The Countdown To My 29th Year (Part 2)

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Music playing: I Love You More Today Than Yesterday by The Spiral Staircase

The other thing I learned this past year is very much related to the first one I wrote about. In fact, I think they’re interrelated or intertwined.

I think one of the reasons behind being a good coworker or employee is if you love what you do. That’s the other important thing I learned this past year.

2. Loving what you do makes all the difference

We’ve all heard it. “If you love what you do, you won’t have to work a day in your life.”

Well, it’s actually true. Cliches are cliches for a reason.

I used to think I understood what this meant. I mean, I’m grateful that I have been in jobs that I genuinely enjoyed. I’ve never really had a job that I detested or whined about constantly. There weren’t many days in my career history that I had to drag myself to the office. So I honestly thought that was it. I enjoyed what I did, there were bad days, but overall I can’t complain. Plus, it pays the bills.

This past year, I got to really understand what that cliche means.

It was one hot sunny afternoon. It was my first outdoor location VTR shoot. I was nervous, I was drawing a blank and I did not know what to expect. I did not even really have a comprehensive view of what was about to happen.

The cameraman started to describe to us the shots he was going to take. As he began to film the contestants, and I watched our ideas come to life, I found myself holding my breath. I was giddy with excitement. It was almost that giddy am-I-going-to-see-my-crush-today kind of feeling. I checked myself, and it was real. The feeling was real. I was there sweating under the afternoon sun, hungry, and sleepy. But I was happy. I felt like I was just playing around… and at the same time, I wanted to excel. It was surreal.

It resembled the many times that I stopped to smile in wonder for the relationship I now have with my boyfriend. “So this is what it feels like, this is what it looks like,” I find myself thinking. I was in love. I was in love with what I was doing. I am in love.

Loving what I did did not mean easy days. Oh, there’s definitely hard work. A lot of it actually. But seriously, at the end of that day of hard work, I always felt fulfilled. I always felt it was worth it. I always felt grateful. There were moments when I would ask myself, what am I doing, losing sleep over writing this script, subjecting myself to these crazy deadlines and allowing myself to be pushed around by this pressure. But those moments would pass. Just one glimpse at the work produced, just one new idea, just one meeting with an amazing, talented person or people and I am reminded again where my heart is.

Finding what I love to do is really like finding the man I’d marry – I want to commit to it, through the good times and the bad. And no matter what is going on, it’s worth it. It brings out the best in me. It also humbles me by showing me my imperfections but it is the very thing that inspires me to grow out of those imperfections (even if I am accepted as I am). Finding what I love to do is really like finding the man I’d marry – it puts things in perspective. It makes me see why I had to go through the experiences that I did, why I am the person that I am.

There really is a difference between liking something and loving it. Loving something has all the reasons to support it, and at the same time it doesn’t need those reasons for it to be real.

In my previous relationships, I was very much aware of why I was in a relationship with that person. I had a checklist. Once the items on that checklist were not in line, I panicked, and I’d get upset. Now I don’t even run my mind through those items, even if it’s actually all ticked off. I just know I am with this person because I want to be.

In the same way, I liked my previous jobs but they were still jobs to me at the end of the day. The ironic things is, in my previous jobs, I felt I was doing quite well but often I would ask myself why I’m doing what I’m doing. Now, I’m not even that good at what I love to do but I keep doing it simply because I love it.

Ever since that moment this year, that wow-this-is-what-loving-what-you-do-feels-like moment, I’ve been passionate about encouraging people to never settle. I have said it before in another entry here and I’ll say it again: we were not made to settle. Life is too short to settle into something you do not love.

It is a journey though. It’s an ongoing journey of discovery. I know it’s unlikely that people land their dream jobs on their first try but I would like to believe that if you do not lose sight of what you want to do, if you keep your heart on what you believe God designed you to do, you will eventually get there. Or somewhere along the way, you figure out what you really want and then everything becomes clearer.

That’s how it was for me. I had no idea what I really wanted to do when I started out but I knew I could not settle for something I did not enjoy. I prayed about it and God lead me to things I enjoyed doing and somewhere along the way, I realized that it was not enough to enjoy it. So I set out on my quest to find out what I love and now I am here.

The important thing is to keep going, to not give up, and to never choose something your whole heart is not set on. That’s a life half-lived, and eventually it will wear you down.

I say a prayer for you and me – that we may never settle for what we do not really believe in; and that when we do find the one thing we love doing, that we would be brave enough to take it.

Because loving what you do makes a difference – within you, and the world you live in.

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