This post is part of the “What I Wish I Knew” series being hosted by Ashley at Your Super Awesome Life– a new site dedicated to helping teen girls live a life that they love. Ashley has rounded up an inspiring ground of women is asking us what we wish we knew about all different parts of life when we were teenagers, and I’m excited to be sharing a post about passion.

I remember people telling me to find my passion when I was a teenager, usually in a career searching sense, but when I was a teenager I had very little interest in what I’d be doing when I wasn’t in high school. I had important things to worry about, like how impossible it was to get a boyfriend while going to an all girls school.

Eventually, with the help of some amazing teachers I discovered that my passions were in organizing people & projects, creative problem solving and design. In high school those things intersected in theatre, and I started working as a stage manager on every project that came my way. Now those things come together in my work at Freckled Nest Design, but even three years ago I had trouble imagining what the things I love really added up to. What I see now is that my passion for the things I love has led me to live a life I adore, and I think that’s possible for almost anyone who wants that for themselves too.

Pay attention to what you love to do- and remember that it’s the doing that’s important. Invest time in the things that you love being immersed in, and the things that you can’t stop thinking about. Learn as much as you can about the things you love so you can test how deep your interests run, and look for clues around you. You passions might be bright and shiny, or a skill that you invest incredible time into, but they can also be small and unassuming constants that you keep coming back to like cooking or, for me, blogging. You have to spend your life doing something, so why not hone in and find some things that you can’t get enough of?

It all fits together eventually. Sometimes the things that you love don’t fit into what the people around you are doing, or the things that you can’t get enough of are scattered and don’t seem to add up. Don’t worry, they don’t have to. The interests and hobbies that you invest in give you skills and resources that are infinitely flexible and portable. You don’t know where life will take you, who you’ll meet along the way or who your next great teacher will be, so be indiscriminate about nurturing the things that make you happy. Trust that they’ll make sense eventually, and they’ll buoy you in the future.

Passion makes you irreplaceable. Being around someone who genuinely believes in and loves what they’re doing is addictive, and it also can’t be taught. People want to be around it, and employers want to hire people with it. Passion always stands out in a crowd, and it will give you the motivation and drive to get through the in-betweens in life that are difficult to navigate. Passion can only be accessed by you, and it will carry you forward to places you can’t imagine.

So what’s stopping you? Get out there & play :)

What do you wish you knew when you were a teenager?

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