How I Found My Passion

108 comments

Breakfast this morning was a fun change.

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I don’t have cereal too often because I find it doesn’t fill me up, but this morning I was just craving a bowl with tons of mouth-water toppings.

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Sometimes only cereal will do!

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Trail Mix Spelt Cereal

Ingredients:

  • ~1.5 cup Nature’s Path Spelt Cereal
  • 1/2 banana, sliced
  • ~1/3 cup Power House Glonola 
  • Pinch of unsweetened coconut
  • Almond milk
  • 1/2 tbsp chia seeds

 

Even though I slightly over-cooked the Glonola, almond milk makes it all better. ;)

Soft and chewy and crispy and comforting.

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How I found My Passion

[For my full A Year Can Change A Lot Series on Career Changes, See these posts: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10]

The other day I was asked what led me to discover my passion for the blogs and bakery.

I was asked, ‘How did you know that it was what you wanted to do?’

For the first 25 years of my life, I had no clue that this is what would make me happy.

Do you remember the Oprah episodes from years and years ago about finding a career that would make you happy?

Those shows were always inspiring yet anxiety provoking for me. I loved hearing about other women’s triumphs and how they went from working a horrible job to running their own business or going back to school to get a degree. I could watch story after story after story, but for some reason I would always walk away from it saying to myself, ‘I can’t do what they did.’

We are talking about an early strike-out here. I remember feeling these thoughts when I was just 15 or 16 years old. I just felt like I would never be able to find the means to follow my dreams like these other successful women did. Sure, I thought I could be happy if I had a well-paying career, but I never thought that I would be able to do something unconventional for a career.

Why did I defeat myself so early on in the game?

Because I simply didn’t know what my passions were!

If you don’t know what your passions are you surely can’t act on them.

For so long, my passion was my eating disorder and it took up all of my free time. I didn’t have many real hobbies. I played in sports for many years, but I obviously knew I wouldn’t be pitching for the Blue Jays any time soon. ;)

I started the blog on October 31, 2008 which was when I began my journey to health. I was looking for positivity in my life and I wanted to reach out to other women who were struggling with the same things that I was; not just about food and weight, but with all aspects of life.

My blog was my hobby and it brought me great joy, especially during a time when I was quite unhappy with my career. For the first little while I figured that I would be ok if I could keep this hobby on the side. It would keep me going and positive. It would be something I could look forward to when I got up in the morning and got home from work at night.

It kept me sane.

Little did I know that pursuing a hobby I enjoyed would be one of the best wake-up calls I have ever had. I felt alive when I wrote and connected with others, when I cooked in the kitchen, and when I explored photography.

For a while, I dismissed my feelings because I felt guilty about them and I didn’t want to admit that perhaps this was what I should be doing. What would people think if I told them? Surely they would laugh in my face and tell me to keep looking for a research job.

One morning I woke up and everything was clear.

I wanted to write. I wanted to open a bakery. I wanted to make healthy recipes. I wanted to help others.

And then I quit my unfulfilling career.

And damnit, I wanted to take a leap of faith for the first time in my life. I wanted to take a chance on ME.

Pursuing a hobby changed my life.

When I am asked how I discovered that this is what I wanted to do, I always thank my blog. It was the hobby that opened my eyes and helped me find my passions.

Passion finding tips:

1) If you have no clue what your passions are, pursue hobbies that you have always wanted to do and go from there. It will feel like you are going on a blind date and you may have to kiss a lot of frogs to find ones you love, but persist on.

2) Not sure what hobbies to pursue? Ask yourself what you enjoyed as a child and as a teenager for clues. Not all of them will be winners, but you will be on your way to finding them. Look at the hobbies you have now and ask if they are telling you clues about your happiness.

Do you currently have any hobbies? Why or why not? Do you know what your passions are in life and what makes you come alive? Do you think you can turn what you love into a career?

