Unbeknownst to me, I have spent the last few years working on my passion project.
I hate that title. It sounds so cheesy. Which is probably why I had no idea what I was doing and hesitate even associating myself with that term.
When I started this blog two years ago, I won’t lie, I was trying to make money. I wanted to be one of those people who got to write and make money from their writing. I was so fed up with the bullshit at my job and my job that it would never become more than it was… I wanted something to really pour myself into. Something for me to focus on. Something that was mine, something that I had control over and that I could be proud of.
I kind of knew it was not going to be easy by any stretch of the imagination to make money blogging or doing anything online. Especially as a thirty-something black woman. Whenever I tried finding out how to do the damn thing I was met with books to purchase, seminars to purchase, webinars to watch for the low low price of…. Everyone is trying to sell you something. I wasn’t sure what exactly I was trying to sell if anything. I know for sure I was not trying to buy what anyone else was selling either because all these people were saying the same shit in the advertisements. I was just trying to find a place to be myself. I just wanted something that let me be Jenna.
Not a daughter.
Currently, I enjoy watching documentaries and reading non-fiction. I have a lot of thoughts, about a lot of things and I just want to be able to put those thoughts and images out in the world that is a reflection of me. And that is what I started doing. I said fuck it to trying to find my niche. Or even my “passion”. I am one of those people that still do not know what they want to do when they grow up. As far as what I want for the future, I just want my kids to grow up to be happy and get out of my house.
Recently, I can not remember where or in what form, I heard of this thing called a passion project. And whatever it was, was urging people to start one. Since I am late to every social party, ever, I had no idea what this passion project thing was and went to my handy dandy google search bar to discover that a passion project is really just something that you do in your spare time that makes you happy.
It is usually unrelated to your 9-5; it is something that makes you happy that you do in your spare time. Sounds like the term passion project is the new word for a hobby. Sounds all fancy-like. This is the first article that popped up when I googled PASSION PROJECT.
All those the things that article lists as to why someone should start a passion project is exactly why I am online. I hate social media and the internet on a personal level, but I enjoy putting my thoughts and feelings out there. I enjoy editing photos for my IG account and attempting to write bookish reviews without spoilers. Even though I don’t understand Twitter for the life of me, I love putting snarky comments that pop into my head out into the Twitter universe. And most recently, again, I love editing videos for YouTube. All of these things are an immense amount of work, but I have so much fun doing it. (Which is reason number two in the article.) I don’t think I am a very creative person; creativity I think I am very boring. I don’t like a lot of props in my photos or graphics in my videos. I really don’t even like putting a lot of photos in my blog entries either. But somehow, doing all these things I think attempts to knock at creativity’s door.
I could reflect on all of the points of the article, but I won’t, I linked it above so you can go find out for yourself why having a passion project (aka a hobby) is good for the soul.
The biggest takeaway… is it gives ME meaning. It is more than keeping the family calendar up to date, bills paid and dinner made. I’d like to think there is someone out there that gets something from the things I put out into the universe that I do not know. Someone that can really appreciate and get something from the things I put out into the Universe.
‘A passion project can add fun, meaning, and zest to your life.’
Bouncing around on the internet you will see a lot of things about PASSION. About finding your passion. You may even stumble across the same TED talk video I did that said to stop searching for your passion….
“Passion is not a job, a sport, or a hobby. It is the full force of your attention and energy that you give to whatever is right in front of you. And if you’re so busy looking for this passion, you could miss opportunities that change your life. You could also miss out on a great love. Because that’s what happens when you have tunnel vision, trying to find the one.”
Anything worth doing is going to be hard. You will put more energy into your project or hobby than you ever thought was possible. Honestly, the amount of time and energy I put into my different platforms is insane – it feels like a job that I am not getting paid for. But I was always taught that if you’re going to do something, you might as well do it right. And the minute I stopped trying to make this about money and recognition was the moment I started really enjoying myself and having fun with all of my platforms.
I am always encouraging people to get off their phones in general, but now I am going to say to get off your phone… off Facebook… and put the work into something that is completely yours. If it is something online. Do it for you, not the likes. There are people watching and reading and noticing, trust me. If you are interested in something offline, just go for it. Your reward will be accomplishing whatever it is you are setting out to do.
Once or twice a year I set out big cleaning goals for the house. My family thinks I am crazy, but there is something about accomplishing something that you have been putting off or working hard at that is worth it in the end.
Write the book, start the blog, clean that closet, post those photos. If it makes you happy, that is all that matters. Who knows what will come of it. Maybe something, maybe nothing. But you’ll never know if you don’t do it. So just do the damn thing.
Be happy. Have fun. Learn new skills. Make your life a little bit more meaningful. 🙂