Occupation: Aspiring Beam of Light
So, like, what do you do again? Are you like following your passion or something? Or are you like, still meditating on your faux sheepskin rug in the hopes that your calling will come through the wires of your headspace app?
I've spent the last few years really really really trying to figure out the course of my life. I've travelled, I've pondered, I've gone to school for a million different subjects, and I've cried into several different shoulders, hands, and pizza boxes. The bad news is that I still don't have the answer, but the good news is that I don't really care about that question anymore.
I've taken a pass on the passion thing and given the whole calling question the finger. In its place I've leaned into the things that make me feel excited, curious, and sort of, dare I say, alive.
There is this quote by Rob Bell that has stuck to my ribs for the last two year:
"Calling is overrated and curiosity is underrated."
So often curiosity sits in front of our faces, begging for our attention and action.Yet, we often miss it, mistake it as a distraction, or trample over it in pursuit of our “calling” or “purpose”.
For a long time, I felt like I was just waiting for the answer to just magically appear in my lap. Making any decision felt like such a big decision. But really, the problem was that I was making the course of my life into something so vast and unforgiving that I didn't even know where to begin.
So I've decided to start where I am, which is anywhere, doing anything, including small jobs that spark my interest and applying for things I never thought I would want to do but feel pulled towards.
You are so much more than the lists that follow the bullets on your resume and the four-second snippets you use to introduce yourself at parties. There is your "work" and then there is YOUR WORK.
YOUR WORK is to get out of your own way, stop being so serious, and leave behind the conversation of "passion" and "calling" in the bin.
In a chapter from Os Little Guide For Finding Your True Purpose Alain de Botton finally speaks the darn truth by stating that knowing what you want is a difficult and almost impossible pursuit.
I'm sorry, did you hear that?
KNOWING WHAT YOU WANT IS AN IMPOSSIBLE PURSUIT.
Knowing what you want isn't normal, it is actually, as Abraham Maslow says: "a rare and difficult and psychological achievement."
Alain de Botton goes on to write about how we should start asking ourselves the question of "what brings me joy?" rather than "what do I want?"
Botton believes that "people searching for their aptitudes should act like treasure hunters passing over their lives with metal detectors, listening for beeps of joy.”
Looking for the small things that make us curious and bring us joy makes so much more sense to me than this daunting conversation of calling and purpose and passion.
Curiosity is where I'm starting and those small beeps of joy are what I'm seeking.