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{ 108 comments… read them below or add one }

Freya (Brit Chick Runs) September 15, 2010

I like this post :D
My hobbies = blogging, cooking, riding and running – I love them all! Riding gives me peace, running keeps me sane, blogging is an outlet to talk and to meet people, and cooking is just plain fun :D I’d love to make food a career but not as a chef..I have no idea how!

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Wei-Wei September 15, 2010

Oh, man. This post is EXACTLY what I needed tonight. It just speaks to me so directly… I’m only 15, but I don’t know what my passions are. I think I need to bring them back.

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Nicole (Picky Nicky) September 15, 2010

What a great post!
You’re truly blessed to be doing what you love every single day, and I love those “passion finding tips”
I’d say mine are pretty similar to most bloggers: fitness, food, writing, cooking, reading. But i’d also add learning (at school or not), drawing/painting and of course, singing in the shower!!

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Jen @ Brilliant Well-being September 15, 2010

I am 34 years old. I have a wonderful day job as a Professor. It can be stressful, but overall I enjoy it (most days). 18 months ago, after I surrendered to the fact that I was morbidly obese and truly accepted myself AS I WAS, I mustered up the courage to contact a yoga teacher. I took my very overweight self to a private class. When I stepped onto that mat and began practicing yoga it was like coming home to myself. The feeling I had at the end of savasana was unlike anything I had ever felt before.

In that moment, at age 33, I finally understood what it is like to have a passion. I have practiced regularly since that time. Yoga and meditation have unfolded so much in my life – transforming my thoughts and my physical body. I have let go of so much, the least of which is 115+lbs. But what I have gained, words cannot describe. To love something so passionately is a gift I have never experienced before. If you are 22, 32, 42 or 52 and have yet to find your passion, I encourage you to try something new. And keep trying new things. If I hadn’t silenced my fears and tryed yoga I would never have discovered my passion.

Thank you for sharing your story! Its inspirational!

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Lynne September 15, 2010

I love this comment – how wonderful! I am also 34 and this comment inspires me to try something new – thank you.

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A. September 15, 2010

What a great story! I am struggling really bad right now because I have a very stable and well paying career (at our family business) and I am going out of my mind. I am so miserable and want to leave so badly but I want to leave to go to something I am passionate about….trouble is I am not so sure what to do. I love cooking, fitness, running, writing, and interior design. How do I make that into something? Posts like Angela’s have been smacking me in the face everyday….I just need to get the courage up to do something about it!

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Jessica @ How Sweet September 15, 2010

I am a SUPER passionate person. I thought my passion was training and I loved that for 6 years, but life led me down another path (and I truly belive that was God’s plan) and I rediscovered my passion for writing. It is what I WILL be doing for the rest of my life!

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Megan @ Sweet On September 15, 2010

Foreign languages and travelling are my passions, especially German(y). I was always good at German and really liked it, and followed it through all the way to a PhD program because I didn’t want to give it up, but it took years of misery and one amazing year teaching college German to realize I had gone the academic path only because it seemed like the right thing, and because I was “smart enough” to do something that many can’t do.

But I had completely lost the point of what kept me in German all those years – the language itself! I had so much fun and felt so alive teaching those kids, and I could really see the tangible results of my work, something else I wasn’t seeing before. The experience convinced me to quit the program, and now, after a year on the flip side living in Germany teaching English, I’m in an Education program and this time next year will be able to teach secondary school German or college German. I can’t wait to introduce the language to new students and inspire them to get out there and see the world! Dream Job :D

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Ange September 15, 2010

Love this post Ange!
I have personally found that even though I don’t know what everything will lead to – I’m taking small steps each day to put me closer to my dream life/career. Blogging is such an amazing platform and I love the daily doses of inspiration I receive from people like you!

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saffity September 15, 2010

my hobbies are knitting and sewing, mainly sewing costumes.

I’ve bounce an idea around in my head of sewing dance costumes or something like that for a career, but there just isn’t much of a market for that. Especially since people don’t realize how much work goes into things that are handmade.

