I am having some major existential issues in regards to my career. I don't know if there is a true answer to this question, but I'd be grateful to receive any thoughts, experiences, or questions to think about to help determine how to move forward with my life. Thank you.
I work as a software developer at a mid-size (~100 people) company that does custom software projects for large clients. I have been working here since I graduated from university (about 5 years now), and I feel hopelessly unmotivated. After work though, I fill my life with a huge passion for the arts. I study and practice music every day, I immerse myself in art film, I read and write poetry. I am constantly feeling inspired by nature and reality and other artists.
The problem is that, my work is so unmotivating and boring for me that it drains my mental energy for the things that do matter to me. My passion for the arts and life-meaning struggles because of work. I do like coding itself, and I even used to code small projects for myself for fun in the past. But the work I do feels so pointless to me. All these projects are just some iteration of "we need to process and display documents on a screen". I respect that it brings some people great meaning but it doesn't for me. Even though my performance reviews always turn out great, I spend every day procrastinating on the internet until the last hour of the day where I cram everything in as quickly as I can.
I look at other job listings all the time and they all seem like they'd be the same or worse. They all seem to want a "passionate developer" that "thrives in a fast-paced environment". None of the work that is being done feels interesting to me. I can't manufacture passion for these things out of sheer will. I have worked with top contractors that our company hired so I have met some of these 'passionate developers' and that is just simply not who I am. My passions lie elsewhere.
I am not sure what to do because the rent is extremely high where I live (Toronto area) so it seems too risky to try to start my own business in something that I care about. I wouldn't even know where to begin anyway. There is no other field that I feel like I could switch to. I need to stay within driving distance to the few people I have in my life to keep myself from feeling totally depressed so I don't think moving away is a problem. This current job pays well and it's reviewed quite well on those workplace review sites. I feel trapped here.
If anyone has any thoughts to share, I would really appreciate it. Especially some validation if there is anyone else that has felt similarly and figured something out through it. Thank you.