I have recently decided to go back in the process of identifying what I really like to do; what gives me fulfillment and meaning.
While the cliche: Follow your passion has helped many people for sure, finding what that passion is to begin with is a journey in a rocky and winding road.
Many of us are in this rocky road for years, and I have been in mine for decades. This (soon-to-be-over) decade of my life has been shaped by countless crazy twists and turns in my path, simply because I didn’t know what kind of work I would be genuinely happy with. It was not completely bad after all, though; I’ve experienced various kinds of work situations and have acquired many transferable skills. But while these jobs got me interested in the beginning, I was never really happy. I never really valued what I was doing. I knew I could do my jobs well but they didn’t matter to me on a personal level. That’s the reason why I could leave them easily and move on from one job to the next.
Fortunately, I think after that long process, I’m finally having a breakthrough at this point (Hallelujah!).
As I was watching a video of Serena Dyer being interviewed on YouTube talking about how she started to find her passion, I had a “eureka moment”. While Serena effortlessly identified that she loved telling stories, I also candidly realized that I liked comforting other people.
And that was it.
I felt like something clicked inside me and little fairy dusts came out after: COMFORTING PEOPLE. COMFORTING. COMFORT.
The feeling was not like an explosion. It felt more like release.
Then more realizations, more confirmations came to me in retrospect. Two situations stood out:
- I remember when I volunteered at a local daycare center for a day, and of course most kids were crying on their first day, I naturally assumed the role of comforting them and stopping them from crying. I did it so well, so effortlessly and so fast that even my mom was impressed (she was with my youngest brother attending the class as well). I remember how I felt while I was doing it. I felt light, I felt easy and I was having fun. I liked seeing their sad and anxious faces transforming into calm, smiling and even excited faces. I was able to make them enjoy the school activities as soon as they have stopped crying. Then I would help them out and talk to them. I wouldn’t even own it until now that I’m good with kids. I don’t know that for sure because I have limited personal experiences with them. Perhaps I am just naturally good at calming people down no matter how old or young they are.
- One day as my partner and I were lying in our bed, I randomly posed a question: If you would want to try out a job just because you’re curious about it and at the same time you think you would like it as well, what would that job be? My partner said that he would like to produce commercials, while I said that I would like any of those jobs where I would be able to comfort women in very private situations like hair waxing, hair cutting and styling, cosmetic surgeries and the likes. I have always found comfort in strangers during those kinds of situations. It’s not a small thing to entrust your well-being and health to someone you really don’t know (having your bikini-line waxed by a complete stranger? really no small deal!) The mere fact that they can put me at ease and treat me so well were such a huge thing for me. There was even a time when a hairstylist assistant was unknowingly able to comfort me during a time when I was going through a breakup. She simply talked to me about normal, superficial things and held my hair gently – but it made me so comforted beyond words (I still get teary-eyed when I remember it until now). A little act of kindness goes a long way especially for people who feel vulnerable. And there were countless moments when a service attendant in a salon or a spa would make me feel so well taken care of in their own, effortless ways.
Looking back, I don’t think I would have been able to identify this because I have always had many other points of interests like organizing, problem-solving, creating and designing. These things also bring me excitement and fulfillment in some ways. But they don’t really last. They don’t really nourish my spirit.
I believe that each of us would only find genuine soul-level fulfillment in doing something in the service of others. The good feelings that other people get because of what we do reflect back to us and feed our spirit. It’s win-win for everyone.
I feel more confident now to move forward in my path. I’m gonna use this realization as my compass in finding the right career. We all have our unique journeys. We just gotta keep on moving forward with an open heart.