Finding my passion…

 Blake (@begelman) 7 years ago

I figured I may as well post something new, and really get started on this website!

I’ve just recently turned eighteen, and am facing the pressures of, well, an eighteen-year old. I am not going to college, because I’ve figured out enough about myself that college (even with all the parties and people) would not suit me. After telling my parents this, my pops ha been somewhat.. pressuring me into doing fire school and learning how to be an EMT/ firefighter, etc.

At first I was enthralled after hearing so much about it! The great hours, the benefits and everything! But lately… I’ve been having other thoughts. All of a sudden I feel as if I won’t enjoy it and I may be wasting my time! My "plan" is to do fire school, and go out west and live in Oregon for a while with friends. My family is telling me that it is such a silly idea, and that I would be wasting my life away. That is where I need help HEthens. I canNOT for the life of me, figure out what to do with myself. I do good things and am a generally happy person, but I’ve always wanted to be different but at the same time inspiring. I can see how being a fire fighter may be inspiring to some, but the idea has become so dull and lackluster that I’m not sure if I would enjoy myself.

All I know is that I want to find a lifestyle that makes me happy, and makes others just as enthusiastic. Is there some way I can find myself before I possibly lose my chance?

Any input would be appreciated!

Hope you all are having a great day :)
One love!


June 14, 2011 at 11:48 pm
Keith Thomas (0) (@ktwitch) 7 years ago ago

I feel you man, I’m in slightly the same position but a year later. Going into my second year of college (for computer science) but I’m not completely satisfied. It always feels like if I have the power to direct my life any which way shouldn’t I be absolutely in love with it right now ?

This is where I find me arguing with myself about the practical vs the ideal. Practically, you should probably find a career that you can make a nice living in. Ideally, you should pursue every passion and every dream to the very end. Of course the latter sounds perfect. But is it possible in our world today ?

Maybe you’ll have to give and take a bit. Maybe becoming a fireman isn’t a dead end, maybe it’ll just allow you to survive in this economy. On the side, you can still chase your dreams. If this doesn’t sound like it’ll work, then you could take the risk of dropping everything and following your passions.

Just make sure to leave bread crumbs so you can find your way back if it goes badly.

Good luck !

Sara (0) (@yeahyeahyeah) 7 years ago ago

I think you definitely need to do what is right for you and not anyone else at this point. You are at the most exciting time in your life right now, you can do anything! You aren’t tied down and stuck in one place so why not go move out West and see what there is out there for you. You never know what you’ll find or who you’ll meet. Don’t get stuck living at home always feeling a need to be somewhere else or you will never be happy.
And it isn’t a silly idea like your family said….if you put your mind to it, you can do anything. My dad moved out from his little hometown in MI to Southern CA where I currently live and he has never once regretted his decision, he worked hard and has become successful and couldn’t be happier. Just don’t worry about others, this is your time to do whats right for you. :]

Bryan Hellard (303)M (@xyver) 7 years ago ago

What else do you like to do? What are your hobbies? What jobs (if any) have you had in the past that you really enjoyed?

Morgan (17) (@m17lee) 7 years ago ago

I’m in a similar position. I just graduated and now all anyone ever asks is “What are you going to do with your life? Are you going to college? What are you majoring in?” Blah blah blah. For some reason society expects us to know all of these answers on the spot. And due to my indecisiveness I do not. I’m pretty sure I want to go to college but how do we pick just one thing that will determine the rest of our lives.

You have to find what truely makes you happy and follow it. What inspires you? What makes you want to get out of bed in the morning? You don’t have to sit and think about it. Live your everyday life and when you are at your happiest ask your self if you could make that into something. We are only 18. And with being so young we aren’t suposse to know exactly what we want, or how we are going to get there. I share the same want as you do. I want to just be happy and share my life with those I love. Things will work themselves out and you’ll find your passions. It just takes time, so while you’re figuring it all out enjoy it.

Tobias Valdemar Broe Knudsen (92) (@2bias) 7 years ago ago

I have a bit of the same worry luckily i’m only turning 16 today so i don’t have to worry as hard yet :)

Lynnette (0) (@ettennly) 7 years ago ago

I myself had a lot of trouble nearing the end of my senior year deciding what I wanted to do with “my life”. I had started the year out with a plan that caused more stress than happiness which Ionly planned to pursue for the sake of others and not myself. Halfway through the year I gave it up and let go of my plan only to feel a huge burden lifted. My parents were extremely disappointed when I finally told them I wasn’t going to go to college and told them I had settled upon Beauty School. In the end though college would have been a huge waste at the time because I didn’t want it.

After a summer of travel and bumming off my parents I finally got a job and saved a little bit of money up. March of 2010 I started beauty school going 40 hours a week and working 20 hours on the weekend. While driving 10-16 hours a week between home, school and work! After a year I got in my 1800 hours of school and graduated, passed my state licensing exam and I’m now a licensed apprentice cosmetologist! I’m currently working on finishing my 6 month apprenticeship to get my full license which should be finished in November!

I really only went to beauty school because my parents would have been extremely disappointed had I done nothing at all with my time. I’m very glad in the end having done so, it’s something I wanted to do as a child and it’s kind of fun to say that I’m doing what I wanted to do as a child! I don’t really have a dream job and I don’t really plan on doing this forever but I feel like it’s something I’ve conquered and enjoy doing! I’ll only be happy if I’m constantly moving forward and being perpetual and I’m not sure what’s next but tomorrow is another day!

