Musings: Passion or Hobby
A new job that I am loving and enjoying has kind of sidelined my blog but the creative fire still burns! This year I have been a bit lost trying to figure out if the interests I pursue are just hobbies or can I call them my passions? If I am not driven and motivated to make money from my interests, does it matter?
I recently came across a very thought provoking article titled “How To Live Your Passion: Stop Confusing Hobbies with Passions” from https://psychologyforphotographers.com/how-to-live-your-passion-stop-confusing-hobbies-with-passions
Am I confusing my hobbies to be my passions? Is it possible to have varied interests and be so happy doing them that I feel passionately towards them?
The writer of this blog post says,
Passions are often confused with hobbies, but there is a critical difference. A hobby is “a pursuit outside one’s regular occupation engaged in especially for relaxation.”
Passions, on the other hand, are not relaxing. Passions don’t leave you alone. Passions insert themselves into your life whether you have time for them or not. Passions soothe you and drive you crazy at the same time.
We think of a passion as something we love, an overwhelming feeling of devotion and obsession. But in older English, ‘passion’ also meant ‘suffering‘. And even now, passions will exact a high price from us – but one we never seem to mind paying.
Yes, hobbies can turn into passions, but a mere hobby won’t provide the drive and determination and fight necessary to do something for a living.
So does a passion have to be money earner for it to be a passion? Does it remain a hobby if I do not make a living out of it? Of all the things that interest me artistically and creatively, there are things that I am not able to pursue to their complete depth, nevertheless I love it all including its artistic magicality. And in that I understand the distinction of interest and passion. But there are some of my artistic and creative interests (I balk at calling them hobbies) that I pursue despite setbacks, failures, bad days, mistakes, blunders, cost, and hours that go into it. Would I continue to persevere if they were mere hobbies to me? Is it a hobby only because I am not driven enough to make it a money earner for me? Is monetary gain only what differentiates a hobby from a passion?
Lucky are those who have found their careers in their passions. It's a powerfully gratifying identification of the self, to easily take your passion and make it something for a living. But for me, it has been a long and slow blossoming of the self to see in me that which I love doing. It's been a long journey understanding the distinction in my feeling towards my interests, a maturing to acknowledge that what I love doing is not just a hobby and realizing that this is what make me feel alive and brings me a lot of satisfaction and joy. I continue to pursue them despite the cost, despite the lack of monetary gains. It's something I cannot stay away from, it's what I think of every moment I get, it's what I spend hours learning and researching about, it’s what I spend hours doing, it's what I cannot give up, it's what grips me.
A while ago I was cleaning the garage and I came across old needlepoint pieces, broken stained glass work, painted cushion covers, sewn curtains, and a bunch of other stuff, things that I had made over the course of my 20 years here. Thinking back, many I threw out because I tired of them and some because they looked so basic. Honestly, I have developed better skills over the years. I go back home to India and I see remnants of things I made as a teen. Significantly, I realized, I have always made things… I have always loved making things, creating something or the other, learning new creative skills along the way, and finessing them. I can see the evolution in my skills from those discards compared to what I can do now. Should I still call it all a hobby? Is it not a calling? Is it not what my inner self calls on me to do? If I am unable to make a living off of my passion, should I relegate them to hobbies? In fact I believe it takes more to continue pursuing your passions even when you are not making money off of them.
As much as I agree with “You’re going to live them anyway, so you might as well do them for a living” I do believe passions cannot be that black and white.
Sometimes I fall into a web of life's obligations, that I fail to make time or fail to get into a state of mind to pursue my creativity. That causes me a lot of uneasiness, because there is not much else in the world I'd rather be doing than a creative project. But a fulfilling job, and children, housework, etc. can make it difficult to find time in my day to do the things I love.
It's been challenging and eye opening at the same time to slowly be able to figure out what I am most passionate about. It's been difficult simply because I feel I have a lot of creative interests, a lot of creative areas I can say I am blessed with. I still can't say I have narrowed it down to one particular form of creativity, and I feel it’s okay to love doing them all. I might never be able to pick one creative form, I really do enjoy a lot of different forms. For me just being able to make something, create something artistic; is a part of me, it recharges me, it compels me, I obsess about it all the time, even in my sleep!
Would it then not be called my passion?
I am trying to find a balance between life's obligations and finding time to do the things I love. I suppose in the bigger scheme of things it does not matter what people call it or what labels it fulfills, and at the end of it all I might not “accomplish success” in the traditional sense pursuing my passions but my wish for myself is that this will be a fulfilling and creative life.