Balancing Your Passions

I have always been someone who likes to dive headfirst into a task, pouring everything I have into a goal. I’m passionate about what I do, which makes me work hard and commit to focusing on what I’m doing.

While having such focus and dedication has proved to be an important part of my work, I’ve come to realize the need I have for a balance in my passions.

Outside of horses, engaging in my local community is something that excites and motivates me. 

There are a number of things I’m passionate about. I’ve dedicated my life to horses, I’m excited to engage in local politics, and I’ve thrived in school settings. I love to hike, care about learning about and protecting our natural environment, and am an absolute history nerd. Over the last few years, I’ve pursued job opportunities with horses, politics, and in non-profits, all of which I’ve thoroughly enjoyed.

However, one thing I’ve noticed about myself is that whenever I commit to a new position, I dive “too deep” – I dedicate myself to the work in that moment so much, I forget my other passions. While I feel excited to be so engaged in something, focusing so much on one passion that it overshadows my others prevents me from showing up as my full self.

Finding time to explore my diverse interests keeps me refreshed and energized for work. 

I’ve run into this difficulty many times. When I went off to college, I hit pause on competing – I felt as though I couldn’t do both “well enough”. Similarly, when I decided to focus on an equestrian career, I felt as though I couldn’t, or shouldn’t, pursue other interests, drifting away from educational resources and readings. In both circumstances, I didn’t feel completely fulfilled or content. 

When I overlook the need to nurture my diverse passions, I feel trapped and stuck. I feel as though I’m falling short, and not respecting the diversity of interests that make me, me. Although I’m hyper-focused on my work, placing myself in a position in which I feel as though I’m not allowing all of me to grow results in short bursts of passion, and a prompt burn out. Although it can be difficult finding time to balance so many interests, doing so allows me to give more of myself to what I’m doing, re-energizing me along the way. 

As a way to find a more sustainable balance for exploration and self development, I’ve found ways to allow myself to commit without completely ignoring my other passions. As I’m working with horses full time, I have found ways to nurture my other passions through books, volunteerism, and meeting and talking with new and existing friends. When I get time off, I (try to) get out of the barn to explore a new area, learn something new, or build on a skill I feel is lacking (such as my abilities in the kitchen). 

I have found how easy it is to commit so thoroughly to a job when you’re passionate about the work that you do that you forget to give space to your other interests. While I love to dive into my work, I now recognize the value of the complexity and diversity of my interests, and see how they not only add interest to my day and my life, but how critical it is to find new opportunities to commit to developing multiple passions as well. As I move forward in my current and future positions, I look forward to exploring a balance in the diverse opportunities I seek.