I feel like people almost expect to have a catharsis and afterwards for you to just know that this is your passion. I think it’s more like something you enjoy and want to do and I think passion happens like it just grows on you and in time it will come. While in school I had a great experience having been taught by a lady who was 73 years old and loved her job. She told us she had no plans of retiring and hoped that she dropped dead while working. She would always describe when she started out how she was so frustrated and didn’t really enjoy it and I think her passion for is truly came with time and experience. So I think finding your passion will take time and it’s not really going to be an “aha” moment it will be a culmination of effort and happiness.

daveb (119) (@daveb) 7 years ago ago

wow Alexa, I love your story!! time off between high school and college should be mandatory . . . I just wrote a very similar post over in the open thread maybe two minutes ago!!

Em (473) (@emily) 7 years ago ago

Hi Blake, looks like everyone’s got this covered already :) Here’s my 2 cents anyways since I have a story too…
I was raised to believe you have to go get a college education to get anywhere in this world. So–I did. It’s a long story & I’ll give you the short version. I got my bachelor’s degree, I went all the way baby & got my Master’s degree….but the job market for what I went to school for, around here, was piss poor. And at the time, my son was only 2 or 3 so I didn’t want to move to far away from my own mommy being a single mom & all. So, then I got a job in a somewhat different field–but my degree granted me the opportunity. At the present time I despise my job with a passion. I am SO unhappy in my profession. But, now I’m stuck with the mortgage & my son’s in a great school.
I’m currently contemplating quitting for a $12/hour paying job while I finish nursing school for the next year (back to the drawing board! ha). I was also thinking about seeing if I could work nights and even get a vendor’s truck during the day to sell food downtown. I think that would be sooo fun!! So…. I tell this to my mom & my brother yesterday—and boy, was I a huge disappointment to them! But… I tell you, it feels SOOOO good to not care what they think. It’s saddening that they are so shallow minded…and want me to “do something with my life” (whatever the fuck that means) as opposed to be HAPPY.
I thought myself about being a firefighter but for health reasons I can’t. They do have a great schedule, and great hours. Remember, as much as it sucks, we do live in a monetary system where if you don’t have money-you’re kinda screwed. If you don’t do the firefighter thing, you will have to find another way to manage. You could do the firefighter thing & then have the other 5 days out of the week to do other stuff?
Anyways…I’m rambling here… my point is—the “traditional route” of going to college–even if you do it, like I did, doesn’t always work out. Do what makes you happy–that’s it. Other people WILL NOT understand :) But that’s ok. Live for yourself–since you’re the one who has to live with your own choices!
(Happy Birthday Tobias!!!)

Kirsten (1) (@kirsten) 7 years ago ago

You already have a good handful of inspiring stories on here!

I’m eighteen myself, and have always strove to become exactly what I want. I lived in a house where I was told I would live in this small town the rest of my life, probably become a nurse, and marry a guy in the coal mines, or on the railroad. I said absolutely not, and walked out of my house after my eighteenth birthday and lived with my boyfriend, Chase, who has held my hand through all of the bad times.

We have saved up enough money to leave town, and will be moving this weekend in fact. I’m going to college to major in fine arts, like I always wanted to. I’ve found some good financial aid and scholarships, so I won’t be needing my parent’s help, or loans.

Chase is similar to you as well. He is 23, and was home schooled. He never went to college, and he’s an extremely well-rounded person! He pursued a bartending degree, and is very, very good at it. He’ll work full time at a bar when we move, and I’m sure he’ll be one of the best.

You should absolutely do what calls to you. If you want to move with some friends, do it. I am, and I’m very excited. If you do move to Oregon, of course you’ll need a job. But you know what kind of job you’ll need? One that makes you happy. I worked as a waitress at a certain restaurant for almost a year, and after experiencing another job, I realized how terrible they treated me at that restaurant, and made me realize there’s other things out there.

Good luck, I really hope you do what makes you happy, because I’m sure you deserve it!

Exist (12) (@exist) 7 years ago ago

I am working hard at university currently and it is here that I began my life improvement quest. It has helped me make several crucial decisions, namely that I do not wish to ever be stuck in a job I do not enjoy, nor carrying out processes within my life that I do enjoy either.

That said, generating cashflow is hugely important to attaining the life I wish to lead, a life of permanant travel, fine food and experiencing the full picture of what this bountiful world has to offer us.

Generally I’d say you’d be best finding a way of making cash doing what you know and love and devote your full attention into making that pay the bills and beyond.

Blake (0) (@begelman) 7 years ago ago

This is all good advice… :)


Be a stripper. Just kidding, do what everyone else said.

Matt P (16) (@mkp843) 7 years ago ago

Save all your money! lol, free your time to free your mind

sean (1) (@seano) 7 years ago ago

Lots of great advice! Blake, I really respect that you stuck to your guns and decided college wasn’t right for you… there is definitely an ever-growing pressure on young people to go to college, but if you aren’t passionate about studying anything in particular it just doesn’t make sense. Why put forth the time, energy, and money that could be spent exploring (and eventually pursuing) something that could make you a hell of a lot happier?

I went through a pretty rough two years of feeling “lost” and having not the slightest clue of where I wanted to go with my life, and it seemed like nothing interested me enough to conjure passionate feelings. I’ll spare you the details. But to get out of that and to get on track per se, I found that the best remedy was simply trying a bunch of things out first hand, mainly through volunteering and taking unpaid positions doing things I thought could potentially interest me. It’s not a quick process and you need some financial flexibility, but it might work for you as it did for me. Either way, you have to do what YOU want. You need to live for yourself before you can live for others.

Troll (6) (@alien51) 6 years, 12 months ago ago

I didn’t read what everyone else wrote, just that first post.

Sounds to me like everything seems lackluster because you’re failing your own standards.

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