My Thoughts Today On Leaving My Career For My Passion

If you’ve been following my blog long enough, you know that I didn’t start out my career life as a writer. I earned a B.A. in Psychology and Linguistics then a post-graduate diploma in Communicative Disorders before finishing off my 8 year stint of post-secondary education with an M.A. in Speech-Language Pathology. I worked as a speech-language pathologist in the school district and private practice full time for two years before having my first child and then part-time for another 4 years until I found myself at a crossroads.

Essentially, I had limited hours in the day – as do we all – and I had to decide what I would do with that time. Would I continue on in a career that wasn’t fulfilling me, or would I follow my heart into an abyss, not knowing what was to come…but certain that I had the potential to add more passion to my life?

Well, you know what I chose.

I have wrestled with a lot over these past few years, on my self-discovery journey. I’ve had to ask myself questions like, did I waste 8 years of my life ‘studying the wrong thing’? What about all that time and money and energy? What about the money I could be earning right now as a speech-language pathologist? If I worked full-time in private practice…whoa…very different ballgame here.

But it always comes down to this: Every day that I show up in this world as a professional writer – not a hobby writer, not a wish-I-was-a-writer, not a someday-in-the-future-writer – is a day that I show up authentically in the world. It’s a day that my soul rejoices and celebrates the fact that I know who I am and I’m acting on it.

I absolutely know that circumstances can dictate the amount of time we spend on the things that make our soul happy: sometimes they are hobbies and sometimes they are careers. Sometimes they are hobbies that transition into careers. And every circumstance is perfect as long as that *thing* that screams “This is ME!” is in our lives in one way or another. For me, it was an eyes closed, heart open, deep dive into the unknown. I am grateful every day for the support the Universe has provided me in this lifetime to be able to do this.

The writing and speaking work has ebbed and flowed in perfect time. Sometimes things come up unexpectedly: one article led to a radio interview which then led to two speaking engagements. It’s been exciting and unpredictable and a full-time learning experience. I’ve had to deal with my own ego and learn to be super patient with the Universe (and myself!). I’ve had to learn to go after opportunities or simply create them myself. If you’d have been a fly on my wall at any given moment over the last few years, you’d undoubtedly have found me crying on the kitchen floor at some point, wondering how I would grow my business and my family without going totally bonkers. Where would the time come from? And the energy? And why wasn’t I where I thought I should be at that point?

But I would never go back in time to that crossroads and opt for the other choice. I would never exchange my life over the past 4 years for anything else. Why?

Because I am moved by my own work. I am moved by the messages I share on my blog and in other publications. I’m moved by the thoughts that flow out of me on stage when I’m talking about love and kindness and building bridges. I’m awe-struck that the very deep, quiet thoughts I had as a child about the way we ought to live with each other on this planet are actually being published. And people are inviting me to share these thoughts with them. Most importantly, I’m grateful for every night I put my head on my pillow after a day of being who I truly am – and that I can share this part of me with my kids.

Being moved by my own work allows me to be a cheerleader to those around me who are also paving their own way. I strongly believe we each have messages to share with this world, even by simply being those messages, and I think it’s a crying shame when we suppress that part of ourselves. So when I see friends or strangers stepping into who they are, I feel a sense of relief for them.

Here’s a quote I love from Gabrielle Bernstein who sums this up, brilliantly:

Gabrielle Bernstein, moved by your work, success, definition of success, addicted to success, let me out creative, taslim jaffer, career change, writer, speech-language pathologist

I wrote about my definition of success last week and this really resonated with many of you. I think acting on our personal definitions will help us create more fulfilling lives.

I’m looking forward to seeing Gabrielle Bernstein speak in Vancouver on Saturday December 5, 2015. I always love being in the presence of someone who has made a living doing what they are passionate about, and I love the crowd that chooses to go to these events, too.

If you’re feeling like something is missing from your life, it’s probably your ‘ME’ factor. So, I encourage you to get back to the things you love doing, in whatever capacity, and make them a regular part of your life. Remember that everything ebbs and flows in perfect time, and your current circumstance won’t exist a year from now, or maybe even 6 months from now. Just do what you can with what you have, but let there be something in your life that screams, “This is ME!”





