Passion v. Career

At the fresh young age of 23, I am faced with a dilemma. This is not a new dilemma, in fact I’d say its extremely common, especially for the age of the average fresh-out-of-college millenial. You will hear the question at parties, from parent’s friends, at holiday family gatherings from that one family member who just never knows when to stop talking, “what do you want to do with the rest of your life?” First of all, excuse me, I have barely STARTED my life as far as Im concerned. Yes, I will need to make money in the near future so I dont mooch off my parents, but should I really want to know EXACTLY what I want to do RIGHT out of college?

The answer is a big fat no. YOU DONT! The pressure and stress to get a job is immense, and many people end up settling for a job they are absolutely miserable at. Heres my question: why settle? Why not turn passion INTO a career? There is an old saying that goes: If you do what you love, you never work a day in your life. Easier said than done…thats why you must create your own happiness. When I was four years old, I saw Brittney Spears perform on MTV and that was it for me. I knew EXACTLY what I wanted to do (little did I know what the road for Brittney would hold…but can we still give her a hand, I mean she’s Brittney f****** Spears). Since my mom was also a musician, I spent my life in training to be a singer. Countless hours were spent practicing and rehearsing music, in voice lessons, and in choir at school. I received a Bachelors in Jazz Studies (Voice) from Indiana University, then moved to Long Beach, CA immeadiatly after to begin a career while also working on a Masters in Jazz Studies (Voice) from Cal State University Long Beach. Yes, the path seemed eeriely clear for me. But no one could have ever EVER prepared me for the THICK competition for singers in LA. Id heard horror stories, but being the happy-go-lucky midwestern girl i’d always been, I felt overwhelmed by the intensity of “the hustle”. Between school, auditions, open mics, writing songs, and jam sessions, I find myself worn the beep out. Any musician will tell you the same…the hustle is REAL.

So, in my weary, berated state, I needed an escape. Something I loved just as much as singing, but less pressure to compensate. Every morning when I drove to school, coffee in hand, I thought about it, “What makes me happy?”. Well, my sisters dogs do, so does recieving a FAT check in the mail from your family members on holidays, happy hour margaritas at Taco Beach…and coffee. But there was no way to turn my passion for coffee and my deep distaste for unharmonious customer satisfaction into something except working at a shop. So I thought. In a long conversation with a professor at school, he suggested writing. “Turn your talent for writing and your passion for coffee into something more than just a fleeting happiness”. This thought had crossed my mind, but would anyone care? A coffee blog?

In research, I found the case to be true. Across the country, cities everywhere had blossoming coffee scenes, each with their own unique flair, style, roasters, etc. From Bloomington, Indiana, to Denver, Colorado, to Long Beach, California, the coffee industry is booming with new pouring techniques, roasting methods, and brewing mechanisms emerging everyday. For the next year, I will be embarking on a journey through music and coffee, reviewing and illuminiating the hidden coffee jewels across the country. There is a way to make a career out of passion, there is no need for the two to forever be oil and water. This is my underlying truth.