Do What You Love

I’ve long been an advocate of “If you want to do something, go and do it”, I don’t have a lot of time for people who constantly wish their lives away or moan about circumstances but then don’t do anything to change them, when someone is telling me about how they’d love to go and do this or that my response is usually “So go and do it then”.

Over the summer I finally managed to do something I’ve wanted to do since I was a teenager: I ran with the bulls in Pamplona. It was the most incredible thing I’ve ever done and I was buzzing for about a month afterwards. Not just from the run itself but the atmosphere of the fiesta, the place and the people I met meant I came back on a massive high. And people noticed. I’d been pretty miserable for various reasons in the months before I went away but when I came back a lot of things I’d been unhappy about seemed less important somehow and friends commented on how I’d cheered up.

When I thought about it I realised something, I was happy because I’d done something I wanted to do, which led to the further thought that the reason I’d been unhappy before was that I was doing too many things I didn’t want to do. The logical conclusion was that to stay happy I should do more things that I wanted to do, so since I’ve been back I’ve signed up for a photography course which should get me a qualification come next June and a 2 day climbing course to get me back into doing that regularly.

But while I’ve been waiting for those to start I’ve started to feel the unhappiness of earlier in the year creeping back and then I stumbled across this, the Holstee Manifesto:

It struck a pretty big chord with me as it seemed to be the realisation I’d just had spelled out in front of me. ‘Do what you love’. At the moment that’s bullrunning, photography and climbing, I’ve got two of those covered and there’s a good chance I’ll be going back to Pamplona next year.

And then there’s ‘If you don’t like your job, quit’. Hmm, ‘If you don’t like your job, quit’.

Right now, I fucking hate my job.

Because of the amount of travel involved in my job, it affects pretty much every aspect of my life. It makes it very hard to do anything on a regular basis or make any kind of social plans during the week. I had to give up two hobbies completely and cut back my involvement in others to the point where I’m hardly involved anyway. This means I’m not doing things that make me happy. This makes me unhappy (not to mention the effect it has on my social and love lives).

‘If you don’t like your job, quit.’

Choices are easy. Everyone usually knows what they really want to do when faced with a choice, it’s the consequences that make choosing difficult. I could hand my notice in today and work out the four weeks and then have about a month to find something else before the money ran out and I couldn’t pay my rent. While handing my notice in would make me very happy, the consequences of doing so without having a new job in place stop me from doing it. It’s a close thing sometimes though.

I’ve never been much of a career-minded person, enjoying what I do has always been more important to me and if I could make a career out something I enjoy than that’s a bonus. In the past whenever I’ve stopped enjoying a job and it became ‘work’ I’ve moved on and it’s time to do so again. But what will I do instead? I’m not sure that matters, just as long as its something that I like doing and gives me time to do the other things I want to do that make me happy.