what it means to "follow your passions"

i'm sure you hear it all the time:

"do what you love & you'll never work a day in your life"

"find what makes you happy and the rest will follow"

...etc.

well, those phrases can be pretty disheartening to someone who doesn't even know what their passion(s) is/are. it can be overwhelming to see others excelling while you feel stuck, lost, and at a point where you're being rejected from every job you applied too (this is exactly how i've been feeling...) BUT read this post, absorb what i'm trying to convey, and trust that you are destined for greatness while following your passions.

before continuing on, i have to give credit for my motivation/inspiration to write this blog post to one person, one article, and one brand.

1. a friend, role model, and genuinely amazing person. someone who, without even realizing it, inspires me with her hard work, her thoughtful and meaningful advice, and her genuine kind heart

2. if you are AT ALL relating to ANY aspect of this post, please read this article by Jess Smith. after it was shared with me by alyssa^, it really put my mind at ease and motivated me to work harder than i ever did before.

3. adidas, Lady Foot Locker, Google, and Amazon. i received a very thoughtful package from these four companies introducing adidas' new Arkyn sneaker, Google's new virtual reality experiences, and a 3 month subscription to Amazon's audible... but the written passage is what spoke to me the most.

it reads:

"arkyn women are creators. never just one thing, she’s always on the hunt for new experiences that inform and shape her passion. the items in this kit keep her in progress, always evolving, never finished.”

all photos of this package will be featured at the end of this blog post....

know that everyone goes through these hard times of feeling lost and unsure, but simply by BEING ME, doing what i LOVE, and following my PASSIONS (photography, video editing, story-telling, writing blog posts, making a difference, promoting kindness, positivity, and a genuine love for life) i receive an amazing and thoughtful package.

anyway, continuing on...

first, i'd like to address that self doubt thoughts are 1. a stepping stone and challenge every human on this earth faces regardless of who you are, what career choice you choose, etc. and 2. counterproductive! although apart of the process.. you have to shut the self doubts down! you got this! i promise!

ok, now for the point of this post.... passion.

how to find your passion:

the activities that use the most of your energy, mind & attention with the least amount of $$ return are your passions.

what fills you with excitement? where do you spend your free time? what activity makes you say “wait, what time is it?” because you were so submerged in your work? what activity, regardless of the roadblocks (which you might not even recognize as roadblocks because you love this activity so much it does not even register as an inconvenience) do you always make time for? what hobby/activity fits so naturally into your schedule/lifestyle that it is never a chore for you?

reflect on where/when you are feeling the happiest, where/when you feel appreciated, where/when you feel your energy radiates from true PASSION.

and then... FOLLOW THAT PASSION. IMMERSE yourself in that, learn all about it, network in that field, spend your time and energy here.

please note that although your passions will come naturally, you still have to put in the work to recognize them.

for example: i realized i love digital media, sports, photography, being in a fast-paced, every changing industry when i would drive 30 minutes to Prudential Center (with a Jeep Wrangler, aka 16 miles per gallon), pay $20 for parking, spend over six hours of my time in a loud & bright arena, saying "yes" to literally anything my boss asked of me for not ONE. SINGLE. DOLLAR.

but here's the real point: while being surrounded by and working with an amazing communications & broadcasting team and an awesome boss (and eating a solid amount of donuts), i had months of exercising my passions, genuine happiness and excitement, and creativity all in one setting. i was able to practice my photography, create content, develop highlight stories/videos which showcased the passion and atmosphere of Seton Hall basketball, run the teams social media, and engage with real life fans and digital audiences. i'll never forget the feeling i had on the court during this year's Senior Night. i had chills as i stood with my camera, capturing the emotions of the crowd, the players, and the atmosphere. i knew i belonged there.

but i did not get to this point of knowing & following my passions over night. knowing i wanted to work in digital media/project management started from my instagram account which is ANOTHER passion of mine. i love fashion, i love photography, i love story-telling. from recognizing one passion... i knew i could continue to follow it and work with the athletic department at my school. additionally, my past experience with youtube, keynote & quicktime (because of my instagram account) allowed me to say "yes" to any random project or content my boss asked for me. i literally told him to "never hesitate to reach out or ask me for ANYTHING"

one time he asked me if i had any experience making GIFS and i said "nope, but i'll try." my photos, gifs, and impact ended up being highlighted in the 2017-2018 BIG EAST and NCAA tournaments.

also... (i know, my story jumps all around and has many detours and side bubbles, but that's another point... you have to trust the delays and roadblocks. not getting what you want is a blessing in disguise. you will always get redirected to what you need.) i originally started doing game operations and marketing for the basketball team. but i was feeling under utilized and that i could contribute more... specifically in a way that would create more success for both parties. those parties being myself and the athletics/basketball team.

in the most respectful and professional way, i talked to my boss about my overall career goals and where i thought i could do more... from that moment we both walked down to the communications department and spoke to the director, i explained my thoughts, ideas, website/portfolio, and why i thought i could benefit this team... and from that moment, i joined a new department and had entirely new experience with Seton Hall Athletics. one that i am so forever grateful for.

this was a long post so moral of the story:

passion and purpose is finding something you enjoy doing that also has value for everyone else. if you find what brings you infinite joy, you will eventually find a way to turn it into something of value for others and find a way to be successful from it, but only if you persevere.

for those, like myself, who send out applications to about 15 companies per week and never hear back, or get literally rejection after rejection... i know it sucks & sometimes i get really discouraged... but TRUST that there will be ONE that holds (the one that is actually MEANT for us) and from there our careers will accelerate dramatically from that point. :)

***all i'm saying is just keep the faith and trust the process.***

thank you for reading... please don't hesitate to reach out or share your thoughts. enjoy these photos, and again a huge thank you to adidas originals & all those who inspire me.

03-4-18-5513 (7).jpg
03-4-18-5513 (6).jpg