I have a jacket that I knit myself that one woman offered me $30 for. I then explained to her that the yarn alone cost over $100. Not to mention it took over 40 hours to knit.

Unfortunately with the WalMart easy buys and cheap machine production, hand made quality doesn’t really have the pull that it used to.

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Lizzie September 15, 2010

Don’t be too sure about that – I’ve noticed a trend towards people buying more handmade, personal apparel, not only to look more unique, but to get something that is good quality. And people will pay for it (we have a Sunday market near us and have seen people pay good money for the work you are describing). I also think there is more of a movement towards buying clothes that last longer and are less disposable in terms of ‘fashion’ if that makes sense.

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Heather September 15, 2010

I think you should pursue your knitting/sewing. I have a friend, who we all call
‘the knitting lady’. She quit her job, and knits all the time. Then she works three days a week at the local market. She’s not filthy rich or anything, but she definitely makes a living. Her sweaters and such are expensive, but they do sell. She also makes a lot off the little things, like hats, mitts, and yoga bags (BIG seller!).

Give it a shot!

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Rachel September 15, 2010

Have you been on etsy.com? it’s kinda like ebay, but people have online ‘shops’ where they sell all handmade things like jewellery/clothes/homewear – it’s a lovely site – you should sell your things on there :)

Rachel x

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Judy September 15, 2010

I agree – don’t be so sure. Years ago, I paid $100.00 for a beautiful handmade sweater at a craft show and still LOVE it. Start small and work your way up from there.

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TheHealthyApron September 15, 2010

I loved reading this post. It gives me hope that maybe what I’m doing will turn in to something I’ve always dreamed. I LOVE LOVE LOVE nutrition (hence, I’m a dietitian), but I’ve ALWAYS wanted to own my own business. I started my blog as an escape from my current position (a WIC dietitian) bc it is just not fulfilling. I love writing a my cooking adventures and providing people advice on health and self esteem. I’ve recently realized that I truly want to help others who have also suffered from ED. I feel that because I’ve been there, I can also help them. I’m not sure how I’ll accomplish my ultimate dreams, but hearing about others is always inspiring and I appreciate you sharing your story! It gives me hope that it IS possible to fulfil your dreams!

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Charlie September 15, 2010

Cooking is definitely my #1 hobby: I’ve loved it since I was 13 years old! I also enjoy blogging, doing yoga, reading. Even studying gave meaning to my life last year since I had many problems at home and receiving good grades made me feel like I was doing something right. Psychology is a passion to me since I had my first class in CEGEP and I’ve just started studying it in university. I hope to make a career in psychology because I know how life can be hard and I want to help people that are struggling.

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Joslyn @ missfitbliss September 15, 2010

I love reading or hearing stories about how people found their passion in life. I’ve taken many different roads to finding different passions but the one I’m on now feels incredibly real. I absolutely LOVE sharing ways to be fit, be adventurous, and eat healthy with the world.

Although I just started my blog a few months ago, I realize what I’ve found most rewarding in following this path is the community of like-minded people out there who are just as passionate about living well and motivating others to treat their bodies well. It’s a great place to be:)

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Kristina @ spabettie September 15, 2010

I always love being reminded of YOUR story, Angela… it is so great and very inspirational. :)

Many of my passions have changed (wanted to be a tennis pro!) and one of them I am currently working on bringing back… I used to be a runner.

