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Finding encouragement for your own passion.

The biggest change of my life all started during the first semester of my graduate program in Psychology of Counseling. Since the beginning of high school, I was told that my kind personality and ability to listen to others would be ideal qualities for a therapist and that I would one day succeed in the field of psychology. After four years of mindless following towards my future, I moved three hours away to get in the best psychology undergraduate program in the state and went through four years of debt to achieve a degree (which I still have not been able to pay off!). Although I found my program intriguing, I still felt as though I was missing something in life.

After graduation, I started working at a substance abuse rehabilitation center and taking classes at a local college for my graduate program. The passion for helping others only seemed to occur while at work and once I was in the confound of my own apartment, I found myself emotionally exhausted. I even lost the motivation to stay later after work (which was a common need in the field of substance abuse) and began to resent the people I worked with, especially when they gave me more tasks to do throughout the day. Even though I loved helping my clients and found encouragement from their successes, the positive vibes would not last long and I found myself going through the same routine every day.

After a year of committing my Mondays through Fridays to this job, I quit. There was obviously more reasons to quitting my job than the loss of passion towards counseling, but I want to avoid the use of negativity towards a career that I would later thank for helping me change my "life purpose". However, at this moment, I began entering panic mode where I not only had no income to now pay for my city apartment, I also had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. So, like any college student, I applied for a part-time retail job while finishing my now paid for grad school semester until I could come up with a plan for the future. 

During the middle of October, I began working at the strangest retail store. I was actually selling olive oil and balsamic vinegar in the city. It may not have been my dream job, but it gave me time to change my perspective on my future. You may be asking yourself, "but how did going from working with clients with substance abuse problems to selling olive oil change your perspective on life?" Well, it made me realize that I still love working with others, but in a different outlook. It made me come to the conclusion that retail was my passion, maybe not in the olive oil world, but in a more creative outlook.

Weeks and weeks went by while working at the olive oil store and I could not get it out of my head that I wanted to own my own business. Mind you, I have never actually owned my own business and this was the first time I had worked directly with customers to sell a product. All I knew was that I wanted customers to come to my store and leave with a product that put a smile on their face. This store would find a purpose for others to take time out of their own busy schedules to see what I had in store. But, the fear was still there that this could be the wrong "life passion" I was meant to have. I mean I spent almost five years of college to do counseling just to end up in business. This was my biggest fear coming true from my undergraduate years when my advisor stated that most college freshman change their major about THREE TIMES in their undergraduate years. THREE TIMES. In my mindset, I didn't think I even had the time to try to finish three majors let alone change it once. But, a year after getting my degree, I knew I had to change the path that I originally ingrained in my head was my life purpose.

So you are probably wondering where the encouragement is in this piece. Well, here it is: your passion and life purpose will appear when you are least expecting it. For myself and most of you reading this blog, I found that my passion was to open my own business, to embrace my creative side, and work towards encouraging others around me through product and words of inspiration. Although I have never ran a business before and I am still understanding the "ropes" it takes to succeed, I know the smile on my face and the butterflies in my stomach are telling me that I am doing what I have subconsciously always wanted to do. So, in your endeavor to create your own business or life passion, understand the signs of happiness for you. Do not force yourself to engage in things that do not make you want to jump out of your seat and tell the world. Ignore the easy ways to make money that do not make you want to wake up in the morning with a heart full of passion. If a smile does not appear on your face when you think of your "life passion", then are you really on the right path?

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