“Passion, it lies in all of us, sleeping…waiting… and though unwanted… unbidden… it will stir… open its jaws and howl. It speaks to us… guides us… passion rules us all, and we obey. What other choice do we have? Passion is the source of our finest moments. The joy of love… the clarity of hatred… and the ecstasy of grief. It hurts sometimes more than we can bear. If we could live without passion maybe we’d know some kind of peace… but we would be hollow… Empty rooms shuttered and dank. Without passion we’d be truly dead.”
A year ago when I was still in college, I stumbled upon an article that struck me hard. The article, beautifully and convincingly written asked the reader “if money is not the problem, what kind of job would you like to have?”. A year later, I graduated from college, I was confuse, frustrated, and not ready for the reality of having to struggle to find a job. I didn’t know what I’m good at and my Bachelor Degree in International Relations did not help me to get the job that I thought I always wanted. I was filled with questions on why did I choose to major in International Relations at the first place, what is my dream, what am I going to do with the investment of education that my Mom has poured to me in four years of college?
I was lucky that I had an advantage of internship experience in NGO. For a fleeting moment I thought that working in NGO was what I wanted. My internship experience opened my eyes and introduced me to the wonder of digital world where I communicate the message of goodness to people through Social Networking Sites and at that moment, I thoroughly enjoyed what I was doing. I tweeted the motivational and inspirational messages through the hopeful, aspiring entrepreneurs out there. I communicated the vision and mission of the NGO I was working at. When my internship ended, I was offered a permanent job as a Program Officer and I took it without hesitancy because I thought I could do the job and after all I’ve always wanted to work in an NGO. But life took me downwards, I took the job and I made a huge mess. Three months as a Program Officer and I felt inadequate, incompetent, and lacking in so many things. I was devastated by the thought of darkness that slowly immersing in my soul because I felt like I should be thankful for having a job in an NGO just like I’ve always wanted but I woke up in the morning feeling futile and unsatisfactory. I wasn’t satisfied in what I was doing and I was feeling under appreciated because I worked until late at night and yet I wasn’t able to meet the expectation. The last month I was there, I poured my heart and feeling and I finally said that I really felt that this wasn’t the job that I’m good at and I hated myself for being unsatisfactory and not meeting up the expectations that my employer had for me. I felt bleak, dreadful, and soulless and there’s nothing more terrifying to me than having to live a life with lack of passion. I applied for the same NGO but with a different position, I wanted to be placed in a digital team once again. Back when I was still an intern, I remembered that I greeted my day with enthusiasm because I had a lot of ideas about social media strategy and that, lifted my spirits high.
However, God decided for me to fail so I could learn to be better, so I could learn from my mistakes and thrive to become better. I didn’t get the position that I wanted and I ended my job in the NGO. Failure is always terrifying but I’ve been raised to be a person who ceaselessly feel grateful in every circumstances and along with this failure my eyes were opened to look at the bigger picture. I began to question again, what is it that I’m good at? what is it that I like to do?
If the reality forced me to forgo my naïve idealism for a while and follow my passion, what kind of thing that would spark the color inside of my life once more?
And I realized, I’ve always been in love with the power of words. Words are the most powerful weapon. A well-crafted message in a Social Networking Sites could make you dry your tears out of sympathy for people you’ve never met before, it could provokes you to buy things you don’t even need to buy, it could change the way you perceived life, and it could even inspire a global movement.
My inspiration is Brandon Stanton, an American Photographer and Blogger, whose words and visual content sparked a movement and triggered a chain of wonderful events through his infamous Facebook and Instagram page, Humans of New York. Brandon’s posts continuously motivated, inspired, and touched me. He changed a lot of people’s life just by sharing stories and photos through Social Networking Sites, and I really want to be like that. However, he’s Mount Everest and I’m nothing but a dust in the hill whose still in her way to reach that Mount Everest.
I tried and tried and persistently tried to look for a job in an NGO where I still could follow my passion for words and digital media but up to no avail. It wasn’t like there were no opportunities, there were a lot of opportunities and vacancies but none of it would like a fresh graduate as their employee. I lack of experience. What I have is only an explosion of enthusiasm to learn about the powerfulness of words through Social Networking Sites. I became convinced that what I really want to is to change the world with my words, I want to expose an injustice and poverty through digital media, I want people to be moved by my words when I tell them the stories of the kids who are struggling to find a good education, I want to tell the world stories about kindness, love, and compassion and I want to make it viral.
But just like everything in life, it needs to start somewhere.
“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
So now here I am, as I’m typing this blog entry, I’m about to go to my new office, a digital advertising agency in which I work as a Social Media Specialist. I’ve become the people that I loathed before, a capitalist who markets and tries to sell unnecessary things to people who doesn’t even need the stuff that my clients are selling. But life is not rainbow and butterfly, and just like what I said in the above paragraph, if I really have to forgo my idealism to get where I want to be, I will at least need to do the job that I’m passionate at. I will need to do the job where I would jump out of my bed because I can’t wait to learn more about the skills that I’m learning for my job. I will need to do the job where I could spend hours researching sources on how to cultivate my skills to be better and not become bored because of it. I will need to do the job where I could do the same things over and over and yet I’ll still look forward to do it again the next day.
And here comes the question, if money is not a problem, what would I like to do? And my answer is I’d like to learn how to skillfully persuade people through words. I could try to aim for a corporate but that wouldn’t be my passion and I’m afraid I’ll become a tedious robotic work force who complain incessantly about her job but couldn’t leave it because I will be dictated and blinded by money and comfort. I prefer to be where I’m now, a small, growing company where everyone is my teacher who enthusiastically share their knowledge. After all, I’ve been granted the privilege of the youngest child who doesn’t need to worry that much about having to work for money. Of course I would be lying if I said I’m not interested in becoming rich. I want to be rich, who doesn’t? I love to have a lavish, luxurious life but then again what good is money if I lead an empty, void, and hollow life?
One month has passed and yet I still can’t let go of the guilty feeling of having to abandon my idealism. I might not betray my principle by having to work for money but I still feel like I’m the enemy of my own self because deep down I feel like I suppose to help people, contribute to my country and to help the less fortunate with my job but the truth is I’m doing the complete opposite now. Which is why I write this. Because I want myself to remember that I can’t ever forget that whatever job that I’m doing, I will not do it for myself and I will try my hardest to improve people’s life through my job. Maybe not now, but someday I will and I believe I will. For now I have to become selfish and follow my passion with the belief that only passions, great passions, can elevate the soul to great things and I will try my hardest to become the great thing and when I’m finally great, I could take people to become great with me. I will become the mad one, the one mad with enthusiasm and naivety, the world might be harsh but the invincible summer within me will keep pushing forward.