Saturday, January 31, 2009

Do what you LOVE!

I just read a book called Homeless Bird for my ward book group. It's the story of this girl from India who has a lot of unfortunate things happen to her. She is in an arranged marriage at the age of thirteen and then is shortly widowed. (Apparently the marriage was arranged just so that a dying boy's family could take advantage of her dowry.) Without giving the entire book away, I will just say that this girl is amazing at embroidery and she eventually makes a life for herself with her work in this artistic field. She is completely amazed when someone offers to pay her to do the thing she likes to do the most.

I am a huge proponant of this concept, as you are probably all aware. What is really the point of living if not to do the things you love to do? Life isn't all pleasure, of course, but a person's profession effects every other area of life. If you hate your job, it is inevitable to hate your life. Sure, you can have fun on weekends and enjoy a good movie sometimes at night, but how often can you really separate from your work? The stress and anxiety or exhaustion and dissatisfaction carry right over into family relationships. I've seen it over and over in the lives of people I know.

It just seems so much better to me to pick something you really love from the beginning and pursue that course, even the cost of sacrifice.

I refer to Paul and myself both, as you might expect. I have thought a lot lately about our unusual goals in life. My husband has known for years that he wants to go into the field of psychology and in the last year he has been dead set on counseling psych, since that's a pretty practical route as far as psychology goes. The problem is, though, that counseling isn't really what Paul loves most. He has a real passion and natural gift for understanding people and especially personalities. This is what he really, really, really wants to do with his life. He wants to be a professor, teaching psychology to students and researching personality and temperament. I can't help but think that whatever else he could possibly decide to do with his life, he would always long to be doing that. I love him too much to not want this for him as well, even though it does mean that we still have to be in graduate school for years to come.

And I'm not completely altruistic in this either. I want to be in school longer myself, to learn how to be a good writer and good singer, as I intend now to take voice lessons as well. I have a lot to learn and there is nothing more that I want in life than to be really great doing the things I love. I really have to learn a lot before I can be great.

Years of hard work and study will make it possible for Paul and me to spend the rest of our lives doing the things that we love. At some point, someone is going to start paying us for it too!