Passion is immeasurable

Me sitting on a green bench with my back to the camera and looking out on Lake Como
Looking out on Lake Como. Photo by Nicholas Cooke

I was in my early twenties. I was a passionate, enthusiastic individual and I wanted to get the most out of life. I strived to do everything I wanted to do, with all the time I had. I made time for everything. I had many hobbies. I did a lot of work. I would go out and party. I hardly got tired and it was glorious.

I always received the question that every person dreams of receiving:

“You’re amazing. How do you find the time?”

Or the comment that every person dreams was said about them:

“I don’t know how she does it. She must never sleep.”

Behind my grin was my ego getting bigger each time.

When I look back, I really don’t know how I did it. For eight years I’ve commuted to and from the city, often 60-80 minutes each way. With few buses in my area, it was normal for me to get up at 6am. Over the years, I found myself at university or at work before 8am.

At my peak, I was working three part-time jobs in different locations. I found the time to run five kilometres every weekday morning. I went to concerts three times a week. It was normal for me to be home at 1am after a long commute back to the suburbs.

I read many blogs, and I left many comments on blog posts. My friends and friends-of-friends in the community would see my Gravatar in the comments section of many blog posts across many blogs. They would also see highly active discussion on my blog posts that received over fifty comments. Some lengthy, some less so, but I replied to every single one.

I blogged every second day. I kept a photoblog that was updated every day. I had a website reviewing service where I wrote extensive, lengthy, and pretty egotistical, opinionated reviews of people’s websites. For free.

“How do you do it?”

I didn’t have an answer.

I started a full-time job, and worked from 9am-6pm. I was doing my masters degree and I’d sprint to campus to head to class for the night.

And then I’d go to a concert if I felt like it.

Which was 95% of the time.

Eventually I got into concert photography as well, which I really enjoyed.

At some point, I was also recording video blogs, being paid to build websites on the side, writing a book, managing a handful of fansites, writing songs and recording music…

I’ve changed a lot over the past few years. I work a 9-5, which I love. I blog perhaps every three or four days. I read fewer blogs and receive fewer comments, but the comments these days are of far better quality. I’ve now formed strong friendships with other bloggers. I’m not so much involved in concert photography anymore. I’m lucky if I go to one concert in a month. But that’s OK.

In comparison, I do much less now. My days are filled with going to the gym, going to work, writing blog posts, reading blogs, working on presentations, painting my nails, chatting with my friends, spending time with my fiancé.

But despite me doing so much before, and doing so little now, what is the one thing that hasn’t changed?

I’m doing what I love.

Doing everything in the world doesn’t make you any more loved, admired, or respected than if you did a few things.

People still congratulate me and give me amazing feedback on my blog posts and presentations. They support me going to the gym. They still treat me with respect.

What matters is that you do what you love. No matter how big, small, or how much or how little of it you do. Quality, not quantity. Put your heart into what you do.

Passion is immeasurable.

This post was written for International Women’s Day, on the 8th March this year.

Last year, for International Women’s Day, I published a blog post with the title “Women don’t think they’re better than anyone. They just want to be respected”.

Although I encourage putting your heart into what you do, this is very, very different from doing too much of what you love, and exhausting yourself. If you find that the latter sounds like you, and it’s affecting your mental health, please take a break. You deserve it. 💞 Finding a therapist, counsellor, or seeking professional advice is also an option.

Comments on this post

I loved every single word of this post, Georgie. :)

Growing up, I also lost the ‘sprint’ of my early twenties (not that I don’t get a bit of sprint anymore, but it comes at random times now), but the Love for what I do has never faltered. Even depression didn’t kill it, just hid it away for a while.

Sometimes I feel like our early youth is meant for us to experiment with as many opportunities as life gives us, until – a few years later – life asks us to choose and channel our energies to some of those things, but not all of it anymore. It’s fascinating how that happens naturally and it’s still recognizably us, after all.

Oh no, I’m rambling. :) LOL

Big hugs,

Ahhh <3 I love this post! I think I remember when I first started blogging you were at the peak working full-time and getting your Master's degree (that was 2011, is that right?). And look at you now! Still the same Georgie who is passionate about everything she does. I never once felt you were less admirable any time. This post is so full of truth – when I started graduate school I actually felt I never did enough, but the truth is that the people who make you feel that way are insatiable no matter how much you do. My life is more chill now and I actually have more people who say they look up to me because I take time to invest in them. :)

Thanks for writing this! I'm gonna write one tomorrow!

My first year of my masters degree was 2012, pretty close!

That’s so awesome to hear – people around you can be valuable and it is definitely important to give them the time of day. We never want to be moving so fast that we forget to appreciate what we have.

I love, love, love, love this post.

