Breakfast this morning was a fun change.
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.
Sometimes only cereal will do!
Trail Mix Spelt Cereal
- ~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.
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 3, Part 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?
My hobbies are blogging, decorating my home and keeping it neat and beautiful (which is giving me more joy than I ever anticipated), and fitness!
I struggle with the idea of turning my hobby into a career. My father opened his own hobby business and it was a tremendous struggle for my family financially throughout most of the time he owned his business. It also turned what he loved into WORK. I like that I get to go to work, and then come home and do what I love for fun and in my own free time. And there is no pressure to pay the bills with it.
What do you do if you chase your dreams and you are unsuccessful? Might make for a good post.
I’m in a career rut right now and trying to figure out what I really want to do. Thanks for the inspirational post. I hope I can find something I love to do the way you did.
I always drew houses as a kid. Like always. I would draw sections, plans and elevations–though I didn’t know what they were called. I just drew. I’m very lucky that this easily translates into a career.
i have no clue what my passion is :-/ In fact, reading this post makes me anxious just as you were anxious watching those Opera episodes. I’m in law school right now & I know that this is NOT my passion.. perhaps I can find something/someone I’m passionate about representing? I really just don’t know :(
I am in law school too and I can feel you!
Great post Ange! Reading all your posts about how you changed careers gave me that push I needed last year to finally pursue my passions. :D Health, fitness, and nutrition have been hobbies of mine for the past few years, but I never considered them as career possibilities because I felt like I had to be doing something more academic. But this year I switched to a nutrition degree and already I feel like it was the right decision!
My main hobby other than blogging is horseback riding. I’ve ALWAYS been fascinated with horses and have been an equestrian for about 14 years now. I love everything about it :) The freedom, the discipline, the connection with the horses and nature..it’s fabulous
Thanks for this post! I’m in the second year of an intense graduate program and sometimes I question if this is still what I want to do. Over the summer I was able to work which gave me a bit more perspective. I still occasionally struggle with not knowing what I want. Some of my class mates know exactly where they want to work and I feel bad because I’m still not completely sure. I know it will all come together. Normally things do when you least expect it. For now I am enjoying running and blogging. It helps me feel more balanced.
I can really relate since I also quit my job a couple years ago to focus on things that I have a passion for, namely baking and painting and gardening. I am still figuring out how to make these all work for me along the way (i very recently began blogging), but I’m having a great time doing so!
About a year and a half ago I started an artisan baking business out of my home…it’s been an incredible journey!
Thanks for the inspiration!
Angela, thank you.
I have been going through such a struggle lately because I know my job is making me miserable, but I feel guilty complaining about it because it is a “good” job. Plus, I don’t know what I really want to do. I’m afraid of taking a leap and just grabbing the next thing in line, instead of making a solid decision.
I want to thank you for making me feel ok that I don’t know what my passions are. I have been feeling so silly lately because when I try to think of what I want to do my mind goes blank. How can I not have any passions?! Do I have no personality anymore?! Who am I?!
Anyway, this post was like a deep breath. It got me centered when I felt like I was flailing. Thank you!
This is exactly how I feel right now! EXACTLY! So stuck and frustrated, saddled to my job because of obscene school loans from my MS in Mental Health and rent and other bills. Now what? I want to attend the Natural Gourmet Institute so despirately (http://naturalgourmetinstitute.com/html/chefs-training.html) because it the perfect program for me. I couldn’t have dreamed up a more perfect curriculum, but I just can’t afford it. Taking out another school loan would essentially double my existing school debt and I simply can’t swing it. How can money really be the reason I will never be happy at work or passionate about what I do?! I spend each day at my desk searching for scholarships and grants, but nothing is leading me any closer to my goal. I wish I had realized my love for health and food before I went to college and grad school. I guess things happen for a reason, but I feel so hopeless at the moment.
Really my only hobby is reading. Books, blogs, magazines, etc. And that’s exactly what I did as a child. I read constantly! Started when I was 2 with books on tape and taught myself to read. Now if I could get paid to just read all day and do nothing else…that’d be great! ;)
Blogging and writing have certainly become my passion as well. Right now it is more of a hobby and outlet as a stay at home mom. But I already work HARD to develop my blog into something more. In about 2-3 years I will be at the stage in my kids’ lives I expect to go back to work in some form or fashion. I want writing, helping others in health/fitness/balanced living/etc to be that work. I’m doing everything I can to make that a possibility then.
Angela! Great post! This is why I read you! We have this in common- that one day it just “clicks!”
I absolutely agree you can do what you want in your life, have what you want, and go after your dreams NO MATTER HOW Big! (Just ask my husband, trying to tap into the Acting Game!) It can be hard but shouldn’t we all live the life we have always imagined? The answer is YES!
I get so much joy with my job hleping other get fit, healthy, and on the right track but also to have them see that they are stronger than they think, We all Are!
Passions are everything in life, it might take time to find them but they are there, we all have them…It is all about being the Captain of your Own Ship and going for it- take the jump!
I think Success without Fulfillment is Failure. :)
ps. I have something I would like to send you, hehe….can you give me a mailing addresss?
You have been such an inpsiration to me. I have already made huge steps toward following my heart in other areas of my life and I soon want to transition to a new career that makes me happy. Seriously, reading your blog has given me so much courage to take steps in the right direction.
I have always done what I thought was the smart, practical thing to do. I signed up for my degree program because it was very challenging, not because I loved it. I was always the smart girl and I thought if I did pursue a passion that people would think that I sold myself short.
