Why are we here? What is the meaning of life? While these age-old questions are philosophized and debated incessantly, I believe there is a simple human explanation. Finding your passion and purpose in life is the reason for your existence. Life holds meaning when an individual recognizes and actualizes their passion, potential and purpose.
July 17, 2015 was a turning point in my life. It was a step toward the direction of embracing my true purpose. I am a harpist and an artist. For the past four years, I have been working in the corporate world as a project manager and creating when I could. But to fully devote myself to my passion is something I’ve always dreamed of. Finally, I realized what that is and how to get there. I would not trade in the experiences I had in the corporate world. I grew a lot as a person, learned how to better cope with stress and how to interact with many types of people. I also met some of my closest friends.
I made the decision to leave my job because I realized that I was not performing to my full potential. I was not performing because I was not passionate about what I was doing and I could not change that. I am passionate about music, art, people, animals, travelling and living life to the fullest. I was surviving each day but I was not thriving. I felt I was being held back and that in turn it was not fair to my team to work at a job I was not able to give 100% of myself to. I did not quit my job because the work was too much, because I was depressed or because I wanted to do something easier. Indeed, I was tired and frustrated. But I quit because I wanted to embrace my passion and purpose my life to sharing that with others. I do not want to just enjoy music- I want to share it with the world. I want to share art and travel experiences and encourage others to explore the world. I want to inspire.
The two most common questions I’ve received from people since quitting are “So what exactly do you do now?” and “How are you living (making money)?”
So what am I doing day to day? Each day is different as I have been working toward a goal of launching this site and then will focus more on marketing and making connections. One thing is consistent- I wake up and eat a cooked breakfast. I used to wake up at the last moment possible, often not having enough time to cook a good meal and rushed to work. I now start off the day loving life (since of course I love good food and coffee) by prioritizing eating a good meal and drinking a delicious cup of coffee prior to working. I then make goals for the day, which currently vary every day. I do a lot of research. This includes topics like SEO, watermarking, expanding social media presence, registering a business, recording songs, what type of art sells in which markets, how to write a business proposal etc. Since leaving my past job, I’ve joined Instagram and twitter. I’ve built an Etsy shop. I’ve recorded harp songs (thanks for my good friend Matt Nunn) and had photographs taken (thanks to my talented sister, Hannah Muma). I’ve created business cards. I’ve built a base of clients for whom I regularly walk their dogs and take care of their animals. I’ve also re-organized a lot of my personal items and tried selling/ getting rid of ones I don’t need.
My work does not always consist of a regular schedule, but that has been me for most of my life. When I am inspired, I create. Sometimes inspiration does not fit into an 8-5 schedule. Of course I discipline myself to practice harp regularly and walk dogs at regular intervals. But there are some nights I might be up until 3am writing, painting, playing or reading to further my understanding of the arts and interests I’m pursuing. Other days I may stare at a blank sheet of paper and realize I need to go outside for a walk or sit on my porch and re-orient my thinking to why I’m doing what I am. I guess you could say that even though I realize what I am passionate about, it does not mean inspiration is always there. It means I have to constantly push myself and re-focus on what my final goals are and take steps to get there. I need to act regardless of how I feel. It is overwhelming sometimes to figure out the best steps to take and way to get to where I need to be. But I am incredibly thankful for my family and friends who have helped me and supported me.
How am I making money? First, I did save some from working… not enough I’m realizing, but some. I am determined not to get behind on bills. While I’m preparing myself to be in a good position for marketing, I’m also pet sitting and dog walking. I love dogs and since I do not currently have one, it brings me joy to share my love of animals with others who do have dogs. Walking them is good for the dog, good for the family and good for me. I am also an independent contractor for 3PlayMedia. I do transcriptions for a variety of clients and often learn a lot in the process. I will continue ensuring I have the minimal income I need while pursuing my main passion.
I truly believe the best is yet to come. I’m incredibly excited about the launch of this site because it means I will now begin marketing myself and making more connections with people- and that’s the point- to share my passion with the world around me. Building up a business and struggling financially is not easy, but I believe it will be worth it. Having less income has changed by actions by necessity, but also my thinking. I currently cannot afford to attend any concert I want, go out to fancy dinners or buy shoes just for fun. Being in a position where I’m unable to do those things, I’ve been very frustrated but also realized I’m perfectly fine with less. There’s nothing wrong with wearing the same outfit multiple days in a row. If it’s clean and looks good, I wear it. And I’m happy doing that.
Every day is certainly not easy. Some days I wake up afraid- afraid of failing. I hate failing and feeling unsuccessful. But I also know that this journey I’ve chosen includes hardships and pain. It includes financial stress, but it is not something I cannot overcome. I must overcome my fears and insecurities by choosing to act… by doing what I must do to get to where I want to be in the future. I know what I want from life and what I want to give others. While I want to be viewed as successful, I firmly believe that success does not show itself simply through a dollar bill or career position. Success is shown through actions and growth of a person. Success is accomplishing what you are made to do. It’s sharing your passions with the world. It’s living a life that is true to yourself and those around you. For me, that means sharing my music and art. Success for me is being able to watch others smile when I play. It’s being able to love on animals and laugh at their antics. By actualizing my passions into jobs, I’m able to earn the money I need to live. My goal is not to be rich, but to have enough. I believe I can be successful and I greatly appreciate everyone who has supported me, encouraged me and challenged me. I also encourage you to know yourself, your passions and goals and to embrace those whole heartedly. Do what you love and love what you do.