11 In Open Thread

[Open Thread] Passion Talk

As someone who has gone through the struggles of ‘finding my passion’ and then wondering what to do with it, I find this article “Screw Finding Your Passion” a terrific read. I don’t normally share articles or click on all those articles on the Facebook feed, but this is an exception.

I find myself nodding along to the points brought up in the article. The phrase ‘finding your passion’ is often constructed as some elusive idea where you had to go out to actively find something that you are very very interested in and hopefully luck out with finding something good (and one that can learn you loads of money along the way). We often talk about how it’s ‘lucky’ for someone to have already found his/her passion at an early age or that it’s amazing that someone has turned the passion into a full time job.

You already found your passion, you’re just ignoring it.

This line really resonated with me. It’s so true. There’s something that tends to dominate the most of our time or something that makes us happy when we do it. That’s passion. Passion comes in all forms and all areas but I guess most people would only want to acknowledge certain passions but not others. When I first started being obsessed (ie passionate) about the Korean language years ago, majority of the people told me I was wasting my time and that I should pursue more productive stuff. I don’t know what changed, but I’ve been receiving very positive remarks these days, complimenting me on my linguistic abilities and saying that it’s a productive skill. Frankly, I’m bewildered but productivity or usefulness was not something I considered when I picked up the language. Like what the author said, I just went and do it cos I wanted to do at that point in time.

I know loads of people like to rationalise their decisions and I’ve been asked the WHY question so often. Why Korean? Why foreign languages? Why linguistics? Why why why. The honest answer is cos I was interested in it at that point in time and I felt like doing it. A very unsatisfactory answer for some but like what the author mentioned in his article, no kid would rationalise what he / she wants to do. I just felt like doing it and I think that’s enough reason.

If you’re passionate about something, it will already feel like such an ingrained part of your life that you will have to be reminded by people that it’s not normal, that other people aren’t like that.

This is exactly how I feel towards foreign languages! Or maybe languages in general. The line is blurring.

When I first started learning Korean, I didn’t think that I would branch into Japanese or even have a renewed interest in my own native tongue.

Finding your passion is one thing, what to do with it is another.

For those who have been reading the blog for a long time, you would know that I struggled with the latter issue. It’s still an open question for me, but I’ve learnt that the only way to find the answer is to keep moving forward. Pursuing your interests on the side doesn’t make a notch lower compared to pursuing your interests full-time. Integrating your interests in your work is an option, so is leaving it as a hobby.

Currently, I’m re-visiting my love for translation (among some other things). I’ve been helping out at luv.kr for quite some time, working on the Korean-Chinese(traditional) translations for the articles. Was it something that I’ve ‘planned’? Nope. In fact, I’ve always been more interested in Kor-Eng translations and have never given thought to the possibility of working with Chinese instead. But it just happens that the opportunity came along, I took it and now I’m having a lot fun with it. In fact, I’m likely to start on a bigger project, this time dealing with Korean-Chinese(simplified). Again, it’s something new to me and I’m going to just do it.

Is this the way I’ve planned to ‘pursue my passions’? Not quite. But I know for sure that I’m always moving forward and enjoying every bit of the journey along the way.

In case you got distracted by my opinions, here’s the article I wanted to share!

Would really like to hear from you guys! Haven’t done an open thread for quite some time, but for those are reading (yes, you!), please share your experiences and thoughts too! Today would be a good day to stop being a silent reader 😛 I’ve already shared my two cents, and would love to read yours!

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  • Reply
    27 October, 2015 at 1:33 PM

    I found this on Facebook today too. I think what resonated with me most was when the writer pointed out that there’s nothing wrong with pursuing an “OK/normal job with some cool people you like, and then pursuing your passion in your free time.” I figured that out myself this year and it actually helped me get through bouts of depression when I felt that my job wasn’t the right fit for me. I know what my passions are and I’m happy with the attentions I’ve given them thus far – I don’t need to agonize over the fact that they’re not the focal point of my career (not yet, anyway!).

