean, I've been guilty of banging on about following my passion many a time. Usually, it's when I'm rocking it and things are going just-fine-and-dandy-thank-you-very-much.
But, I'm also a realist. And what you really need to know is that it's not all roses. Event though I'm now in a position to be doing what I love, it's taken a lot of work to get here.
My initial decision to pursue writing as a career was back in 2012, and it's taken four years to find my feet. I've dabbled in freelance writing with some success, but also a lot of rejection. I've taken on writing projects that have made me wildly happy, but haven't necessary paid the bills. In fact, it's only now that I'm concentrating on copywriting, that I've discovered things are finally starting to fall into place.
And although I love spending my days wrangling words into submission, it doesn't mean every day is full of rainbows and butterflies. It doesn't mean I skip around in a blissful state of joy relishing every second of my life. I wish!
You see, following your passion doesn't make the annoying or the mundane stuff disappear.
I still have to deal with cranky kids, not enough hours in the day, family dramas, household chores and paying bills. I still have to do the mind-numbing accounting and filing that comes with running a business, and even just a household. I still have to battle insomnia and worries like will I fit into my jeans tomorrow, and are my kids really doing okay? And let's not even talk about mummy guilt!
But in the moments of the day where I am writing, yes that is bliss. Bliss that I am doing something that fills my cup to overflowing, and makes me completely and entirely content.
The other thing you need to know about following your passion, is that it doesn't have to be your career.
Many people struggle to get their head around how exactly will they quit their day job and turn their passion into a money making machine.
The truth is, you probably won't, but more importantly, you don't have to!
A passion can be anything from painting to horse riding. Archery to scrap-booking. Baking to charity work. But it doesn't have to be something that sustains you full time.
More than just a hobby, a passion is something that fills you with complete happiness in that moment. It can be as simple as making time to sketch for half an hour each day, or spending one day a week on honing your photography skills. That's being true to your passion.
You don't have to mortgage the family home to devote yourself every minute to your art for the rest of your life. In most cases you'll just end up bitter, unfulfilled, and most likely, homeless!
So, next time you hear someone talk about following their passion, just remember, there's a lot more involved than meets the eye. It's not a get out of jail free card, and things don't just magically fall into place.
But, it can make a small part of your life just about near perfect! And it's those moments that make it all worthwhile.
Jodi Gibson is a copywriter, blogger and fiction author who is currently working on her first novel. She lives in regional Victoria, Australia and spends her days wrangling words, kids, pets and a husband, while trying to avoid social media and being side-tracked by Ferrero Rochers. You can find Jodi at www.jfgibson.com.au