Do you sometimes feel like the odd one out when your passions don’t align with what people around you like?
It feels lonely and you can even end up hiding what you love in order to fit in. We’ve all done this at some point in our lives. But how did we grow out of it?
I was recently reminded of this at my local café, when I mentioned to the waitress that I’m just in looove with the surface pattern on their floor. It’s like a little surprise under my feet and makes me want to examine it closely. And the color combination has something traditional, while still being fresh. The pattern brings life into the space and adds depth and character. I sure wouldn’t have bothered with it if it was like every other floor.
The waitress gave me this odd look and replied:
“Actually, the floor is the only thing I hate in this place.”
I was a bit disappointed and also shocked to be reminded that there are people who do not share my passion for surface patterns. It brought back a twinge of the old feeling I used to have…
Maybe you pretended to like the mainstream music your friends were into and hid the fact you also really liked country music? Or maybe you played a mainstream sport, because everyone else did, even though you secretly wanted to do something completely different?
We do this because we’re human and want to fit in. We compromise our true passions, because the feeling of belonging feels a lot better than the possible humiliation. We’re afraid to end up alone, when we don’t do what everyone else does.
But hiding your passions will hurt you in the long run
When I end up doing things I just don’t care about, I feel dull, like I’m wasting important time of my life that I could feel joyful instead of boring. Yet when I get to plunge into the world of surface patterns, I feel alive, like I’m in line with what I’m supposed to be doing in this world.
Your day can either be filled with meaningful actions or insignificant chores. We all have the same amount of time given, we should spend it engaged in something we love, not something we feel indifferent about. When you do what you love, time flies by, because you are filled with purpose and drive. And feeling inspired just sounds way better than hoping to be finally done with something.
Not all of us are able to incorporate our passion into our day job. But there are other ways you can include your passions in your daily life:
1. Schedule regular time to spend only your passion. Whether this is twice a week or once a day. This way you can look forward to a regular scheduled time doing what you care about.
2. Ask around, perhaps someone around you already does the same thing you love.
3. Find people you can share your passions with.
“OK but what if no one else around me feels the same?”
I totally get you. When I started getting into surface patterns, my friends didn’t get how totally amazing this new world is to me. How alive and happy it makes me feel just looking at the patterns. But the solution is not to go quiet about it, but to find people who share the same passions.
Where are these people likely to hang out? Is there a club or organization you can join? Does someone offer classes where you can learn more about the subject? Can you think of any events where you’ll find like-minded people? Online?
1. Brainstorm where people with the same interests hang out.
2. Make a list of possible clubs or organizations, courses and events and also look for online communities.
3. Get out there. You actually have to leave your home and be brave enough to do something new. Go ahead, it will be worthwhile.
After I left the café, a woman with a lovely patterned dress walked by me. It reminded me, that there are plenty of other people who love what I love, I just have to find them.
Over to you
Have you ever had the experience of discovering no-one around you shared your passions? If so, what did you do about it?
Where do you find the people who share your passions?
Simona Cellar is the founder of anomis. A designer who focuses on the element of surprise in her designs. Come on a journey of discovery and find the hidden beauty all around you. Join the mailing list here and get inspiring articles.