    • Reply
      27 October, 2015 at 8:51 PM

      Yes!! That too!! I used to agonise over that too and felt that I HAD to make it a focal point. That made me just more lost and for a period of time, I couldn’t enjoy learning as I used to. But glad I’m over the period!

  • Reply
    27 October, 2015 at 3:50 PM

    Thanks so much for sharing this. So many parts of this article resonated with me. I’ve always felt kind of lost, always worried about “what am I going to do with my future. Meanwhile, I would hide my interests and hobbies from my family and friends because I worried they would think I was weird and unproductive. After reading this, it feels a little more okay to allow myself to get happiness from those things I like to do in my free time, like studying Korean, or writing, or whatever it is I’m interested in at the moment. And I feel a little less worried about the future- there’s no right path or some particular career that I “should” do. I should just follow my passions and see where they take me. Thanks again, and I love reading your blog. 🙂

    • Reply
      27 October, 2015 at 8:54 PM

      Ahh the hiding part! While I didn’t quite hide it (since I’m online and everything) but I didn’t like talking about it with people whom I’m not close with. I went though a period where I felt lost about the future etc and the negative comments from people didn’t help so I chose to not mention it too. Just do your best and keep moving forward and you will find yourself somewhere! At least you will be sure that you didn’t have any regrets and they are all your own decisions (: Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me too!

  • Reply
    27 October, 2015 at 7:26 PM

    “Pursuing your interests on the side doesn’t make a notch lower compared to pursuing your interests full-time. Integrating your interests in your work is an option, so is leaving it as a hobby.”

    I love this. Sometimes it really is hard explaining to other people what we plan on doing with this passion of learning languages, like it is any different from playing video games or football or something.

    • Reply
      27 October, 2015 at 8:55 PM

      I know right! It’s just an interest and it’s something that we can leave it as a hobby or build upon it (just like anything else).

  • Reply
    Tamara ♥
    28 October, 2015 at 8:44 AM

    “Today would be a good day to stop being a silent reader” Lol I loved that line. So.. yeah.. today i will stop being a silent reader.

    Thanks so much for sharing this, I totally loved the article, is so accurate. I used to hide the fact that I love languages because people always said to me that I was wasting my time. I am happy i never stop pursuing my dreams of learning Korean and Japanese. Even though i still have a lot to learn.

    Btw this blogg has hepled me a lot when i dont feel like sutdying. I am always reading it, so thank you so much ♥

    • Reply
      28 October, 2015 at 10:54 AM

      Hi Tamara!! 😀

      hehe thanks for leaving your first comment!! ^^ (sorry it got eaten up by the blog ;;). Language learning is definitely not a waste of time and I hope you will have loads of fun on your learning journey! 😀 Thanks for reading the blog~! I’m really happy!!

  • Reply
    28 October, 2015 at 11:47 AM

    I had the same experiences when I started to learn Korean. “Why languages? Why Korean?”. But I could never give them any other answer other than “because I like it and am very interested in it”. Needless to say this answer was never “satisfactory” to them. Even though now I’m working in a non language related job, I still work with Korean in the weekends, translating and interpreting. I guess people are beginning to see that, no matter what, Korean is something I would never leave. Maybe somewhere down the road some people will feel inspired by this to pursue something that they are interested in themselves.

  • Reply
    28 October, 2015 at 3:41 PM

    Good read! ^^
    xx lots of love from Malaysia

  • Reply
    29 October, 2015 at 8:43 PM

    I’ve been told the same thing a million times, language learning is a waste of time ~~ do something else that makes money. Good article to read for a little bit of motivation in my choice to focus on language learning because it’s what I enjoy doing. The activity that takes up the majority of your day is work, only second to sleep. It’s hard to imagine spending the majority of your life doing something you don’t enjoy. I’m trying to get into Kor-Eng translation myself, would love to help out if you ever know anyone who needs some articles translated.

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