The other day I was thinking, man I would really like to buy a new pair of boots. I love shoes. Ask my husband. There are more than enough in my closet. When I was working in my corporate job, I could buy shoes whenever I wanted. But these days, I find myself fashioning new outfits out of clothes I already have in my closet. I find myself being frugal and not shopping or stopping for Starbucks a few days a week. I find myself doing these things because I have made a decision to follow my passion instead of a career. And some days it’s really hard.
It’s hard because at 46 I am just starting a new career. Most people my age are established in their careers and making decent money with a 401k, health insurance and adding to their social security. In starting my business, I am working on being able to pay rent and buy art supplies for my classes and perhaps have enough left over to add to our household budget at home so that my husband doesn’t feel all of the burden.
I write this not for a pity party or to feel sorry for myself. I write this to say that even though I don’t have all of those things, a 401k, steady income etc., the one thing I do have is joy. The sacrifices that I have made in letting go of material things is nothing in comparison to the joy I feel when I am creating, teaching or seeing a child be so proud of the work they have done they are about to explode. The choice I have made has been hard, but being a creative person and allowing myself to be what God created me to be has been the best decision I have made.
Artists, writers, poets, musicians and dancers are some of the most sensitive, deep and introspective people you will ever meet. The thing that they are willing to do the most to pursue their craft is give up modern comforts to pursue their passion. Some may say its irresponsible or chasing the wind. But without us, art would die to the boom of electronics and media. The art of writing and poetry and dancing would no longer provide a way for us to challenge our minds and think outside the box. Without creative people in the world, we would be like robots.
We take true joy in our crafts without the monetary benefit of a regular salary. But that joy in that craft is more meaningful then a pair of shoes or a 401k or the steady income. When God gives you a passion, don’t let money or stability stand in your way. Your contribution to the world in creative ways is something the world needs more than money. If you have a passion, be ready to sacrifice for it but it will bring you more joy then you ever imagined!