Hello, and thanks for taking the time to read my blog. I’m Jamie Perez. At 24 years old, I am at that point in my life where I am too old for my party pants, but too young to settle. I am starting to think about the long term.
I know a lot of people my age have half-mid-life crisis’ as we all understand we’re in the professional age now. We can’t just goof off in our parent’s basements and go to house parties anymore. We need to do something with our lives. But I know, age is just a number, and it might take some people longer to accept that it is time to put the party pants away and instead start thinking about…
I know, it’s a scary thought….
What makes the future LESS scary? Finding what you love and doing it full-time. I knew I wanted to be a journalist early on. Well, kind of. I knew I was a lover of words early on. I was intrinsically drawn to language and wanted to get better at conveying a message and telling a story. But it wouldn’t be completely accurate of me to say I could never see myself doing anything else… because that isn’t true.
At one point, I saw myself as a teacher… until I realized I never want to be in a classroom again once school ended and also because this is me…
When I got a bit older, I thought I wanted to be a veterinarian… until I heard that part of the job was putting animals to sleep. No can do.
It wasn’t until I got to my first semester of community college that I discovered my passion for journalism. Some people are able to find their passions early on and stick with them their whole lives. For others, like me, it takes a bit of trial and error and you have to LEARN to love your passion. Does that make sense?
The connection I am trying to make is… find what you love and do it full time.
I know a lot of people–mostly a generation older than mine, but this still pertains to kids today– who took the “easy” route of deciding to be a doctor or nurse or lawyer. I get it. Those occupations make a lot of money, securing you financially. But for those who are doing it purely for financial reasons or solely because their parents told them to, are going to be unhappier in the long term.
Imagine if you could go to work and LOVE what you do. You simply CANNOT wait for that next project, assignment, challenge, etc. (Not to say that everyone who wants to be a doctor or lawyer doesn’t love their jobs, just giving an example)
That is what your career should be about. Some people get jobs simply to make ends meet and many of these people never find an industry to stick with. Career hopping is never satisfying… for either the employer or employee. Think of it like dating: you wouldn’t want to date someone who was known for hopping around from person to person, right?… RIGHT?
Right. You want to date someone who you know can commit. Think of your career like a life-long relationship. A true investment you are fully dedicated to.
And I know many of us dang millennials want to be more creative, have more freedoms, take the path less chosen, be different, be multi-skilled… and that often leads to careers that aren’t as financially feasible.
But following your passion IS NOT always financially feasible. It often takes YEARS of hard work, starting at a low-paying, sometimes non-livable salary (*preach*) to get to the top. I find that more and more with people my age, the burn out is REAL. There are a lot of people who aren’t willing to put in that much effort for that long, they end up just choosing another field they didn’t specialize in because it’s easier. They choose practicality over passion.
But I understand that for many people who aren’t so lucky, money does come first. Fortunately, my parents have helped me along the way to get where I need to be and do what I want to do because if you’re going into the field of journalism, you sure as hell are not doing it for the money. You have to truly want to do this. So in my case, and others who are fortunate to have a little help along the way, passion should always trump practicality.
If you don’t know what you’re passionate about, that’s ok. It takes some people longer to find that special thing that drives them on. A lot of people might even mistake passion for natural talent, but passions can be learned–as I mentioned before. The more time we put into something, the better we get at it; the better we are, the more passionate we are about it.
And while it is great to be good at a lot of things, find the one thing that matters more than everything else and capitalize on it. It’s better to be really, really good at one thing than to be kind of good at a lot of things and never really giving any one thing your all.
With that said, I’ll conclude my rant with this:
Passions all have a starting point. Just because your starting point is different than someone else’s, don’t defer. You can’t compare your chapter one to someone else’s chapter 20. It’s about the small victories along the way and competing with yourself and only yourself. Set an ultimate goal, and find a way to get there and don’t stop, no matter how many rocks people throw at you along the way.
Be just one percent better each day. It’s the little victories that will lead to your ultimate goal. Don’t do what your parents want you to do… do what YOU want to do. You only have this one life, but one life is enough if you do it right.
Motivation for this blog stems from this book I am currently reading: