Pursue Your Passions

It is my biggest desire to live the life I was made for, to witness the greatness of this world. It’s tempting to conform to
comfort and I have definitely settled for laziness in the past, sticking to what other people think I should do.10347498_10204238468545826_7478720002573778503_n (1)

As I continue to pursue communications and ministry I often come across insecurities about how I am different from some of my peers. But it’s when I journey with my teens or design a flyer, I am filled with so much joy and confidence knowing that this is where I am being led. Being passionate is radical and it’s not always comfortable… and thank goodness. Passion makes us lively, joyful, adventurous, wise, and everything in between.

I will never forget my Cultural Anthropology course I took my sophomore year of college, where we did an anthropological analysis on family, art, religion, business, and education. I loved that nothing we said or realized could ever be ‘wrong’ because we were simply discovering the complex dynamics of cultural norms.

It could only be ‘wrong’ if students simply didn’t do the work. On the last day of class, my professors encouraged us to live with exploration throughout the rest of our lives:

“Too many spend their lives sitting around doing nothing. If you want to make an influence in our world, then you have to get up and do it. You have the power to do that.”

Strive Beyond Boredom

I once asked someone what’s their favorite part of their job. They answered with “When I get to go home.” I sympathize with the stress they endure from their job, but I was disgruntled by the negative answer. The fact that this person’s favorite part about going to work is when they leave really stuck out to me.

I never want to spend my weeks doing work I hate. I don’t want to spend my days bored and anxious, looking at the clock ready to leave at any moment (unless it’s for a good reason, like Audrey Assad or the Jonas Brothers are in concert). I know wherever I will be working next year, it is going to be at a place I love, doing what I have been called for.

St. Irenaeus once said, “the Glory of God is man who lives fully alive.”

This means that we are glorifying the God of the universe when we live with passion, joy, and fulfillment… especially in our careers. I yearn to live beyond boredom and complacency, but for joy and hope.

Explore and Learn

Being a passionate person means being willing to break down your walls.

I have spent so much of my time stuck in personal insecurities and fear of taking chances. Spending 6 weeks on Summer Missions with Life Teen is one of the best things I have ever done and is a crucial part of my college experience.

Besides personal growth, it was an experience that allowed me to journey with other people and be part of a movement that is so much bigger than me. I built fellowship with college age students from across the country and journeyed alongside high schoolers from different backgrounds.

It is huge part of our earthly experience to go out, take chances, accept challenges, visit new places, meet new people, learn from all encounters. We are offered so many opportunities in this life, take them. The ways I have been able to explore experiences has immensely helped me learn so much about myself and the mission of my life that I am being called to live out. It’s also how God has confirmed and blessed my career vocation. #casual

Let Hope Overcome Fear

Ricky Vazquez_Yet to Be
Click here for Ricky’s Yet to Be EP

A wise man, President Snow, once said “The only thing stronger than fear is hope.” Okay so he’s not real, but don’t deny the wisdom that’s in the Hunger Games.

So often I have limited myself based on fear.

Fear of being wrong.

Fear of being alone.

Fear of taking risks.

Fear of failing.

Fear of accomplishing things.

My friend Ricky, a musician, wrote a song recently called Lost in Standby which describes how we long to overstep boundaries and achieve greatness.

Tear my walls away and build them up to stay

Longing for resolve

Knowing I could fall by the waist side

But I’m lost in standby

We dwell in fear and allow it to dictate our decisions. My encouragement is to not be reckless, but rather, boldly jump in with purpose. Just do it. Rely on your community of peers to keep you accountable as you discern and intentionally pursue that job or that opportunity that you feel called to do.

Don’t Live for Yourself

How easy it is to get lost in ourselves.

How easy it is to be consumed with our own lives.

Personally, I love how the crucifixion of Christ is referred to as His “passion”. His death was not for Him, but for the whole world and the generations for years to come.

Passion is love, sacrificial love. It’s agape love of doing what is best for others, without expectations or limits.

My dear friend Jackie is incredibly passionate about youth, she loves taking care of infants and children. She takes so much delight and will voluntarily go to help her family friend out with their infant children, just because of how much she loves to serve others. I think this radiates in all aspects of her life. She constantly offers her talents of compassion and care with everyone. She helps me out all the time,  such as reminding me of things or lending me something I need.

Whatever your passion is, it is probably designed in order for the benefit of others.  It is not a self-serving kind of passion, but one that is selfless. To live passionately means to live fully alive… and not for yourself.

Your life is not about you.

Go, Go, Go!

I feel very grateful for my work opportunities with MDesign Online, Confetti Events, USF PRSSA, KnoBull PR, Life Teen International, and Our Lady of the Rosary for the opportunities to explore talents and skills.

I have been able to hone my abilities in the practices of communications, media, writing, public relations, discipleship, and relational ministry. Lots of learning, trial&error, joys, and struggles. It’s been abundantly blessed. If I yearn to live out my passions, then I have to truly pursue them… over and over again.

It’s okay if we want to keep at it, to stay there and continuously dive into it. Ask any dancer, lawyer, teacher, nurse, or magician…you need to practice your craft. Stay confident and remain persistent. Your passion is what gives you the most joy, what makes your heart soar.

Inspired by my Cultural Anthropology class, you’re only going to be wrong if you don’t do the work.

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