“You don’t shit where you eat.” — Abbi, Broad City
In an episode of Broad City, Abbi is obsessed with Bed, Bath and Beyond to the point where she has intricate handshakes with everyone that works there and passionately saves her coupons that apparently never expire. Ilana asks her why she doesn’t just work there, and Abbi gives that answer. We’re always told to do what you love and/or to pursue your passions often times as a career. But sometimes we only like the idea of making our passions our work until we actually do it. Putting the pressures and nuances of “work” can sometimes take the passion out of a passion. It’s no wonder how sometimes certain brands or places can feel tainted after having worked with/for them. It can be difficult discerning what should remain an interest or be pursued unless you’re a prodigy. It’s so disheartening when you feel disenchanted about something you once enjoyed. It’s almost like a “careful what you wish for” omen. As an advocate for pursuing your bliss, I have learned three things in doing so:
- Pay attention to what you particularly enjoy about said passion. If you enjoy most aspects of it or at least don’t mind it, understand the amount of work and sacrifice you need to put into it, and the stress feels like the good kind of stress that makes your mind and soul hum, then it may be something worth pursuing.
- Ponder for a moment if you gave it all up. Like you just quit pursuing it forever. If your heart tightens and you can’t possibly imagine that kind of horrid future, perhaps there’s something a little more to this passion.
- Take breaks. If you are pursuing your passions, avoid burnout. You don’t have to pursue it head on every single day. You are allowed to take breaks from all your hard work and to remember why you love doing it in the first place. I love pizza, but I would get tired eating it everyday. (At least that’s me. I’m not judging those who can. But you get the analogy.) Athletes have rest days. Recording artists take time off between albums. Sometimes we mistaken burnout for disenchantment, so be sure to pay attention to the warning signs and take a break.
But despite all that, sometimes you just don’t shit where you eat. Sometimes you don’t want to lift the curtain behind the magic. Sometimes you should do what you love, not work what you love.