Searching for Passion

I know it’s been a little while since my last post and even I had started to doubt whether or not I’d be writing any more on this blog. But, I have returned! Life has, as usual, been quite busy over the last couple of months. My wife and I welcomed our first child into the world on June 9th! We have been so excited and truly blessed!

With our new addition has come a great deal of new responsibilities, emotions, expectations and even new dreams. I know that it will be a challenge being a parent, and I hope it’s one at which I’m able to succeed. This brings me back to my drive. As I’ve mentioned, I drive a great deal, and oddly enough, I’m not paid to drive. Yet, I still manage to rack up nearly a thousand miles a week! My work hours are slightly less than ideal and when you include the commute, I’m gone at least twelve hours a day. Several people told me I was crazy for accepting a job that was so far away, and maybe they were right. But, I took the job with high hopes of a rewarding career and the means to provide for my family. While the job has provided me with the means to take care of my family, the rewarding part seems a bit more distant.

In my previous role, with the same company, I had a great deal of passion for what I was doing. I was able to be creative and solve problems and worked with a great group of people with whom I’m could have great conversations. So much so, that even after six months in my new position, I still meet up with my old coworkers for lunch and social activities, while there has been no mention any such activities in my new group. There are some distinct differences between where I work currently and where I used to, most of them surrounding the social atmosphere, which at times borders on toxic, due mostly to low morale and very high work loads. I know complaining about an unpleasant work environment doesn’t mean much when so many people are without work, but I chose this job over several others ,in hopes that it would be more than I feel it has been. It has left me wondering if I made the right decision, or if I’ve even chosen the correct career field. So this brings me to the title of this entry, Searching for Passion.

In the absence of passion for what I am doing, I am searching for the passion that I know I have had at other times in my life, to help bring more joy into my daily routine. I’ve been passionate about many things over the years, running, cycling, hiking, technology, cars, engineering, travel and one that seems to have made a resurgence over the last few years, photography. I have enjoyed photographing my travels for most of my life and now, for the first time, I’ve enjoyed taking pictures of people, seems to come with being a parent of a beautiful baby girl! Landscapes and wildlife have always been my preference, they don’t judge the quality of my work and I don’t have to tell them how to pose.

 Our Baby Girl

There are so many successful photographers out there that it makes me wonder, can I do that too? The problem I have, is that every time I’ve tried to make a living involving something I’m passionate about, it turns from passion into just work. My interest in sports didn’t allow many opportunities without a college degree in a specific field except for working in sales, and now my work in engineering makes me feel as though I’m stuck in a niche because of the amount of experience I have and the industries available in the area that I live. I worry that if I do somehow find a way to make a living with photography, that I will start to lose my passion for it as it drifts from an exciting activity to the daily grind.

Now, that being said, I’ve never sold a single photo I’ve taken, or piece of art I’ve crafted. While I’ve never tried very hard to do this, I have recently started putting some of what I feel are my best images up for sale on some photo and art selling sites. I’ve had a number of views and even a couple of nice comments, but I’m just not sure what it would take to bring my photos from, “Those are great!” to “I’d like to buy that and hang it in my living room.”

Grazing Elk at Grand Teton

I do know that time and exposure will help, however, my sometimes shy and fairly introverted nature doesn’t help in this matter, since I lack confidence in my own photographic abilities and am generally unwilling or too nervous to ask for help from those who might actually have the experience, to guide me. So, here I sit, typing away about what I enjoy and wondering if there is any truth to the phrase, do something you love and you’ll never work a day in your life. It sounds so simple, yet so few things worth doing are simple or easy. As always, there is a risk in trying new things and risk is something that, at least in the last five years, I’ve had a hard time taking. There is so much I love and enjoy about my life right now and I wonder if fixing the few things that aren’t really where I want them to be is practical or attainable with a level of risk that a parent, husband and provider can take. Doing what is necessary and doing what you love aren’t always the same thing, but that shouldn’t stop us from trying to fulfill the necessity by pursing our dreams, should it?

What are you passionate about? How do you reconcile your aspirations against the reality of your situation?

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