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by vivrant thang on side hustles

Now life is what you make
Of your time, sometimes you can even fake it
If you doing something other than what you like
You can escape, just don’t give up the fight

I’ve been giving a lot of thought lately to “loving what I do and doing what I love.” One of the biggest things I will accomplish during year one of my five-year plan is the development of my side hustle – which will be something I’m passionate about. It should be a realization of my purpose and what I was put here to do. It should generate income as I’ve had to face the harsh reality that the better your income looks on paper, the bigger chunk Uncle Sam will snatch. And the more you spend. But that’s another post for another day.

It’s always been very important to me to discover just what my purpose is since one of my mother’s biggest regrets in life is what she has never really pursued her purpose – or even discovered what it is. As with a lot of baby boomers, she has worked tirelessly  at her job year after year.  Job hopping for advancement or to gain skills is foreign to her.  She’s kind of fallen into human resources/accounting functions, but there is so much more to her than that. She has so many skills and talents that she’s never utilized. I don’t want that to be me.

Don’t you know that you came from the Earth
Have some faith, best believe what you’re really worth
Whole lot more and so much in store
For ya if you just…

Last year, I had a nice freelance web development thing going. Garned me enough income to ball out of control in Miami and Jamaica. However, that’s not my passion. Not even that good at it because I haven’t taken the time to advance my skills. My heart wasn’t in it.

What my heart has always been into is the written word. In high school, I would bring my fiction stories to class and my friends would be engrossed in them instead of reading about how Columbus discovered America. My vivid imagination had me creating characters involved in situations that a fifteen-year-old should have known nothing about (remember this was early 90s!). I even completed a young adult novel somewhere in there.  Went on to be editor-in-chief of the newspaper and yearbook. Won all kinds of journalism awards/scholarships. Attended numerous journalism-related summer workshops. Worked as a features reporter during the summers at The Newark Star-Ledger (still have my clips!). My path seemed clear. It was only natural that I would go on to get two degrees in English. What else was there for me, a lover of the word?

Somewhere in between writing 20-page papers about Chaucer, I stopped writing for me. I fell out of love with the word – or I should say creating the word because I was still reading and getting lost in bookstores – amassing a ridiculous amount of books. I always missed it though. Some part of me always felt unfulfilled. I could no longer call myself a writer because I wasn’t writing.

Do what you love and love what you do
In this life there’s a place for you
Love what you do and do what you love
Make sure that it’s something from above

-For Da Love of The Game f/ Raheem Devaughn and V

I created this blog as a way to reclaim my identity as a writer. To fill that hole. I’m loving what I do here and doing what I love. The fact that people are reading and responding positively is just the icing on the cake. I have my doubts some days when I read other writing that I feel is so much better than mine. However, again, I’m loving what I do here and I think it’s showing. Directly or indirectly as a result of blogging, I have a book review coming out in a literary magazine in the next few months. I’m also going to be a guest blogger over at Sweet Potato Pie, which was featured in Heart and Soul magazine. I have a feeling this is just the beginning.

I hope all of you are utilizing your talents and finding some way to do what you love. Time’s a wastin’ and none of us are getting any younger. One of my male friends is a photographer with a really good eye. Clearly, he loves taking pictures. I keep urging him to put himself out there and start his own business. People are always going to need a good photographer. He listens but doesn’t hear me. Not to get religious on ya’ll, but that’s a God-given talent and I think it is a slap in the face to Him when we don’t use what we’re blessed with. Besides, we have to work everyday and most of us aren’t fortunate enough to be bringing home a paycheck from a job that we’re skipping to everyday. Life is too short not to be spending that time outside of work discovering what you’re here to do and pursuing that. You never know where it may lead.

Have you discovered what you have been put here to do? Do you have a side hustle – loving what you do and doing what you love? Tell me about it in the comments.