I’ve never wanted to be a full time drag queen. Just the thought of making a business out of it — chasing up invoices, styling wigs regularly, making new costumes, and the constant man-scaping are enough to kill the thought. Drag is more than just slapping on a face and masquerading on stage. And this is why doing drag is just a hobby for me.
But don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love doing it. I love putting on a show and wowing people with my lip-syncing skills. I love pretending to be a lady and making straight guys think twice. Being a drag queen is so much fun! But at the end of the day, it will always remain a hobby.
I know this because I don’t think about it every day.
What I do think about every day, however, is writing. It borders on unhealthy at times — especially at midnight when I should be getting ready for bed, but I’m consumed with finishing a draft. Or when I stop what I’m doing so I can write down a cool story idea. And even on some days, when I really don’t want to write, I almost always eventually find myself sitting at the computer rapping away at the keyboard.
I also find myself doing weird writer things when I’m not writing — something that doesn’t happen with my drag queen hobby. I’ll subconsciously edit the written world around me. Like noticing typos in letters and spotting unnecessary sentences. I’ll pick at complex paragraphs that could be written so much better. And sometimes, when reading books, I’ll repeat sentences that are just so perfect. They don’t necessarily have to be insightful, just eloquently written.
These are the noticeable differences between hobbies and passions. They are each loved differently.
Hobbies are things we undertake to escape boredom. As well as being a drag queen on occasion, I also dabble in computer gaming, photography, watching movies and listening to music. But my love for these hobbies is met with plenty of breaks in between; because I know that I’d just grow bored of them if I did them every day.
But passions are a deep commitment, where you could easily do it every day. Take my writing, for example. I write almost all the time, and I write more on some days than other days. Indeed, I have to concede that I do have the occasional day where I don’t write anything, but that’s likely because I don’t have anything worth writing about. Of course, this commitment isn’t always easy. Sometimes writing is a struggle for me. But, no matter how much I struggle to deal with work rejection, negative comments, poor blog post performances and the like, I’ll always come back to it.
It’s like true love. And it’s always waiting to be found.
Discovering Your True Passion
I’m gonna let you in a little secret: I didn’t realise I wanted to be a writer until age 26. But once I realised it, it all made sense. In my late teens, I loved writing up short stories with striking descriptions. Post-high school, I loved writing essays — whether on my Facebook wall or for tertiary studies. But, for some reason, it never clicked until I stared it dead in the face.
Here’s the story: I actually fell in love with writing through marketing. I just had a keen interest in studying the field. That’s not surprising since marketing falls under the overarching industry term “communications.” But when I eventually practised marketing in the field, I learned to hate it.
Of course, once I realised that marketing falls under communications, I decided to broaden my scope and do a communications degree. And it was there where I discovered journalism — something I knew about but never explored as a career option. Most prominently, I loved researching, interviewing, and writing up great stories.
My point is, you may be closer to your true passion than you think.
In saying that, it doesn’t hurt to actively explore new areas. Try looking at your past for clues, or jump into new things that pique your interest. Doing garners more fruit than pondering.
A final thing I’d like to say is that your passions do not necessarily have to be a career option. They can always remain an eccentric hobby. In fact, some passions may not be feasible as a career.
But knowing what you truly love could spur you towards work that is feasible.
Just some food for thought…