A wise person once said, “If you do what you love, then you will never have to work a day in your life.”
I heard this saying so much as a kid. I understood it. I rehearsed it in my brain. I understood it. Or so I thought…
Recently, I had the pleasure of going home to Michigan for a high school friend’s graduation from the University of Michigan. She received her master’s degree in nursing and is now a certified midwife! It’s so crazy, yet fulfilling to watch old friends walk out the dreams that you once talked about in your teenage years. I’m so profoundly happy and proud of my friend.
While I was at her graduation and waiting for her to take what felt like a million pictures with her college friends and sorority sisters after the ceremony, a guy who I know from (wait for it) elementary, middle and high school in Michigan walks up to me to say hello. We start catching up and talking about how weird it is to be adults (so weird!)
He tells me about his corporate based job in Cincinnati, and I tell him about life in Los Angeles, the hustle to make rent, the fast-paced city life and the unique, quirky people. Then, he asks me the most simplistic yet real question, “Do you love what you’re doing?”
My response, “Yea, I really do.”
“Well, that’s all that matters,” he says with a smile.
Contemplating that conversation a week later, I now see a meaning I didn’t notice at first glance. My old classmate is so very right. Life in L.A. sometimes is so hard that life’s difficulties become my focus. Rent is crazy expensive. Traffic can be a headache. Finding and keeping true friends is an uphill battle in the city. Yet and still, I am here, and I am doing what I love. I am writing, and for that, I couldn’t more grateful.
You see, adulthood is hard no matter what city you live in. Life isn’t always fair or pretty, and when you’re an adult, you are responsible for every overdue assignment, every speeding ticket, every health bill and every dent in your fender. It’s all you, but if you are lucky enough to wake up every day and do what you love, well, my friend, you are living a real-life fairy tale. Sure, it has it’s imperfections, but Cinderella’s horse-drawn carriage was first a pumpkin and her ball gown was first a hand maiden’s rags.
“If you are lucky enough to wake up every day and do what you love, then you are living a real-life fairy tale.”
There is so much joy and fulfillment in doing what you love, whether it’s writing, creating, directing, singing, acting or what have you. Pursuing your dreams and sticking to them is hard, I know. Yet, you have the courage to go after what you want whole heartedly. So many people are in unfulfilling jobs because work is, well, just work. Work is just a means of paying the bills. They wake up with that Sunday night dread every weekday.
You are pursuing your passions. The things you love. The things that make you so angry you want to change them. The things you are talented at. The dreams you had as a small kid? Hold tight and don’t let go.
If you are doing what you love, then that’s all that matters.