No. I am a runner. :) I just took a long multi – injury break. But I am coming back!! :)

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Andrea September 15, 2010

Rediscovering my hobbies and passions has absolutely been instrumental in my recovery! When I went away to University I essentially gave up everything to get 95% in all of my classes and fell prey to a horrible relapse. When I got treatment, I realized that I didn’t even want to be studying in the field I had chosen! Now I’m much happier in a new discipline at school, but not only that- I’m balancing school with other things I love to do now, like dance, singing, yoga and writing. Creativity is a huge one- I find I’m just not nearly as content when I’m not engaging in some kind of artistic pursuit. I think it’s really important to choose a career and lifestyle that plays to your passions, and I think it was extremely brave of you to do so :)

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Jillian @ Reshape Your Life September 15, 2010

When I was 8 I started taking horseback riding lessons. And from that very first day I knew I wanted to spend my life working with horses. I tried other jobs but they just weren’t fulfilling enough. I recently got horses back into my life and I am so much happier!

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Shelly September 15, 2010

I have a lot of hobbies! I’m kind of a generalist in nature (I like knowing a little bit about everything rather than just being an expert at one thing) so I try all sorts of things. I really love running, travel, nutrition, writing, sewing, cooking, blogging, and reading! I used to really think that my career would be the thing that fulfills me, but over the years, I’ve learned that, for me, it’s a little more complicated than that. I absolutely love my job, but, frankly, there’s a reason they pay me to do it. I don’t think I’d be a volunteer engineer. :)
What fulfills me is having a good balance between working in a job I love, spending time with family and friends, and having time to pursue my hobbies. I’m just not an all or nothing kind of girl, I guess!

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lisasfoods September 15, 2010

Great advice. I think it’s so important for people to have hobbies they’re passionate about, to have something to look forward to, to learn from, and to work towards.

My current hobbies are blogging (and I love the community that comes from it), catching up on great books, and lots of outdoor activities, like running and hiking, camping and canoeing. It’d be great to make a career out of one of these hobbies, and I think it will happen with time and patience.

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Alana September 15, 2010

Hi Angela! I’ve been reading your blog for a few months now and for me it’s really inspirational :) I even completed my first triathlon this summer after following your triathlon training on the blog! It didn’t seem so daunting anymore, something more achievable. I loved the feeling that I got after completing that triathlon (perhaps I’ve found a new hobby??)

My passion has always been horses and horseback riding, but it’s something that I really stopped doing once I got into college. Now that I’m a graduate perhaps I’ll return back to the thing I love!

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Valerie @ City|Life|Eats September 15, 2010

Great post – rediscovering hobbies and passions is so valuable :)

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JL Goes Vegan September 15, 2010

This is very inspiring. I made a major career change last year (at the age of 44!) I’m doing meaningful work that makes me happy yet provides an opportunity to live a balanced life. That balance affords me the opportunity to dabble in blogging, step-up my running/triathlon training and I’m even taking an advanced graduate course…21 years after receiving a masters degree. I don’t think it’s just about the “job,” it’s about the whole package. Can you find a way to make a living/survive and enjoy every aspect of your life? Easier said than done, but possible.

Great post!

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Chelsea at Striking Balance September 15, 2010

Great post, as usual. I think you are inspiration to many people who read your blog. You help us realize that you don’t have to be unhappy with your life, there ARE ways to change it. Thanks, Angela.

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Holly @ couchpotatoathlete September 15, 2010

Angela I loved this post.

I enjoy reading about others who have pursued their passions, and to be honest, I don’t know what mine are. But, I am happy with my current job and I enjoy my life outside of work. It may not be my “passion”, but I am content. I enjoy reading, blogging, learning about personalities, psychology, how our minds work, etc. I hope to one day do something with those subjects — I’m not sure what, but I know that with the more I learn and the more I try the more clear it will become for me.

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amanda September 15, 2010

Right now I would say blogging, cooking, and running our my hobbies. I’m hoping post grad school to pick up photography as a hobby because it’s just one of those things I’ve always wanted to try.

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Jamie Langloisr September 15, 2010

Great post!
i love your blog. I found it a few weeks ago via ricki hellers dietdessertsanddogs! Great recipes and ideas!!
I am blessed to have found my passion in my mid 20′s. I am living, breathing and getting paid for my passion. I am a nutritionist! I teach people to eat well and live the best life possible! Amazing. Love my job!!!
I also started a blog and love it. I post recipes and health information. So much fun!

