Did you ever have that one dream that shone brighter than the others? It's that pull that you can't quite shake off. It's that future that you can always picture yourself living, even though no one else ever seems to believe that it's a possibility for you.
One of the best pieces of advice I ever got in my life was from a movie I randomly saw called Rushmore. Prompted for "the secret," Max Fischer answered, plainly. "The secret? I don't know. I think you just gotta find something you love to do, then do it for the rest of your life." That random film would turn out to be my favorite, and that random line, my mantra.
Sometimes, you know what you love doing from the get-go. Sometimes, it takes a while to figure out these loves for yourself. Sometimes, it's the kind of love that changes like seasons, but always sticks with a passion. It's okay to try out and see which of these fits. The important thing is that you trust that love and you nourish it.
The love that you have may be a relentless kind of love that follows you, even when you've tried to move on and forget it. For example: although I have been doing a lot of visual work for most of my career, writing (which I count as my first love) seems to always be just around the corner. It may be the kind that you can pretend to outgrow or forget, because of various kinds of obstacles or hurdles.
But the deepest, truest loves sink their teeth into your being and never really let go. When you do let go of it enough, you don't feel quite as whole again.
There is always going to be that grain of self-doubt, where you wonder if you really can make it, in fields that countless of your heroes have done so well before. You may feel inadequate and you may feel that you aren't enough, but don't let go of that love. You decide how much you are going to feed that love, so give it all you've got until you've been spent. Then give a little more. Don't give up on it, because your heroes never gave up on their dreams and they made it.
The future is scary, but getting to do something that makes you happy and makes you shine is something that will help you through the fear. From another film dear to my heart, Little Miss Sunshine, Dwayne declares boldly, in spite of uncertainty and seeming impossibility: "Just do what you love. F*** the rest."
These loves and these passions were not placed in your heart by accident. Often, they're the things that make you special and set you apart, even if you can't quite see it yet. At the very least, these loves are what make you happy. Stick it out, and fight for what you love doing. I guarantee that even though it will be harder than settling, it is what's going to make you the happiest.
This month, we're writing about love—all the ways, forms, and kinds there are. Every Friday, check back for a new article in this section we're calling, Friday, I'm In Love.