As I mentioned many times, passion projects are perfect for finding your life’s passions and purpose. They help you discover new things and figure out quickly if something fits you. In this blogpost I’ll share my five favorite passion projects so far.
It was actually quite the challenge to select my favorite passion projects. Each and every one has brought me so much in life. I have made a selection of the things I loved most, changed me the most or inspired me the most. It covers a diverse mix of interests, that’s for sure.
#1 Creative Writing
If you were to ask me what my dream job would be, I wouldn’t have to think about it for a second. I would love to be a fiction writer. I can completely lose myself in making up worlds, creating captivating characters and coming up with great storylines. There’s nothing in this world that I love doing more than that.
I started writing in elementary school. I don’t need to tell you that I didn’t exactly create masterpieces back then, but I loved writing nonetheless. I’ve written two and a half novels since then and I’m currently working on the plot for another novel that I’m going to write in 2018.
What I like best about writing?
It’s a creative outlet that makes me feel in control. A story is a very personal thing to me. The things I never get to do, the people I never got to meet; I can write about them and feel like I did. And in times when I felt lonely, my characters became my friends. I’m not sure if other writers do this too, but I would have actual conversations with them to get to know them better. Yeah…
Anyway, writing for me was a perfect way to deal with hard times. It gave me purpose, something to look forward to and offered an escape. I love it.
#2 Music and Performing
Once upon a time, I used to be a (country) singer. I always loved to sing. At first it wasn’t very spectacular. I’d sing at school performances and for other requested occasions, like at a Christmas market. That changed when I performed at my school one night and there was someone in the audience that came to see me after the show. They said that they loved my voice and would love to help me grow as an artist.
After that, I would go on to perform on larger stages and I was given the opportunity to record an album in a professional studio, with very professional people. I was fifteen at the time and I loved every minute of it. My life was less than normal. Music was the only thing on my mind for years with rehearsing, performing, writing songs and even doing some interviews.
Okay, so why have we never heard of you?
Although I am forever grateful for all these wonderful opportunities I had, it wasn’t for me. The stage would stress me out and I was way too much of a perfectionist. I would be so nervous that I’d almost pass out before I had to go up on stage. And even though most people said really positive things, there’s always going to be people trying to bring you down. I was too young and too hard on myself already to deal with that part of it.
That’s why I decided to quit performing. I still make music, I still write, but you will most likely never see me on a stage again, haha. However, when I get nostalgic, I look at all the videos of my performances. It still always fills my heart with joy and gratitude. If you’re reading this and were a part of my musical journey, and I have never said it to you personally, I want to say thank you.
#3 Healthy living and weight loss
When I was depressed, I used medication and overeating to deal with it. Both of those things made me gain a lot of weight. I wasn’t happy with how I looked at all, so when I got better, I decided to live healthier. Actually, deciding that I wanted to live a healthier lifestyle was one of the reasons I got better. It gave me something to focus on.
I started walking a lot and eating healthy foods. I tried cutting carbs and that worked perfectly for the first few pounds, but I found it very hard to keep up. That’s because, well, I love bread and pasta. I got myself a Fitbit and started working out too. I would go to the gym three times a week for a while.
Why did this make the list?
Sounds awful right? Yeah, I think so too. This definitely wasn’t my favorite passion project when it comes to being fun. It was hard work and I denied myself a lot. However, the results for my (mental) health were amazing. I finally fit my old clothes again, I feel more confident about my body and I just feel more energized and happy overall now that I eat healthier. It helped me immensely in my struggle to get better.
I’m no longer on a weightloss journey, but a big part of the healthy lifestyle stuck with me. I still work out regularly and eat healthier overall. However, I do eat pasta, pizza, bread, chocolate and cookies again. Just in more moderation.
#4 Cooking and veganism
This one and healthy eating go a little hand in hand. I always loved cooking, but eating healthy ‘forced’ me to cook more. I started to experiment with food a lot more and I wanted to know as much about food as I could. I started watching documentaries on Netflix about cooking and food. That’s when I stumbled upon the documentaries about plant based diets and the positive impact they could have on the planet and animal welfare.
After watching them, I decided to try to eat vegan for a week and see if I could do it. It was surprisingly easy and I found myself eating healthier, more varied foods. I loved looking up recipes and trying new things. To tell you the truth, I used to be a real carnivore. I think I would eat meat with 9 out of my 10 meals. So this was a huge change for me.
I went on to eat vegan for a little over one and a half years. The main reason why I decided to stop eating fully vegan is because I noticed that people didn’t really like me coming over for dinner anymore and eating out was a pain. I have always loved food, cooking, eating with friends and family and eating out, so this was a huge disappointment for me.
Now I am ‘just’ a vegetarian and I try to eat vegan as much as I can and want to at home. I still think plant based diets are healthy, great and sustainable, but for now it’s just not for me. It has still taught me a lot and I’m happy I went vegan for a while. I think it’s important to be aware of what’s going on in the food industry and make your own choices with regards to your diet.
Last, but not least, gaming is one of my favorite passion projects. I am a huge nerd and, as you probably figured, I am a sucker for good stories. I think games are an amazing tool for telling stories and fully immersing your audience in the world you created. That’s where the strength of games lies for me, other than the fact that they’re just incredibly fun of course.
I think games are a great way to improve skills like problem solving, leadership, strategic thinking and perseverance. Additionally, they help you escape the daily grind. Games are a great way to escape life for a bit and focus on something completely different.
My favorite video games are Skyrim and the Mass Effect Trilogy. Both are good examples of amazing stories with huge worlds and even a whole galaxy to get lost in. You get to make your own choices and develop your own character and I absolutely love that. You can make the game entirely your own.
Other than games with a very good story, I am a huge fan of the Magic the Gathering card game. I’ve been collecting cards for a while now and one of the things I love most about the game is actually the community that has been built around it. I got to meet some amazing people through playing Magic.
Those were my five favorite passion projects so far. I’ve probably forgotten about one or two, but I can always tell you about them later.
I hope you found this blogpost entertaining and hopefully my passion projects might even have inspired you to try one of them for yourself. Please let me know if you do, I always love to hear from you!
With much love,