Synthesizing Passion and Profession

Zaima Tasneem 

Everyone has had a dream while growing up but not everyone’s had the opportunity and keenness to pursue the said dream. The amalgamation of passion and profession is not always well celebrated in our society. It’s mostly because it has been instilled in our minds from a young age that some specific careers are more socially accepted than others. Due to the domineering attitude of society, people often falter in chasing their dreams. 

If you have a passion that doesn’t necessarily fall in the mediocre set of careers that are deemed to be the ‘real jobs’ to the public eye, it’s not unlikely for your dreams to get stepped on. People who have a passion for music, art, writing or any such thing often get told that they should leave these behind as hobbies and look for a supposed-real job. At the behest of such societal pressure, many people are forced to discount their dreams only to be engrossed in a mundane job that they do not have any interest in. As their pursuit of passion is derailed, these people lead their lives in shoes that are not theirs. 

Because of societal and familial pressure, you should not totally disregard your aspirations. If you have a talent that you believe can make your life fulfilled, nothing should stop you from chasing after it. In this day and age, a lot of career prospects are offered in which both happiness and financial stability can be accounted for. Without even considering these prospects, the naysayers overshadow your opinion and establish their own beliefs of success upon you so that you can meet the unrealistic bar of expectation they’ve set.

The lack of support and appreciation causes the dream you harbored for years to get charred. As the walls of support break down, it becomes especially hard to retain the self-confidence and results in you losing your ingenuity. The fear of not making it to a road of success eats you up until you become forced to embark on a career that the society believes will give you success and financial security with an absence of happiness whatsoever. 

Franz Kafka, a literary figure known for his morbid writing style, had a life in which such arbitrary control was exercised. He had an interest in writing from a young age, but his father disapproved of his passion and wanted Kafka to be a businessman like him. He was forced to pursue a job in an insurance company but that didn’t end his dreams of being a writer even if it caused him lifelong anxiousness. He would make time to write after work hours. Only a few of his writings saw the light of the day while he was still alive. In his days, those didn’t sell well for which he didn’t deem himself and his writings good enough and left a lot of writings unfinished. He however did gain recognition both nationally and internationally when many of his other works were published posthumously. In one of his notable writings, “The Metamorphosis”, Kafka is said to relate to the protagonist Gregor Samsa who has also patronized his whole life.

“Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.” – Anne Rice, in a foreword to a collection of Franz Kafka literary works.

There are so many Kafka’s out there who may not have been able to unleash their talents just because it was not considered a ‘real job’ by society. Like Franz Kafka, Vincent Van Gogh, Edgar Allan Poe, Gregor Mendel, and many other individuals went through a life where they had no support from the people around, yet they crossed the paths with thorns with their unfaltering passion. Just like them, you may be able to climb your way to contentment and success if you stand strong against all hurdles thrown at you.

The key is to believe in yourself even if no one else does. If you don’t let society be the gatekeeper while choosing a career, your dreams will certainly not slip away from your hands. Be a maverick, fly in the face of the social mores, and finally don’t let anything get in your way while you venture into the pursuit of your dreams.

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