Last week I read an article about solving Generation Y's passion problem.  Apparently I've been under the mistaken impression that I was a Gen Xer when I'm really a Gen Yer.  Apparently the hallmark of my generation is a sense of entitlement.  Looking at all the things that leave my inner temper at a raging boil, I'd have to say that, yeah, I fit the bill.  I was raised that I was intelligent and that you worked hard in school to get a scholarship, work hard in college to get good grades to either get out and get a good job or get into a good graduate program, work hard in grad school to get out and get a good, reasonably paying job.  Check, check, check, and oh wait no check.  All my academic accolades mean exactly bupkis and that intelligence has led to more than a little bit of cynicism and bitterness.  Hence why I decided to try this positivity thing.

But anyway the point that the article was making is that our entire generation was done a disservice by being told we should follow our passion.  This is supposed to be the paramount piece of career advice.  The author of the post makes the point that this is damaging because the phrase implies we're supposed to love our job from the start, when, in fact passion develops over time, along with mastery, etc.  The author makes a call for a more nuanced discussion of this whole passion thing to make it clear to folks that passion is a process and develops.

Which is all well and good if you haven't FOUND your passion.

It doesn't help people like me.  I found my passion when I was twelve.  I wanted to be a writer.  I still want to be a writer.  I AM a writer.  I professionally pursue this every day on top of everything else I'm doing.  I lose sleep, limit social functions, and pretty much do little else because I love to write.  It's that everything else that I have to do that makes me so angry.  There's nothing more damaging to a creative soul than sticking it in a job where creativity is largely considered useless and should be avoided.  Where science and data and numbers rule the day.  Where everyone around you looks at you regularly as if you've grown a second head.

I'm not sure which is worse--to be miserable in your job because you haven't found your passion or to be miserable in your job because you have, but you can't afford to do it for a living yet.

I don't have any answers (other than a firm conviction that my positivity would suffer a lot less if our country would implement daily naptime), and I certainly don't have any points of positive in all this.  I've been really struggling with positivity this week.

11/02/2012 11:32am

Actually, I can think of something way worse - not having a creative passion at all. I had a non-writing spell for about two years, during which I thought all my stories had dried up for ever, and the idea of never again having that creative spark was horrible.
Some people can't - write or paint or create music or what have you. It always seems so empty to me and I feel so lucky that I love to, and can, write.


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