Today amidst watching one of my students on the playground today, my mind started wandering. Rachel Zoe had mentioned on one of her recent episodes how she is passionate about all the work she does. Now dictionary.com defines passionate as: having, compelled by, or ruled by intense emotion or strong feeling; fervid: AND expressing, showing, or marked by intense or strong feeling; emotional: passionate language. Rachel really got me wondering, “What am I passionate about?”
I really had to think hard about this question. I’m honestly not passionate about my job. I love working with and teaching children, but I really don’t have those passionate feelings about it. I’ve really grown to love running, but I still don’t feel passionate about it. The craft beer world is a big part of my life due to D and our circle of friends associated with that world, but I’m not passionate about it. Then it came to me, the one thing (aside from D of course) I am really passionate about is traveling. I probably love travel more than any thing/activity in the world. I constantly think about where I want to visit, the places and cultures I want to see. I could talk about my international trips for hours on end. I am definitely passionate about travel.
As my mind continues to wander, I mulled over how I can weave my travel passion into an every day or more regular occurrence. As I said, I do love teaching but it’s not my true passion. It’s more of a means to an end that I at least enjoy. The end being the money. The money to travel. Let’s be honest…at this point, the salary doesn’t quite get me to the end. I barely make enough money to enjoy one good vacation per year. Another honest statement: My desire for travel (and traveling with mostly ease) is a primary reason I could care less about having kids. So I need a job that
It’s actually a bit depressing that I don’t get to partake in and fully enjoy my passion. For the past 6 years I’ve been in school of some sort in order to make a career (4 years undergrad, 1 year grad, + 1 year part-time to clear my teaching license). Needless to say, I’ve racked up quite a student loan debt. A large portion of my after-tax salary (why do they even look at pre-tax dollars?! It means nothing since I never get to see that money) is chewed up by paying for these loans instead of pursuing my passion. So what’s a girl to do? Continue with my means to an end for 20+ years hoping that one day my salary will increase (there are 5th and 6th year teachers in NC still working on a 1st year teacher salary) and pay off the student debt? Do I suck it up and enjoy
the fact that I am still in the “middle
class” and have the ability to spend my money traveling my one trip per
year? Or do I follow my possibly
unrealistic dreams of finding a job that allows me to travel regularly?