Tuesday, November 23, 2010


If it isn't hot and fiery passion or an outright, albeit consensual, sellout, what are you still doing there? "It" can be whatever for you -- a juvenile relationship, a long-term relationship, a job, a business venture, a project, a hobby, whatever you choose it to be. For me it becomes a question of a job/ life vocation of choice/ means of living/the something that takes the biggest chunk of your time every day.

I don't mean to make it sound polar, you know how passion always goes with poverty and a life of bliss in certainty while selling out always means a meaningless existence and a life of guilt. Sometimes you do what you love and you end up getting the best of both worlds. Sometimes you make as much money, or surprisingly even more, doing what you love, as if you "sold out" and did something your heart wasn't on, supposedly "just for the money".

Photo credit: PostSecret

Take for instance the respected Mr Francis Kong who does what loves which is inspiring people through is leadership programs. (Random thought: OR did he just love what he did that' why he ended up immensely successful? Highly likely and hard to tell, but win-win whichever way, anyway). When you read his writings and listen to him talk, you know instantly he is burning with such a passion for what he does. He is happy and at the same time is successful in more ways than just monetary -- best of both worlds.

On the other hand,  sometimes you supposedly "sell out", let go of the altruistic dream, do something "just for the money", and find out that whatever you end up doing is actually not so bad. Maybe not as meaningful as your original plan but a valid choice at the end of the day. Let's take for instance Marshall Ericksen of HIMYM who ended up working for GNB as a bank lawyer and not an environmental lawyer fighting for the chimps, as originally planned by College Marshall. He originally wanted to live "The Dream" -- lawyering for a cause but at the same time saying bye bye to the good life. But his wedding happened and the home mortgage happened, so he ended up "selling out" to become a lawyer for GNB. He let go of the dream but eventually, he ended up NOT miserable and actually came around to corporate lawyering.

The point is, both men did not cower at the enormity of the choices ahead of them and made a stand. Francis Kong believed in his idea and believed with his heart that he can have the best of both worlds. Marshall Ericksen, albeit a fictional character, had the balls to do something while the environmental lawyering isn't happening for him.

My bone to pick now is that I just want me to take a stand, have balls, man up, stop moping and actually do something. Life never ceases to move on, with or without my consent, and whether I while time away or move quickly, I can never be 23 again two years from today. I just feel like if I am not pursuing something I am willing to give all my life for or working my butt off so hard I can literally "do whatever I want", just one or the other, I am not living my life to the fullest. I am not living my life on the edge, I must be taking too much space.

I need something to believe in that's bigger than me. I want to be able to say "this" is what I am passionate about and not stop at lip service. I want to be willing to fight tooth and nail for whatever that "this" is. I want to be able to say I can live without all the fancy, and even though I mind the inconvenience, I'd still soldier on happily -- because I am doing something I love. I want to be able to answer proudly when asked about "what I do" and tell people exactly why I do it. I want to be able to answer my "why's" even just for myself.

I want to beam with pride every time I am given the chance to share about my thing and have that burning desire inside me to tell people about the goodness and the beauty of this thing. I want that something that will hurt so bad sometimes because I feel so strongly about it. I want that kind of something I will feel so dedicated to it will be worth whatever pain it comes with -- even if it means I'd be doing it by myself. Now to find that thing. Hmmm.

Or, maybe if I am not at all lucky to find that passion, that one true love of my life (and by "one true love" I mean a cause, a 'something beyond me', and not a boy, mind you) I'd settle for making an unbelievable amount of money. I'd buy my happiness. And yes, I know that isn't exactly virtuous but sometimes life is like that, and you have to roll with it.

I am not saying I will be proud my life will entirely be about amassing money and making that my life's end goal, but I have a feeling I will take comfort in the fact that I am celebrating some semblance of success in my life. Maybe not the sweetest kind of success, but a success nonetheless. Whether I am doing it for something I do not really believe in, or have no specific feelings for -- no love or hate, maybe indifference -- I am making enough money to make the indifference not matter. Whether I am happy or not, I have a feeling I will take comfort in the fact that I am doing something right. The money will kind of  serve as the insulator against all the things missing from the puzzle. Like I said, not the best choice, but sometimes settling is the only choice. Mmmkay, saying this makes me feel dirty.

Whether it is passion I choose or a life of store-bough happiness, I fell it boils down to one thing -- I have to make a choice. I am so convinced only this two will answer all the questions hanging around in my head. The dangerous middle ground is so appealing, so comfortable and so safe without risks. But it also is too sad, too boring, and yes at times, too embarrassing. It is slowly lulling me to a life of a half-sleep, to a life of passivity, to a life of settling without any semblance of consolation.

So yeah, like the PostSecret postcard, choose one OR the other. Choose with great care. And most importantly, CHOOSE.


  1. This is such a great and timely read Kat, I read it three times already just to absorb everything!

    This whole business of making a choice, of giving yourself a shot at that something is risky and scary, but what's even scarier is the idea that i'll look back and regret not having made an attempt at something; that i'll look back and not even have anything worth looking back on.

    And yeah we don't want to stop at lip service,the monsters we fear will be there will in fact be there. But having read this at least I take with me the knowledge that I am in good company that there are also other people who've placed it in themselves to make a choice.

    True, we will be facing most of these things alone, but in those instances where our paths do cross (no matter how rare they may be), know you have a friend right here (a proud friend at that!)for all the stuff that we need friends for :)

  2. Here's to our journey to find the answers to our why's, the things that will make us happy and the friends that make the birth pains worthwhile :)

    I know we will find our answers soon. Let's hang tight and keep searching. Know also that I'm here for whatever. Happy to have you around Tin! :)


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