And now that I got your attention with a racier title, let me cool things down by saying I will most definitely not be talking about the kind of summery passions that make your knees soften and the butterflies in your stomach go berserk. Those are great too, just not what I want to discuss here.
I am talking about the passion you get from doing something, the crazy drive that makes you spring from the bed in the mornings, the things you can spend hours discussing and never get bored of. Those are super great, aren’t they?
You don’t need to have life all figured out in order to have found your passion. And your passion could have nothing to do with your occupation, it could be other things that make the hours from 9 to 5 tolerable. It could be a thing you do alone, a thing you do with friends and loved ones, it could something super random (say, bird watching on early summer days), or very conventional (a movie junkie anyone?). Bukowski was right when he said, “Find what you love and let it kill you.” And I am almost sure he was drunk when he said/wrote that.
Some passions are with us for life. Most of us, since our early years have taken a profound interest in certain activity and continue to do it long in our adulthood. It follows us and shapes us, it defines us and brings us to where we are. I, for example, have a thing for books. I nagged the adults around me to teach me how to read, so I knew how to do that 2 years before starting school — simply because the world of books has always been magical. I did not have an easy time in my childhood and sometimes books were the only consolation I had around. They were my best friends, they were familiar and safe. When the world around me was too unbearable, the books opened up doors to another reality. Till this day, I am an avid reader. I just do not understand how with so many interesting things going on, with so much important information around us, some people go through life and their minds remain, as Descartes said “tabula rasa.” Ignorance can be very convenient but quite scary. In the past few months, I read a few books that revealed such important issues and problems I was vaguely familiar with. One had to do with North Korea and the other with he genocide in Rwanda in the 90s. They were both brilliant books and I felt a bit shamed I did not know more about these issues before reading these books. I can only feel intimidated by my ignorance regarding numerous other issues out there.
But, as usual, I’ve digressed. I was talking about passions. So, some people are blessed to have discovered their passions and have made them their occupationss. Not everyone is lucky enough to have the chance to do for a living what they love, and some of us do not even discover where our real talents lie. Some of us have to settle for wherever we have gained some expertise and skills about. And it’s okay not to have it all figured out (especially at certain ages in life). Uncertainty is good, it’s fascinating and full of opportunities, if you keep an open mind, of course. Sure, we can all stay in our comfort zone and masterfully grill and grind on the few things that we know how to do well, or we can strive for constant change and development. Why do people stop learning, stop striving? You don’t have to have it all figured out, but simply at what you do, do it with all that you have, all your focus and energy, so that you are proud of it. People seem to forget that how we do things is who we are and who we are going to become all in one. I do not have respect for the type of job a person has but for they way that they do it. Sweep the streets for all anyone cares, but do it with ease. Do it with passion.