People who have followed their passions will know that it’s naive to advise someone to actually follow their passion. Yes, it is as fun and exciting as it sounds — and most of us actually would not give it up for anything — but there are the dull, tired sides to it. It transforms what you love into a job, and that brings in a monetary, capitalist aspect to something that was supposed to bring you joy.
It brings on an impending sense of doom when you start worrying about what happens when you’re in a creative slump: how do you work, then? Or, what if you don’t want to stick to just one thing, and want the luxury of exploring different avenues? What do you do when everyone around you finally believes in your dreams, but you’re losing sight of them?
Unsurprisingly, this is a theme that quite a few artists have explored. One example would be Epik High‘s “Rain Again Tomorrow”.
I know it’s my fate to disappear.
After emptying myself to fill up others,
It only becomes harder to accept.
Because there are so many dreams I’m chasing,
I only fall asleep towards dawn.
Because I only become free once my eyes are closed.
Against a backing of steady, pulsing percussions, Epik High rap about feeling restricted by their many dreams, ironically. There are many things they want to do, but they also have to cater to what people want from them. In “Rain Again Tomorrow”, their passion for making music comes at the cost of having less time to chase other dreams. The track brings forth an overlooked idea of how chasing your passion requires you to focus on one thing you’re good at. Consequently, this causes you to forgo on other activities that might excite you.
Lee Hi‘s “Breathe”, conversely, comforts listeners by letting them know it’s okay to take a break. The soothing ballad with its melodic piano instrumental features lyrics written by Shinee‘s Jonghyun. It’s a simple but poignant track that reminds its listeners that we are all struggling and that we should take the time to really breathe now and then.
It’s alright if you run out of breath.
No one will blame you.
It’s okay to make mistakes sometimes,
Because anyone can do so.
It’s not a song that directly talks about passion or hobbies per se, but it does deliver a message need to be reminded of. When we’ve committed ourselves to making our passion our job, it can lead to feelings of guilt when we get tired or feel like we need a break. But there’s no harm in that. We’re all humans who need to hit the pause button sometimes.
On the other hand, BTS‘ “Black Swan” delves into the fear of losing the drive for your work that you have dedicated yourself to.
My heart doesn’t beat anymore when I hear the music.
Tryna pull up.
It’s like time has stopped.
Oh that would be my first death.
I been always afraid of:
If this doesn’t resonate with me anymore,
Doesn’t send my heart quivering anymore,
This is how I’d die for the first time, probably.
But what if that moment’s right now?
With orchestral and trap versions of the track, “Black Swan” is a melancholic song that portrays the fear of losing pure passion for the thing that drives, inspires, and heals them. As opposed to the aforementioned track, “Black Swan” is more similar to “Rain Again Tomorrow” in that its lyrics are laden with anxiety and doubt about their future.
All that being said, I don’t think it’s immature to say that one should do what they love. Instead, we need to be more accepting of ourselves and our limits and understand that it’s alright to take a break from activities we are supposed to love unconditionally. Rather than feeling shame or guilt about doing so, it should be a period of time that is welcome. If it feels as though something is enjoyable and fun — other than our passion — don’t let it eat you up inside.