Everyone seems to have their so-called thing, their niche, their specialty. You find your friends from High School far up on the career ladder, whereas you still struggle with answering the question everyone asks you: “what are you interested in pursuing?”

Because you had a confusing childhood, you felt the need to live up to the different cultural standards in order to feel integrated; and that you did.  You became a pleaser by default and fell into the “good girl” complex:  you were polite, quiet, and followed instructions. In addition to these expectations you had to live up to values at home such as prioritizing family before anything and displaying a catholic front.

How does all this tie into the story of not finding your passion?  It’s simply because you feel trapped. Trapped by these constant expectations and pressures, by needing to live up to multiple personas, by feeling the need to satisfy everyone. As a result, you end up not paying attention to your honest feelings and opinions. You find yourself always trying to find the right answers, the right behavior, and the right opinions, that aren’t necessarily yours.

Maybe this explained why you haven’t found your theme; that drive in life people call a “passion.” All these expectations of being this “good girl” have hindered your ability to find what this drive of yours is exactly.

Instead of separating your identities, you should embrace them. You have numerous qualities and you have the ability to use them to your advantage. Your friends say so, your parents, relatives, peers, and even your advisor say so. You should listen to them. More importantly, you should be true to yourself.  Shed off those layers of expectations and get to know who you really are. I know you feel you have more important things to do than address your feelings. You should get to know your emotions even though that may sound so unnecessary to you.

Most importantly, remember that this drive that people call “passion” is really not something people are born with. Passion flourishes as you go along your own thorny path. You know that you love languages, cultures, travel, and adventure. You are compassionate, educated, and driven. You just want to be around people who inspire you and care about what you care about. And even though you have a hard time admitting this, I’m writing this down to remind you that you are good enough.