Finding Your Way on the Way down

Right now, as you read this, ask yourself: today am I doing something I love? Am I passionate + excited for each day??? No, like really ask yourself. I'm serious, I'll wait...

Ahhhh, you see that? Right there. You were just super honest with yourself. Now you either had one of two answers, either "Hell yes!" or "God, no." You can't lie to yourself, you know your answer. Now ask yourself this, "but WHY?". What's stopping you from doing what you love at this very moment? Is it because you don't know what it is you love or are passionate about? Is it because the job you're doing right now looks good on your resume? Is it because you just graduated college with this degree and you realize you absolutely LOATHE what you chose to major in but can't-quit-because-you'll-look-like-a-failure?! Yea, I know...but just so you know, you're only fooling yourself.

Let me take ya back a bit...

For a while I've pretty much known what I wanted to do. It's changed in its capacity over the years but generally I've always known I'm passionate about connecting with people. I mean, I can connect with a brick wall if need be. In college, I wanted to be a sports broadcaster. I loved professional sports and would meet with anyone who agreed to an informational interview. What I realized on these interviews is that I was more interested in the person interviewing me than the idea of a potential job. I'd sit there for at least an hour and pick their brain, talk about things we had in common + our views on what was happening in the world around us.

Since college, I realized even though I loved professional sports, I was more interested in forming a connection and helping people. Whether it be showing people how to cook or tips + tricks on this, that and the other thing, I was being drawn this bond with people that I didn't get through sports. Now I went on about 101 of these "interviews" so I had a lot of time to figure out what type of connection it was that I was searching for.

Not everyone gets this type of insight so early on. I was very lucky in that regard. I was able to pivot (life's allllll about the power of the pivot) towards something that better served me: lifestyle + entertainment TV. 

...And then, I got a job selling corporate office furniture. Say whaaaa?

Everything happens for a reason right!? Right! This job served its purpose, it allowed me to live in NYC for a year, gave me awesome, hands on business + people skills and also made my passion grow into a burning fire ball inside me. Ha! 

I could've stayed there. I made great money for someone recently out of college, I loved the people I worked with and enjoyed the industry I was in as a whole. ...So why'd I leave? Because, time.

Time is the only commodity we have that we will NEVER get back. I mean, everrr

Everyday I spent at the office, in a meeting or working with clients was a day, in my opinion, wasted. I felt completely out of alignment with what I was meant to be doing. I'd try so hard to fake my interest + excitement, to pretend I would be there long term, when in reality I would've hopped on the first bus out of town if I had just had the nerve.

Days, weeks, months, YEARS (like, reallllly?!) went by and nothing changed. I tried finding jobs in broadcasting all along the way but it was like a black hole of doom. I'd wake up every morning, fight myself to get dressed, to walk to work, to seem interested in the job at hand all the while knowing, completely + fully, that I was not meant to be there. Couldn't figure out where I was meant to be, but def not there. Period.

I'm telling you all this to hopefully help you feel less alone and to tell you what life is like on the other side. It's AMAZING! FREEING! GLORIOUS! JOYOUS! You name it. I feel like I'm in one of those life boats from the Titanic, with a bunch of other passion seekers on it, and we're trying to grab people (i.e. you) out of the water and save them from an unfulfilled life. I HEAR YOUR WHISTLES! This might seem a little (ok, a lottle) dramatic, but if you are in the ocean right now, freezing your ass off, slightly happy the ship has sunk because it means you don't have to go back tomorrow, I FEEL YOU.

Which leads me to my next point. Jump. Get off that sinking ship, however possible, and leap into the unknown. You and I both know the unknown might seem scary but it's a hell of a lot better than stickin' it out on the damn ship. You don't have to have everything figured out, just jump. Someone, something will catch you. Don't, for a second, think you're gonna wind up like Jack, because we all know there was enough room for two on that door...lookin' at you, Rose. 

Not everyone's "jump" has to look the same. Some go full speed, cannoball style. Others contemplate the best jump point for the lowest impact into the water and some just go for it and flail about in the breeze on their way down. Whatever your jump style, the important thing is...you got off.

If you would've told me before I started writing this that somehow a sinking Titanic ship could be an analogy for finding your passion I would've said, "uuhhh, ya brilliant!" because hellloooo you areeee on a sinking ship. At least that's exactly how it feels. The tightness in your chest, the knot in your throat everyday you go into the office, not to mention the killer pain radiating in your shoulders. OOhhh baby, do I know. Although I've never been on an actual sinking ship, knock on wood, I imagine it feels something like this.

So now there you are, freezing, treading water like nobody business and you think to yourself, "what are my passions?! What do I like to do? What excites me?! What lights a fire under my ass?! (which would be clutch right now considering the sub zero temps). So you sit there, treading, and it hits you. Nothing like a sense of urgency to make you dig deep. Because in that moment you have no choice but to be real with yourself, you have no time to waste. As you're reading this, right now, you already know what your passions are. I'm giving you permission to own them. No matter how out of the box, no matter how taboo. No. Matter. What. 

If you like to make clothes for cats, DO YOU. There are no wrong answers. No wrong paths. What do you think people said when Steve Jobs told everyone we would one day carry computers in our hands?? They probably thought this dude was highhhh as a damn kite. But obviously, we know how that turned out. 

What I'm trying to say is this, we are given ONE life. One very short life (considering this planet is millions of years old, I'd say a hundred year life span is pretty insignificant) so we might as well put ourselves out there and do what we came here to do. If you're a millennial like me, the time is now. You can completely fuck it all up (which I can almost guarantee won't happen) and still have "time" to recover, whatever that even means. If you're a little older, the time is also now because you're gonna be dead soon. Totally kidding. But not really. Were all eventually gonna get to our eternal spot in the great beyond, so we might as well get there in style. So be like Frank and do it "My (your) Way."

If your reading all of this and still have no idea what your passions are or if they haven't clicked yet, make sure you're listening. They are already inside of you. Just let them speak.

Everyone's passions are different. And the cool thing about your passions being unique to you is the fact that you hold within you, all the skills and knowledge to bring those passions to life. If you didn't, you wouldn't be allowed to have that passion. It's just science. Duh!

If you're still stuck in your search for your passion or purpose (or your next pivot), email me {hello@kendallmariezoppa.com}! I'm a passion whisperer and LOVE helping people find theirs. Nothing makes me happier. For reallll. If email is too much of a commitment, message me on Facebook. Call me. Beep me. You know the drill. I'm here for ya. Jump before you're ready, I'm rowing as fast as I can in my life boat towards you!

In the meantime I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes ever:

I've been driven all my life by a spirit of adventure and a criminal level of optimism. I believed in my dreams because they were my only option. The people who make it to the top are addicted to their calling. You have to honor the gift God has given you. The people who get the call are the ones who'd be doing whatever it is they love, even if they weren't being paid."

-Quincy Jones, legendary music producer, composer, conductor & humanitarian

With a BIG HUG + SO SO MUCH LOVE!