Thanks for being so open with your story.
I’m making steps toward turning my passion for food and wellness into a career…but it’s so hard: I have a job (not a career) that drains me every day and I want to get out so badly, but I’m afraid of what might happen if I just quit. I’m mostly afraid that I would stress myself out about not having a constant source of income for a while…
I’m working on overcoming my fears and becoming a holistic health counselor…and possibly a Crossfit trainer as well…
Another great post Angela – I love it when you write from your heart! You are such an inspiration to so many.
I have just started a one-year leave from my job (working with children who have behavioural, social, or emotional needs). It is so nice to have a break and I feel blessed to have this opportunity. I love nature, books, and learning new things, esp. healthy living.
Have a great time in Paris. I am looking forward to the pictures.
I feel like I went through the exact same thing, except my hobby was running and at first I wasn’t sure whether or not I’d love it or stick with it. But here I am, less than a year later, working as a trainer which is really the best job a person with my age and job experience could ask for! And it’s all because I started paying attention to my health and fitness (at which point I decided I needed to help other people do the same).
One of the things that I noticed about your post is that you said to try hobbies that you think you’ll like, but I don’t think that’s always right. When I first started running, I hated it. I was doing it so I could look skinny in a bathing suit on vacation. It was sweaty and miserable and dehydrating and time-consuming. It wasn’t until I left the gym for outdoor running a few months later that I discovered my love for the sport. So maybe if you can’t think of a passion you had when you were younger, think of something off-the-wall, different, new, something you didn’t like the last time you tried it. It might just be an acquired taste, and acquiring that taste could change your life!
Your story is so inspirational! I have done tons of different things in my life…they have always been because I’ve had a passion for them. I became a yoga teacher b/c I fell in love w/ yoga after my first class. I pursued, trained for and competed in a fitness show, and in marathons and running races, and in so many pursuits, it’s b/c Ive been totally passionate about them.
Sometimes one can make money from following your passions, sometimes you just do it b/c to NOT do it…would be unthinkable, or impossible :)
Currently, I am passionate about being the best mother and wife I can be :)
Thank you so much for this post. I’m right now in the process of a career transition from one compartment of the Corporate world to another, and I THOUGHT this was what I wanted to do (that the dissatisfaction I feel at my current company could be solved by going into a different company in a different – newer, fresher – field) but I’m not so sure anymore.
I recently went to a meeting with industry professionals from the new field I’m looking into and I felt such an overwhelming sense of “no, no, this is not the right fit”. Deep inside I know striking out on my own is the RIGHT decision for me but it is one I’m terrified of…I feel like I couldn’t be one of those women.
This post is very timely for me…it made me face the fact that maybe it’s not the current company or the new company that are the problem or solution. Maybe I need to broaden my scope and start trusting my own instincts instead. It’s all very scary of course… :)
What a great post! I am 22 and TOTALLY lost, but this gives me hope that finding your passion and creating a rewarding life is possible and probable. Thanks!
I would go crazy without any hobbies – blogging, running, baking, cooking… honestly, I feel at peace when I do those things.
THanks for the words of inspiration!!
This is a great post. I too look at others and think that I would love to be able to go somethign amazing; something that I truely love. But I have never managed to fin enough passion for anything. As strange as it sounds I have no idea what my interets are! I am trying to discover them day by day and really want to make a change in my life but until I have thta eureka moment I will just keep plodding on and searching.
Thank you so much for this post. Gives those of us needing “more” from our workdays inspiration to make a change!
This is such good advice. I think its so important to find something you’re passionate about. I remember when I got my first job my dad said to me “you better find something you like doing because you’ll be working for the rest of your life”. That was some of the best advice I’ve ever gotten. I’m still working on finding my perfect job, but I wont give up until I find it. :)
I think it’s cool that you followed your passion. I’m still trying to figure out what mine is!
I have to come back to this post and read it thoroughly (need to be studying!), but yes yes — I do know what my passions are in life/what makes me come alive. I sure as heck hope that they turn into my career. Gotta keep bloggin’ ;)
I have an abundance of hobbies, but most of them I want to keep them just that – hobbies. However, I did turn one of them into something more – I enjoy fitness and working out and educating others on being fit and healthy – and now I’m a personal trainer and sports nutritionist!
What a BEAUTIFUL post!!!! I am on my journey toward finding peace with the work I choose for myself. Things are changing FAST and the wheels are turning. Your blog is a HUGE inspiration to me to follow my dreams. I thank you so much for what you have done here. It is a breath of fresh air for me each and every day and it is one of the positive influences in my life that is helping me find my place. =)
I def think that people that are the happiest do something they love everyday… It’s not all about the money (for the most part – as long as you have food, shelter etc). Everyone has heard the phrase ‘money can’t buy happiness’ and it truly can’t. Happiness comes from within. I think it was on your blog that I saw that quote that went something like … ‘happiness comes from within, so work on that first’. Such a great quote bc it’s so true!! If you’re not happy, no amount of money will make you truely happy – sure, a shopping spree makes you feel good… until you put all your new stuff away and then it wears off… Great post. ;)
Thank you for this post. It feels very timely for me.
Love this… I’d really like to turn my passion of cooking into a career.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!!
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!
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.
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!
You are so inspirational. Your story has touched a lot of people and fill continue to do so!
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!
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.
Thank you everyone for sharing your stories!
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. :)
I love entries like these. I am very happy for you and wish you nothing, but success! :)
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 :)
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!