For Those People Who Don’t Know What They Want To Do For The Rest Of Their Lives

Ingrid Taylar
Ingrid Taylar

I have no one, true passion in life.

Okay, I already know what you’re thinking. Wow, this girl sounds like a boring potato. Who doesn’t have passion in life? In this beautiful, wonderful world that we live in, how can you not be passionate about LIVING?! While I do happen to relate to potatoes on both a physical and spiritual level, I am more exciting than you may think. I am passionate about my life as a whole: I live, laugh, and love like all those signs tell me to do. If you’ve ever seen me eat a hamburger you’d think, damn, that girl is passionate about beef.

But when I look to the future and think, “What do I want to do with my life?”, I draw a blank. In college — hell, in kindergarten — people tell you that you should choose your career based on what you’re passionate about. If you love helping people you should be a doctor, if you love working with kids you should be a teacher, if you love cooking, hey — be a chef! Sounds easy, right?

What about when you don’t feel passion for any of these very career-specific ideals? Sure I like helping people, I like working with kids, and I enjoy cooking (if grilled cheese counts). I just don’t feel a burning passion for these things — or anything, for that matter. That might sound bad, but I’m not apathetic about life. I’m just floating in between wanting to do really big, important things and change the world, but also not wanting to get out of bed because I need to watch 15 more consecutive hours of Friday Night Lights.

For anyone claiming that millennials are lazy, entitled, social media addicts who would rather spend all day online than behind a desk, Twitter and Facebook and the crappy job market are not the reasons I don’t know what I want to do with my life. A big problem is that today, in this world of sharing everything, there is a lot more pressure to fit into that mold of having a great job — a “real” job.

In the “olden days,” not many people besides your small circle of friends and family knew if you were unemployed or working a dead end job. You could wallow in your self-pity without having all 1,487 of your Facebook friends wonder why you stopped posting and haven’t updated your profile post-graduation. And you didn’t have constant reminders that Melanie just got a promotion or Jen got hired full time at Goldman Sachs. There have always been and there will always be people who are not passionate about one career or just don’t know exactly what to do with their lives.

And I’m here to tell you that’s okay.

For some people, one strong passion is great; it guides them throughout high school and college and they immediately jump into a career that they love and have always known they would love and live happily ever after. It’s rare, but it happens. For many others, they feign passion because it’s what’s expected of them.

When we were young, we were made to believe that we had to grow up to be ballerinas or fireman. There were always labels. If you liked math or science, you became an engineer or a doctor; if you liked history or English, it was lawyer or teacher. So in high school, many kids choose one of these career paths and stick with it through college, and maybe even through med school or law school. But what happens when they realize they never really wanted any of that in the first place and were only trying to please their nagging teachers and parents, or compete with their friends who seem to have it all figured out?

So I love that I have no passion in life. I love it because it gives me options. My outlook on life has been changing constantly as I mature, meet new people, and work in new places. I couldn’t have chosen a career path at 17 years old because at 17 I was drinking Four Loko and eating Cheez-Its for dinner. It took four years of going to school and living in Manhattan to finally come into my own and begin to realize what I want out of life, but I’m still not completely sure.

And even if I have to work at McDonald’s to support myself until I have a big breakthrough and figure out exactly what it is that I want, I’ll make it work. Because if there’s one thing in life I am definitely passionate about, it’s beef. TC mark

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