18 thoughts on “My Thoughts Today On Leaving My Career For My Passion

    1. Scary is a really good word, Nicole! I’m grateful I had some things set up in place to allow me to do this, like my husband’s steady work. Otherwise, I think I would have pursued this in a different way. But I can’t imagine not having made this transition. Thanks for stopping by!

  1. Ahhhh, thank you for this! I recently began obsessing less over “what to be” and “what to study” should i go to grad school or not blah blah and suddenly the answer (at least i think it is!) found me. I was reading another blogger’s post recently and she explained it so well: once you stop looking for something that went missing, you always seem to find it! Same with this, sometimes your passion and the thing that makes you happy may be right in front of you all along- so we should all follow that.

    1. Hi Shannon – it’s hard to make those decisions but we have to just go forth by checking in with our current values and dreams. And then always leave room for new adventures! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

  2. It’s funny I should read this after just posting about being fired from my job. It was a placeholder, and by no means my passion, but still it felt like a loss. I tussled with thoughts of failure, and then I found the strength to see that the door that had slammed shut was waiting to be opened for a new opportunity. I wrote a piece that inspired me to move forward and I thanked the universe for the gift that writing is, and for the amazing ability it gives me to always find the buried path.

    1. Hi Rica – I’m so glad you are looking at this transition as a new opportunity for growth. And I love even more that writing helped you gain that perspective! Writing is invaluable and I recommend it to everybody, even those who don’t necessarily want to be professional writers. It’s a tool for healing, gaining understanding and a means of being understood. Best of luck to you, Rica!

  3. This is right on time for me! My blog is almost 3 months old and my blog really is “me” even though i’m still pulling it all together. I’m encouraged by your bravery, honesty and transparency. Thank you!

    1. Congrats on the launch of your blog! It’s so exciting to be sharing words in such a public space, right? Best of luck to you and keep in touch on your journey. I’d love to hear from you again, Hannah.

  4. Thanks for writing this! It has been so challenging for me to make time to do things that I’m passionate about. Sometimes the logistics of finding time and space to write seem so overwhelming that I want to quit. It’s always great to see busy women and moms like yourself who are doing it. It gives me the boost I need to keep pushing through the barriers. Thank you too for the few times you have cheered me on (very brief as I barely know you, but still so meaningful to me). Keep on keeping on! And thank you for being a great example.
    PS. I’m just happy to now include writing as an official hobby. lol. But who knows where it might lead me? I feel hopeful for my future creative self.

    1. Hi Karen! So happy you wrote this comment <3 There was this one time I was so SICK of hearing myself say I didn't have time to I kept a written record of how I was spending my day. I noticed areas where I could find a pocket here or there, but primarily I noticed I was watching too much T.V. I still watch T.V. mostly every day, but less. And that opened up time for reading, writing and now doing some art journaling. The evening is not my favourite time of day to be creative, so I have recently put my little one in daycare twice a week which has opened up daytime hours for me. I can use this time to put plans into place for a business in writing! Great job on including writing as an official hobby. Your work is spectacular and I am sure it will lead to great things! Enjoy each stage and know that it is perfect.

  5. Love the Gabrielle Bernstein quote (pinned it!) After 4 years working for myself, I was having a bit of a wobble. Yes, I got wrapped up in other people’s definition of success, certainly not mine 🙂 The quote touched me – agree totally!

    1. Hi Jan! I think checking in with our own definitions of success every so often is vital – it really helped me, that’s for sure! And I can imagine that the need to do it may come up again. Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Hi Taslim,

    You sound so utterly happy; I can’t help but smile. So glad to hear you’re enjoying life and living on your terms. SO many people refuse to step outside of the NORM and be something that’s more pleasing to themselves.

    Kudos for you taking the necessary steps to find the happiness you so richly deserve! I wish more people followed your example.

    – Bonnie

    1. Thank you, Bonnie. As I said, the Universe took care of some things for me that helped make it easy to jump all in. But I don’t think any of us have a reason to not follow our hearts and do the things that make us happy in whatever capacity we can. Sometimes we need to be the ones to take the first step and then everything else falls into place. At the end of the day, I think we’d want to have lived a happy life.

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