How to Get the Life You Want
Ask yourself: Is there a passion you've abandoned because there's no room for it in your "real life"? continued...
Why do we let go of pastimes we love? According to Fortgang, adulthood—and
all that comes with it—makes us feel like we're not allowed to pursue
activities just for sheer pleasure. Hobbies become indulgences that we get to
enjoy after all the "important stuff" is done (and what a joke that
is—how often does your to-do list get shorter?!).
Fortunately, passions are persistent—as much as you try to push 'em away,
they're always there, itching to be let back into your life. As Mabilog can
attest, reigniting a dream is well worth it: "I used to tell myself that
photography would be a waste of time," she says. "Now I take pictures
every day. I even set up a portrait studio in my basement! My life is busier
than ever, but it's richer than ever, too!" Here's how to rekindle your
Step 1: Give yourself permission.
When you think, I should use my time for more productive things, tell
yourself that your dream activity does have a purpose—namely, to give you
happiness, which will buoy you as you tackle everyday tasks, from preparing
dinner to leading a meeting at work.
To make your commitment stick, get "permission" from your family,
too, by explaining why you want the time. Mabilog's husband and son worried
that her photography hobby would steal her away from them, but once she
emphasized how passionate she was about her dream and that they wouldn't be
neglected, their anxieties vanished. "When I told my 8-year-old how much my
hobby meant to me, he really got it," she says. "Now, when new
equipment for my studio comes in the mail, he's the first to say, 'Mom! Let's
go set this stuff up!'"
Step 2: Make room for your dream—literally.
The writer Virginia Woolf famously said that one of the keys to a woman's
freedom is having a room of one's own. Claiming a space where you can indulge
in your passion is like saying, "X marks the spot." It's an expression
of your decision to take your dream seriously.
So designate a writing area in your living room. Place an easel in a corner
of the bedroom. Don't need a specific spot to practice your passion? Make an
altar to your effort: Display items that move you (photographs, a row of
vintage fountain pens) or create an "inspiration board" by pinning
motivating clippings to a bulletin board (a poem you love, an ad for an exhibit
you want to attend). When Mabilog set up her basement studio and hung her
photographs around her home, she started to feel like the real deal.