Follow Your Passions Instead Of Your Heart (Because In The End, It Leads You To The Same Place)

Elliott Dunning
Elliott Dunning

Maybe the phrase ‘follow your dreams’ is a little cliché, but I’ve always believed in it. I’ve always stood firm in the fact that when you chase what you love, passion-wise, you’ll end up the happiest you’ve ever been. I think that’s why I’ve always tried to keep myself busy. Throughout college I always had a to-do list of a million things, just so that I could accomplish a lot while still being a dreamer, while still finding time to write and draw and draft poems in the edges of all my notebooks.

I’ve always been a dreamer, but I’ve always been a lover too.

And as much as I believed in chasing passions, my heart finds itself getting in the way. I’ve thought about chasing men, too. Thought that maybe if I found the right one, our dreams would meld together. I thought that love would trump everything, and that my passions would just ooze into the holes where love wasn’t, making me incredibly happy and completely whole.

But I was wrong.

I was wrong because I fell out of love, because I haven’t yet found ‘my person’ and because I decided to chase my passions instead of a boyfriend and found that everything has fallen into place.

See, sometimes I think we give love too much credit. Yes, love is the thing that makes us human. Yes, love can pull us from the darkest of places. Yes, love connects us to others in unexplainable ways and changes our lives and brings us happiness.

But our passions do that too, sometimes more so.

Our passions make us unique, individual, complex humans. Our passions bring us out from depression, from loneliness, from fear. Our passions connect us to the world, help us find others like us, help us see the world differently. Our passions bring us pure bliss, and can sometimes bring us into love with others.

See, it’s our passions that can save us. Love cannot.

It’s crazy to hear myself think about these things, to write about them, to put them on paper. I’ve always been the girl who loves too deeply, cares too much, and is proud of that. But in the last few months I’ve realized that love comes to us when we least expect it.

Love isn’t something you chase; it’s something you discover when you’re already living the life you’re meant to, when you’re already the woman or man you’re supposed to be, or on the road to becoming that person.

Love is something you discover when you’re chasing your passions, and too busy falling in love with yourself, with your life, with the things you do, to be looking for it.

You can’t chase people, really. I mean, you can, if you know in your heart that you love them with everything in your soul. And you can if you know they’re ‘your person’ because you can’t get them out of your head.

But you can’t chase people to find happiness. Happiness comes from within, and from pursuing what you love to do.

So don’t follow your heart, that stupid little amazing muscle inside your chest. Don’t follow it because you’re lonely and because you think that love will make you whole. Don’t follow it because you’re lost and have no sense of who you are or where you should go.

Follow your passions, your dreams. Follow what keeps you up at night, or the things you can’t stop doing even if you tried. Follow what makes your body light up, your soul spark, your mouth curve into a smile subconsciously.

This life is too short to not do what you love, and celebrate doing it.

Love will come. Love is all around you.

But first you must pursue what you love. Because in the end, you will be lead to the same place, and you will be happy. And your heart will be full. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Marisa is a writer, poet, & editor. She is the author of Somewhere On A Highway, a poetry collection on self-discovery, growth, love, loss and the challenges of becoming.

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