Passion is the motivating factor, the thing that keeps you going and makes you “able” to despite others’ wonders. It’s pretty amazing.

I also enjoyed reading the behind-the-scenes bits — the parts people don’t see in the moment or the finished result. Because few people see the work-in-progress, or they don’t always consider what happens in between. I think that’s what leads to the “how does she do it?” thing.

Passion. You do it because of passion. 💖

I remember you when you were hosting me and I was a young, naive girl. You did so much for other bloggers and I admired you for it. Now I’m older and I’m glad that you’re still doing what you love. I love this post and it reminds that I don’t have to be super girl.

I’m so glad you wrote this.

I love this post!! I also had a very active life in my late teens and early twenties. I’d go out, stay up until the early hours but still manage to get up early the next day. Worked or went to college during the day.

Now it’s very different, I work a “9-5” (technically 8.30 – 5), don’t go out as much. I excercise more. Socialising is now more cinema trips and friends over for dinner than nights out on the town.

I think our passions change as we get older. I’m late twenties and rapidly approaching the big 3-0 (next year).

I was one of those people who used to wonder how you had the time to do everything you did!

When I look back at my late teens I now realise that I was terrible at managing my time and I wasted so much of it. Self-made busyness. Now I’m working full-time and I have less free time each day, I feel like I’m more intentional with the time I do have. I invest more time in the things I’m passionate about.

As long as you’re doing what you love, nothing else matters.

I don’t think I’ve ever related more to a post.

I look back and wonder how I managed to fit in all of the things I did. I worked two jobs, went to the gym almost every day, boxing training at least three times a week, I was always out and about with friends and spent a considerable amount of time online, building social media and various blogs.

These days, I don’t feel like I could fit nearly as much in. But I’ve realised that I don’t need to. I put much more effort into the things I enjoy and that I know will benefit me in the long run. I’m working on building a business that I love and that will eventually give me the lifestyle I’ve always wanted. I feel like I’m actually heading in the right direction for the first time in my life.

You’re so inspirational Georgie <3

I think it's awesome that you're doing the things you love now. I can definitely tell that you love what you do and that you feel as if you're in a settled place. And I definitely agree that it's all about the quality and not so much the quantity. It's great to feel busy but it's also important that you're not feeling too bogged down by all the things you're doing and to take that occasional step back and take a breather – to just enjoy life and what you're doing with it!

I’m glad you found enjoyment out of life and what you are doing on your blog because at the end of the day, it is your life and you should choose what to do with it. Your passion for doing what you love shines through, Georgie! I really do feel it and understandably I agree with you a hundred and ten percent and even more; because honestly, passion is the drive that keeps us going towards our goals and keeps us going no matter what.

This post resonates so much with me. I don’t think I was ever as busy as you were, but I do remember holding down two jobs at the same time, whilst also socialising and blogging and all other things on the side. I’ve now lost the energy I had when I was younger, but like you I’m still doing what I love even if it’s not in a professional capacity but I’m still blogging which is something I know I will never not be passionate about.

We have such a stigma in our society where we ask if a woman can have it all – motherhood, career, social life – and then when they do, then we tear them down because, oh they’re spending too much time going out and not looking after their kids or focusing too much on their career. Utter BS.

I’m so glad you’re still doing what you love and are still very passionate about it. Never change ♥️

This warmed up my heart 💜

Thank you for sharing Georgie! Whilst I was reading the first part, I could totally relate, I feel like especially in my first and second year at University, I was doing a lot of things all at once and lots of people would be like, “omg you’re a robot, how do you get it done?!” I still get the same comments now, and it might be the energy from being 20, but I love how I get to explore a lot of stuff and find what I really enjoy – right now I’ve realised how much I love out reach related work and inspiring people into doing what they love. Throughout the years of working multiple retail jobs, I also realised that I love chatting and talking to people, and that in fact, being stuck in the labs (which my degree shapes me into going into a career that is entirely lab based) wasn’t what I wanted.

This post is super inspiring, I want to look back in a few years and say, yes, I still love and enjoy what I’m doing. <3 Love you lots Georgie!

Great post, Georgie! I remember when you used to do so much and you still do. I love all your posts, and I’m amazed that you manage to post as much as you do now while working full time.

I used to comment on so many posts all the time, but it’s just not possible now. I sometimes have weeks where I don’t comment on any blogs, because I just don’t have as much time as I did when I was at school. I still try and catch-up though, it’s just often a few weeks late!

I think it’s great that you’ve found a balance between work and life. Blogging every day would be way too stressful. Everyone needs time to relax and as long as you’re happy that’s fine!

This was such an inspirational read. I’ve often wondered how you find the time when I see you’ve managed to comment on all my posts – and lots of other people’s, too! – but you’re so right that you make time for the things you love. I think I need to stop moaning and start doing!!