We all go on a mighty adventure in our lives; I see us people as explorers. Not exactly as literal as Indiana Jones or Benjamin Gates from National Treasure, fighting off the evil people following us to find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. But if you think about it, in some ways we are like those story book and film heroes. We must venture out into the world and find out who we are as people (our own pot of gold) while dodging all the bad guys trying to keep us from it.
I am extremely thankful that my life has seemingly been filled to the brim with luck from the mischievous leprechauns. Now I am not going to lie, I had quite a few obscure things that I wanted to pursue, one being a mermaid; I wish you could have seen the look my kindergarten teacher gave me when I told her that! Then just like every other preteen, I wanted to be a famous singer, although my talents never seemed to leave the comfort of my steaming shower. Next it was an actress, after I had joined the drama club at my school, which bursted into flames the night I forgot my lines in a show and developed a bit of stage freight. A couple more jobs came and went until I was hit by the loud roaring train that is what I call my job and passion today: Photography.
I have become used to a lovely Saturday night filled with my dear friends weeping on my shoulder about how scared they are that they will never find their purpose in life, or what they are passionate about will never make them money, or their parents won't approve of their career choices and blah blah blah. Which I respond with the best advise I can possibly come up with, because I do understand all these things to some extent. Yet, I am always asked the same question over and over again: "How the hell did you find your passion?"
For the longest time I didn't know how to answer that question. I would just continue to rub their heads and tell them everything was going to be okay, but then it finally hit me today: I found my passion because I wasn't looking for it. I found photography by going out with my friends and having fun. I never ever intended on making it a job until people started offering me payment for pictures. I always thought that I would have to go to college like all of my friends did. It didn't ever occur to me that you could love your job so much that it never ever felt like working.
My point is, I didn't go into it worrying about it. I did it because I loved it and then everything ended up falling into place. I started booking like crazy, I started making money which helped me buy all my equipment; next internships started flooding in, then my parents (of all people) suggested I try out a year with no college and building my business to see how it went (which by the way, it has been spectacular) and now here I am!
I know sometimes things aren't easy and parents don't support your decisions or you feel like you don't know what you want. Go out and try things, activities that you thought you might hate. You could honestly surprise yourself. Come up with a plan and talk through it with your parental figures. Don't throw away your passion.
If you are passionate about paint, then PAINT. If you are passionate about pottery, then FIRE. If you are passionate about writing, then WRITE. If you are passionate about photography, then take PICTURES. If you are passionate about math, then go solve some EQUATIONS. If you are passionate about being a mermaid, then apply for a job at Weeki Wachee!
Do what you love, and never ever look back. The rest will fall into place, at the end of the rainbow.