Monday, 6 June 2016

Passion vs Curiosity

For the last 7 years I had job I either hated or I hated the circumstances like being away ect. It's been tough as hell just to ignore my feelings and work to make money. Work because I had to - financially but also having the feeling that I had to; that I had to suck it up and do what I thought most people do. Work for a living - no matter what. It's only been a month since my contract has ended. I still have savings t support us for another 4-6 months, Mr S has his super we can access at any time should we require  it. So why am I panicking that I cannot find a new job? I have been applying for lots of job, also I must honestly say none of them took me by my passion, none (except for one), I would be excited about. So why am I doing this to myself? Do I really want to be stuck again in a job I don't enjoy just for the sace of having a job?

Since I'm a control freak, I sat down and started writing down what I want in my new job:
* I want to be able to live at home, so I need a local job.
* I want a work-life balance, so I want a job with 'normal' working hours. I don't want to work 84 hours a week anymore and I don't want to have to get up at 4 am to be able to get to work.
* Once I leave work, I want to be off. I don't want to be on call constantly.
* I do get bored easily, so I love a busy job.
* I go to work to work and make money. For me working isn't a social outing and I don't want to feel obliged having to attend social gatherings with people I work with.
* I know how much my salary needs to be for us to live comfortable. 
* I like a job where I have a balance between office and field work.
* I love being a manager and I know I'm really good at it, so I'd like to continue with a management position.

That all sounds like I have a fair idea of what I want / don't want. BUT... What sort of work do I really want to do??? Stay in my field? Explore a different direction? Which one? Do I have to re-train, go back to uni or do some courses? Maybe I shold become self-employed? But what can I do?

There we are again - the same question the career counsellor asked me a few months ago: 
If you could not fail, what would you do?
I had no idea. And I still haven't. That makes me panic.

But why? Our finances are in order and I certainly deserve a break after years of professional misery. All of my friends are saying to take a break. They're great friends! They say I'm smart and driven and that whatever I would do, I would succeed. So what's my problem?

I recently read an interview with Sir David Attenborough. As he just turned 90, he was asked if he's likely going to stop working anytime soon. He explained that he loved his work and doesn't want to sit at home doing nothing. But one sentence I cannot get out of my mind:
"We all have passion for something when we grow up. Then when we get older, we loose this passion. I was lucky that I was able to retain the passion for all of my life."

Passion! What am I passionate about? What has brought me to where I am today? From a young age I loved nature and animals. I had a passion for ecosystems even if I didn't know what that meant. I disliked plastic bags and was preaching to my family and friends to buy free range eggs, cosmetics which hasn't been tested on animals and to use/make green cleaners. I wasn't a natural at school. I had to work really hard. When I started studying, I choose biology because I had so much passion, I knew I would be successful. But it was sooo hard. I never understood why something I enjoyed so much was so difficult for me. I still don't understand it. I have become an expert in my field - well recognised by Government and industry but if I would have to sit a uni exam again, I'm sure I would fail. Maybe it wasn't the right choice after all? Perhaps this is showing me that I'm not destined for my choosen path. But then what am I supposed to do? There it is again - uncertainty and that panic...

I've been thinking, I've been contemplaiting, I have ideas but nothing excites me.

In her book "Big Magic" Elizabeth Gilbert explains how to bring creativity into ones life. Elizabeth is the author of "Eat, Pray, Love" - one of my favourite books. She's always been a writer and really just wrote her bestselling book to free herself of all that emotional burden. It was a bestseller by accident. In one chapter of "Big Magic" she writes about having run out of passion to write. "This is where curiosity comes in", Elisabeth says. Once her passion has flagged, she thinks about what would interest her right in that moment. In one occaision this had lead her to gardening and she was so curios about it that she researched plants and after three years she began writing "The signature of all things" - novel about a fictional family of nineteenth centuary botanical explorers. 

So I decided for now to turn my attention to my curiosity and temporarily forget about my passion. Once I'm ready, it will return to me and I will find my way. Until then, I will concentrate to learn more about this beautiful country of ours!