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Kelly September 15, 2010

This subject hits close to home.. now. I have been batting this idea around lately.

I am happy with one of my two jobs. It’s not something I want to do for the rest of my life, but I like the people I work with and the pay isn’t too bad (if I could just get health care insurance, that’d be icing on the cake at this point.)

Without writing a full blog post in the comments :) I am waiting for my ‘ah ha’ moment of what I want to do / find my passion and then how to would proceed.

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Ashley September 15, 2010

I am in the same boat as you. If you want to talk some more and bounce ideas off each other….feel free…..I need to get out of this boat and back onto dry land! Just reply to this comment and I can give you my email address!

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Kelly September 15, 2010

Hey Ashley. Thanks for commenting back. If you want to shoot me over an email go for it – my email is livingthebefore@gmail.com

Hope to hear from you soon!

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Therese September 15, 2010

I love hearing other peoples’ stories! It’s so inspirational!

I’m currently pursuing my passion and that is to help others discover and reach their own potential. I went back to school to finish up my psych degree with an emphasis on behaviour changing and motivation and plan to open my life coaching business at the end of June 2011. I always had interests growing up but never a real passion until my own life changes began. Discovering my own potential and the fact that I alone make my life the way I want it to made me want nothing more than to spread that knowledge and help people make their lives amazing.

We have no idea what we are capable of and it pains me to see people with obvious talents NOT working with them.

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Lauren September 15, 2010

This was such a great post to read while eating breakfast! I, likewise, had a packed bowl of cereal with lots of healthy toppings. :)

Also, I tried Polly’s Yoga for Runners after my run this morning…. it felt great! I’ll be doing that on a daily basis from now on.

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Bec September 15, 2010

You are such an inspiration, as a reader from the early days of OSG its amazing to see how much you have grown and you serious GLOW now in your posts :) Congrats on finding your path!!!

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Jess @ atasteofconfidence September 15, 2010

your story is very inspiring! i’m hoping to pursue journalism/writing or do some kind of social work – I either want to expose issues people don’t read about enough or be directly involved in people’s lives.

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Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman September 15, 2010

I loved this post. I’m doing what I love but my husband is stuck wanting to strike out on his own and feeling the need for a steady paycheck. We both worry about the risk, but he’s so passionate about owning his own business. I’m e-mailing this to him!

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Shanna, Like Banana September 15, 2010

I am still trying to find my passion. Is it healthy living? Is it shoes? Is it wedding planning? Is it accolades from my career as an engineer? Is it animals? Is it charity work? Right now I’m doing them all so I can eventually find what makes me happiest and devote more time to that.

Thank you for sharing!

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Claudia September 15, 2010

Thanks for this post. I’ve struggled with not being sure I’m in the right career for me a lot this past year – but it’s hard, since I’ve invested SO much time in schooling to get where I am. And now all I do is sit at a desk, when I’d much rather be interacting with people, and helping others in whatever way I can. I’m hoping one day I’ll either start loving my job, or that I will have the courage to try something new that falls more in line with my passions – helping people who are down on their luck, both in my “own backyard” and overseas, writing, reading, cooking, running/swimming/sports, my faith, and making things (crochet/knit/sew/craft). I guess I also have to believe that something that will make me happy and excited about “my work” is actually out there!

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Kara @ MyWellnest September 15, 2010

Finding my passion and a career I love is the story of my life right now!
Very inspiring post, thanks :-)

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elyssa September 15, 2010

im a law student with a passion for human rights..and food! im in my last year of school, and although i haven’t figured out how quite yet – im hoping to somehow find a career that will allow me to combine my two loves. right now i have the dream, but im still waiting on the form. i dont want food to be that thing i do on the side – and im confident that i can find a way thanks to stories like yours. thanks so much!

