What I have come to realize lately is that, along the way of life, you will encounter people who will attempt to place you into a specific category. They'll want to package you up and clearly label you like a neatly wrapped Christmas gift that obediently sits under the tree. For these people, it will be too difficult to fathom that you are multifaceted – that you are not someone who neatly fits into one box.
I’ve been told that I can’t truly be a writer if I pay the bills as a pharmacist. I’ve read that my energies put towards being a healthcare provider are taking away from my creative growth. To this I say: I wholeheartedly disagree. While I respect that many creative people may not want or need another area of work, I question why some of these same individuals buck so wildly against those who choose to create their lives a little differently.
While it’s understandable that focus, tenacity, and intensity are vital elements of success, it is an underestimation to assume that someone cannot achieve their goals in multiple areas of life. Realizing this, why do so many demand that each of us choose a single occupational narrative and stick to it?
The concepts of purpose, passion, and happiness are deeply rooted in personal soil. Understanding this is essential to respecting yourself and others. I’m not the only one who thinks this way; in fact, go give Big Magic another read, and you will find that successful authors such as Elizabeth Gilbert deeply appreciate the need to be a writer without forcing your craft to put food on the table. For many, this actually allows for more room for creative growth and for motivation to come from a purer place.
The concept is as simple as this: be confident in your own choices, respect that others will choose to do things in their own way, and throw out the damn boxes.