Think back to all the things you wanted to be growing up or over the course of your life. I did and asked each of our writers to do the same. Dave, a teacher. Hannah, a chocolatier. Catrina, a mythologist. Monique, a keyboardist. Myself, an anchorman (and this was long before Ron Burgundy). You can see our complete list here and it gets pretty interesting.
But it reminds me of an episode of The Wonder Years where Kevin takes piano lessons and looking back remarks:
“When you’re a little kid you’re a bit of everything: scientist, philosopher, artist. Sometimes it seems like growing up is giving these things up one at a time.”
Thing is, it doesn’t have to be this way where you raise the white flag and give up on doing the things you love or even the things you’d like to try. And if you’re doing them out of love, does it really even matter that it’s not your day job? You might be able to have it be that way someday, but you can still get the enjoyment from an activity by practicing it in your free time. And it’s easy! Dave can easily get his fix for teaching by speaking at classes. Hannah can satiate her desire for creative chocolates by going to a workshop. Just apply it to your situation.
I think a lot of us have a fear of selling out, but having a job to pay bills and live comfortably isn’t selling out. You’re only selling out if you quit making time for enjoying the things you love. So I encourage you, make a list of all the things you want(ed) to be. If there’s still stuff on there that makes you feel alive, find a way to experience it whether it’s taking a class, reading about it or joining a group. You’ll never be a sell-out so long as you don’t ignore your feelings and keep exploring.