How I Found My Passion

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on September 15, 2010

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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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

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Jessica @ The Process of Healing September 15, 2010 at 12:37 pm

Love this… I’d really like to turn my passion of cooking into a career.

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Alexa @ The Girl In Chucks September 15, 2010 at 12:53 pm

This has really been a topic that I’ve been focussing on a lot lately. I’m 28 years old. I’ve worked at the same company for 10 years. I don’t like my job. College was 5 years ago. I don’t really want to go back to school. Everyone, my mother, my friends, my old teachers…just everyone wants to know what I’m going to do with my life.

The truth is: I have no idea.

I was an English major, creative writing focus in college. I love to write. I’ve always loved to write. I apparently, have a lot to say, too! After college, I stopped writing. I don’t know if it was because I was lazy or if it was because I just didn’t know how to turn a love of writing into a career. I still don’t. I did have an article published a couple of years ago…not a paying publication, or anything, but it made me feel really alive. Like, yes, this is it. This is what I want to do. But I didn’t do anything.

I think that is why I’m blogging now. I do NOT live in a dream world where I think I will be able to quit my job tomorrow because of a silly blog, but I wanted to start blogging because I needed to start writing again. And it’s been a whopping week (yes, yes, I know. sooo impressive! =P ), but I already feel happier. Just doing what I love.

So I am going to keep doing it….and see what happens.

Congrats on finding YOUR passion and thank you for sharing it with us.

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Jess September 15, 2010 at 12:54 pm

Thanks for this post! I’ve been thinking a lot about this stuff lately. Since going back to school last year to study nutrition and become an RD, so many new possibilities have opened up, and there are so many things I want to do, but I get intimidated a lot. I’m always trying to remind myself to keep taking it one day at a time. Writing has always been my main passion, and I’ve managed to use my writing degree to pay my bills while I’m in school by writing articles about health and nutrition, and I’m hoping that the bigger picture will continue to reveal itself to me.

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AGS September 15, 2010 at 12:54 pm

As firmly as I believe that money doesn’t buy happiness, I do know that money can buy a lot of things that make you happy. But there is a very careful balance. Sometimes the “big bucks” don’t add up to happiness, because work leaves you with too little time and too little energy to pursue anything. That’s where I am at this point. I love my field and what I’m learning and doing. . . but there is not a chance I’ll stay with this position for a year more. I am pursuing a private pilot’s license (I work in the field of international aviation), and it kills me to time and time again not make my lessons/time to study aeronautics.

What I’ve learned with making my career switch is that you go through ups and downs. I’m in a bit of a down right now, but I do know that I won’t be here forever. I’ve been through downs before, and if you keep pressing onward, working, experimenting, and giving yourself room to grow, you will find many things that inspire and stimulate you. I keep that in mind on the worser days, and hope that some of you who are struggling will keep in mind that WORK and PERSEVERANCE are key ingredients to finding your passion.

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Lily @ Lily's Health Pad September 15, 2010 at 1:01 pm

Oh my, what are my passions? I think about this frequently. Sometimes I wonder if I will ever figure out what it is I wish to add to my life to make me feel more fulfilled.

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Sarah @ Yogi Monster September 15, 2010 at 1:10 pm

Angela,
I love the story of your personal journey, as it is so close to my own. Thank you for being so brave to share it. You are inspirational.

On a side note, that cereal looks delicious! Yumm!

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Heather September 15, 2010 at 1:57 pm

Thank you for the inspiration!

Following my passion got me to where I am now….but I need to CONTINUE to follow my passion to get where I am going!!

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Heidi September 15, 2010 at 3:48 pm

Great post! I have a huge passion for nutrition and health. Luckily I kind of stumbled into my career path while I was in college and became a Registered Dietitian about a year and a half ago. The interesting thing is that I always thought I wanted to work in a hospital setting, but after actually doing that I am not so sure anymore. It is so so frustrating talking to patients who have no desire to take care of themselves and are so resistant to changing what they eat in order to improve their lives. Working in a hospital does not allow you to see the changes that people are successful with. So right now I am on a journey to find out what other direction my career can go in, something where I can see the lasting impact, and hopefully I will find out soon!

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Tracey September 15, 2010 at 3:58 pm

I feel like I am in the position you were in a few years ago. I am just now learning about my passions (running, cooking, blogging, writing) and have quit my job in hopes of finding one that I love. It was a huge leap and I am terrified of the unknown, but your story gives me hope. I hope to one day turn my passions into a career.

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Nikki September 15, 2010 at 4:12 pm

Hey Angela!
I recently discovered your website, and I wanted to say that you’re a real inspiration for me =) I wanted to live healthier and you really help me with that. It’s also cool that you’re a vegan, because I’m a vegetarian myself too. Maybe one day I’ll become a vegan, but now I’m 16 so that’s probably not such a good idea ^^ (and I don’t think my parents will like it haha)

My hobbies are horseriding and drawing, and I wouldn’t know what to do without them. I don’t know if I could turn them into a career. Maybe drawing, but I think it’s pretty hard to get a job in it..

Greetings from holland!

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Bee Goes Bananas September 15, 2010 at 4:57 pm

You are so inspirational. Your story has touched a lot of people and fill continue to do so!

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Courtney September 15, 2010 at 5:44 pm

Angela, you are truly an inspiration. I agree, it’s so much better to be happy and love waking up in the morning to go to work than to be depressed and obsessed with the next pay check, you go girl!

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Amy September 15, 2010 at 6:40 pm

I’m still trying to figure out my passion. My eating disorder takes up so much time and energy. I’ve found lifting weights and getting into health and fitness is def a passion of mine. Maybe becoming a dietician and helping others with eating disorders because I love nutrition.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) September 15, 2010 at 7:04 pm

Thank you everyone for sharing your stories!

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caronae September 15, 2010 at 8:35 pm

I think women tend to be afraid of pursuing non-standard jobs because of the instability. Instability is scary. But I do believe that passion is where it’s at — your story is quite inspiring! My passions are running, yoga, writing — poems, prose, essays, mental health, human rights and social justice. In my mind, these can come together into a career. That’s what I’m praying for, at least. :)

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Stephanie @ Laugh and Cook September 15, 2010 at 9:23 pm

I love entries like these. I am very happy for you and wish you nothing, but success! :)

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Heidi - Apples Under My Bed September 16, 2010 at 7:50 am

a) your breakfast looks amazing. food is so pretty. now im craving a big bowl of delicious granola-ey cereal with sliced banana. mmm

b) i completely agree with this post – pursue a hobby and make it your job. Life is too short to waste away your days. I learnt how short life is, and have really strived to do something fulfilling with my life. To spend my time doing something I enjoy. I am so happy as a result :)
Heidi xo

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Natalia - a side of simple September 17, 2010 at 10:13 am

Thanks for this post, Angela. I’m going to be graduating in May from college (undergrad) and it’s like the only thing on anyone’s mind is to get out there and make money. I realize, of course, that I have to make money to survive, but it is far from the path to happiness and everything! This post is a boost for me to still pursue my passions and loves while finding a career that fits for me. Thank you!

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