Friday 10 February 2017

The Necessity of Passion

My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style. 
Maya Angelou

I'm lucky. I love my job. It's changing at the moment, but I love that too.
Moving from teaching to my own business has been both scary and liberating. Scary, because I've spent my working life protected by the state. Suddenly, it's all on me. Scary, because I'm not getting my daily fix of fascinating company, doing what I know and love. And because I have to grapple with accounting programmes and other things that give me the heeby-jeebies.
Liberating, because my day isn't divided into strict time periods. If I'm interested in something I can just keep on doing it. Liberating, because I've escaped the demands placed on a teacher outside the classroom, which account for that glazed look and air of exhaustion most have.
And liberating because I love to learn stuff, so I'm just wallowing in new information and skills.

I'm discovering a whole world of people turning their passions into their businesses. Teaching's strange. On the one hand, you meet absolutely all the adults of tomorrow, but on the other hand, you tend to mix in a limited circle of actual adults, most of whom are also ready for bed at 9:30 (except for school nights, when it's 9:00).
So it's been great to encounter some fantastic people as I get myself started. I'm pretty good at writing and teaching writing (well, you'd hope so, wouldn't you!), but am not so good at lots of other things. Olivia Coleske at Ladybug Design, Mike Reaney and Jeff Vandelaar at MRD and Sarah Horn, the photographer, have all done two things for me. First, they've been knowledgeable, personable and helpful as I get started. Secondly, they've shown me what following your passion into a career looks like, if you've stepped out into the big bad world of the private sector.
I fervently believe that following your passion is the way to choose your path in life. When I was in the Sixth Form (now Year 12), I did what I thought was sensible and dropped French for Physics. BIG mistake. I loved French, but thought I ought to do something 'practical'. Since I have subsequently visited France a few times, a better working knowledge of the language would have been useful.   As for Physics, all I really remember is breaking the ammeter and sneakily reading a novel instead of the textbook. Since those far away days, I haven't done anything even remotely scientific (marrying a scientist helped me avoid the necessity).
I'm not complaining - language, writing and the subject of English have been my primary passions all my life and have sustained and rewarded me. However, it's worth thinking about what drives you to get up in the morning when you're making choices about subjects and then about jobs.
Which brings me back to Liv, Mike, Jeff and Sarah - I'm fortunate to have found four such passionate and skilled people to start me on this new journey.
My main hope for my own business is that I can help people communicate their own passions as clearly and persuasively. 

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