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Natasha September 15, 2010

Wow, what a great post! Thank you :)

I recently turned down law school because, after much soul-searching and stress, I’ve realized and accepted that law just isn’t “me”. Aside from my husband, much of my family thinks I’m crazy for passing up the opportunity, but I’ve gained so much more understanding about myself from this experience. My passion is still to help people, but at 27, I’ve discovered that I really want to study and practice naturopathic medicine. The road ahead is long because my background is in the social sciences, so I have a ton of prerequisite course work to complete first, but I’ve finally found the right fit and it’s totally worth it!

Thank you for being such an inspiration, Angela. Reading your story and watching you progress over the past year that I’ve been reading your blog has definitely helped me become more confident to take a chance on me!

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Jenny R. September 15, 2010

I think it’s a really good point you brought up about how for many people their eating disorders are their hobbies for a good portion of their life. Finding your path back to health and taking care of oneself can take a good deal of time. Many people have to learn how to actually love themselves first and then they can expand and see what they are interested in doing. It’s difficult because it can be a long process for certain people. It takes time to un-do the damage and learn to love yourself. Thanks for posting that! :)

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Veronique @ Hooked on Health September 15, 2010

You read my mind exactly.
I was in the same situation as you, and found that blogging became the answer! I am able to enjoy and showcase my passions. I get to celebrate them rather than keep them to myself. I feel like starting a blog is the first step to pursuing my large goals, which like you,is to open a health foods bakery (but in Ottawa where the pickins are slim at this moment).
Thank you for this inspiring post! It has opened my eyes at the potential I have to reaching my dream as long as I stick to my hobbies :)

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Heather (Heather's Dish) September 15, 2010

tears in my eyes girl, tears in my eyes. i’m at that point right now where i know what to do and know how to do it but can’t garner the courage to just take that leap of faith. my prayer is that someday soon I’ll be able to take hold of that and just jump!

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Ashley September 15, 2010

Just jump! You are so lucky to know what you want to do! I am struggling very badly right now and I would be jumping every day if I knew what to jump to….just jump, you CAN do it!

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Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat September 15, 2010

Great post! I just realized that blogging is a passion of mine this past March, and I can’t imagine my life without it now. Although it’s not my job, I do consider it a part time job and certainly put a lot of hours into it. I was never really that big on writing in school, but I think part of the problem was that I was never able to write about anything I was actually interested in. Writing about food and fitness? Umm…. he-LLO! LOVE IT! Posts like this inspire me to keep finding my passions and pursuing them. Thanks! :)

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leslie September 15, 2010

i agree with this post 1000%!  if i hadn’t allowed myself to explore my passions i never, never would have gotten to the job i’m in now that i really and truly enjoy.  i floundered for a long time because i felt like i had too many different interests, but it turns out i just got to have a lot of wonderful life experiences while exploring them.  the periods when i was most entrenched in disordered eating, i lost all those interests, and focusing on them was also really helpful in allowing me to recover – like i was rediscovering who i was and wanted to be.  i totally agree that we need to indulge our hobbies, whether they seem practical or lucrative or not.  you’re a shining example of this!

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Maissa (Run, Rant, Realize) September 15, 2010

I recently went through three months of being unemployed while looking for that all important 1st job after college. For three months I was stressed out, anxious, angry, and occasionally depressed. My blog kept me going. I am just starting out, and I don’t have a great following, but just being able to write about the things I love – food, health, slow food, running, yoga, climbing, made all the difference in the world. Every time I got upset I’d recenter myself by writing a blog entry. It allowed me to keep my head clear and do what I needed to do to find a job.

I’d also like to say that reading your blog helped me SO MUCH during the past three months. All your positivity and words of inspiration helped me stay hopeful. I even used your smiling trick (the one where you said to make yourself smile, the act of curving your mouth upwards would help you feel better) a few times when I was feeling really desperate.

So I guess what I”m saying is thank you! I for one am incredibly glad that you started blogging and that you decided to follow what you were passionate about and make it your career.

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