I can buy myself a reminder for one easy payment of 24.95 and nail it into the wall above your fireplace, if I want to.
But that doesn’t mean I’ll look at it each morning between a bowl of Cheerios and watering the plant on my deck. It doesn’t mean I’ll go to sleep at night repeating it like a mantra that deserves its own spot in my busy brain.
I wish it did. I so so wish it did.
The wall above my fireplace is not tacked with a sticky note the size of my palm. It’s housing a framed quote that I found waltzing through Home Goods the week before graduating college.
“Do what you love,” it says.
And let me just preface this by telling you I am the world’s most money-conscious twenty-two year old. I knew, in my heart, that this was the one phrase I’d need to see myself through this big change. And I knew it was well worth the 24.95.
I just didn’t know if I should have needed a reminder.
At the time, it felt like I had been doing what I loved for so long. Years of it.
Swinging bats and chewing Bubble Yum against my mother’s wishes. Climbing rocks in torrential downpours and traipsing through the laundry room covered in slimy mud and bits of rock. Yanking pieces of my skin off after hours of chalk and leather grips made my wrists smell bad enough to make me gag. Spiking my calves while stretching after a track race.
And maybe you’d be right to say none of that sounds particularly fun. It doesn’t. It sounds like it hurts. But that’s what I’ve learned about doing what you love.
We don’t do it because it’s beautiful and effortless. We don’t do it because someone else approves.
It feels right. Deep down inside.
It feels like the only thing we can do.
So yes, there are days I wake up tired and wonder why I ever hit the sheets. There are nights I forget to slide under the covers until much later. There are moments, like yesterday evening, where I sit in my walk-in closet and wonder if all of this gets easier, if life gets easier, if there was just one change that didn’t have to be.
You do what you love because life is too long to feel like you haven’t done anything of value. Life is too long to feel like you wasted it on someone else’s dreams.
And it’s too short to forget that even if you’ve no idea where you’re headed, even if you need a framed quote hanging above the fireplace you’ve yet to use, you are doing something that matters.
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