I'm at a proverbial crossroads and I feel like I'm being followed by this guy but have absolutely no appropriate answer. (In case you can't or don't want to play the video, it's the guy at the end of the movie Pretty Woman yelling out "What's your dream?")
All the other blogs that tell you how to start a blog all recommend the same thing - write about your passion. But I don't know what I'm passionate about. When discussing this with a friend, all we could come up with was laziness and sarcasm. I'm not sure there's really a career path there. Listening to NPR's podcasts like The TED Radio Hour and How I Built This, the passion of each of the speakers is palpable. It is possible to have a passion about other people having passion? It feels like everyone else has a dream, but I don't have a dream.
Most of my educational and professional life have just sort of happened to me. I went to the University of Kansas because it was in the same town where I went to high school. Going to college wasn't really a choice, it was just what was next. Graduate school at the University of Illinois was pretty much the same; I was already living and working there, may as well go to graduate school. I went to Paris for a study abroad program because it was available. I can't say I'd ever dreamed of going to Paris, but I did love it.
My first job after graduate school was the only company that gave me a job offer, so I moved to Chicago. After a while, I decided I wanted to move to England, so I asked a friend who worked for Microsoft to put my resume in. Three interviews and one trip to England later, I had a job as a SharePoint consultant. (Don't worry if you don't know what that is. I didn't either, when I started the job.) When asked why they offered me the job when I didn't even know what SharePoint was, my boss said, "Well, we were hiring, we liked that you were a woman, and you were funny so we though you must be smart." Okay, then...
The three jobs after that one were all in SharePoint, all of them were the first ones offered, and all were fine. I can't say I had a passion for SharePoint. It's just what I could do.
It sounds petty and privileged to complain about this. I've had lots of opportunities I'm not sure I worked that hard for, and lots of luck of being in the right place at the right time. And it has been great. These opportunities all led to other opportunities I wouldn't have had otherwise, up to and including meeting my husband and having our daughter.
But, here I am now, with the opportunity to do something else, and I don't have any idea what that something else could or should be.
Here's a quick list of things I could talk or think about a lot, in no particular order. I'm equating "talk or think about a lot" to "passion for". Not sure that's valid, but let's walk together on this for a bit, shall we?
- funny t-shirts
- running / fitness / nutrition
- family / genealogy
- words / grammar / prose
- the light-bulb moment
Is any of these things enough to build an entire blog around? Clearly the answer is yes as there are 836,923 blogs already out there about just these ideas, so adding a new one would only add to the noise. Plus, I'm not singularly passionate about any one of those things. Argh!
Here's what I'm going to do for now. I'll write posts about all of these things, as they come up in my life. There will be categories for each of them. You, Dear Reader, can choose which of the categories interests you. Are you passionate about any of these things? What stokes your passion? What got you interested in the first place? How are you seeing that passion play out in your life? Are you frustrated by your inability to just do the thing you most love doing or are you out there doing it and loving it?