During my freshman year of college, I had a roommate who built her school schedule around the schedule of the soap opera called “Passions”.
Without fail she was home everyday just in time to turn on the tube, sit down with her bowl of Ramen and glue her eyes to the tele. Don’t even think about starting up a conversation, asking a question or blocking her view! Bad idea!
Although I felt her priority was a little skewed, I still felt her commitment to something she loved so much was admirable. And though her grades probably suffered, she was connected to this show on a level that I have never understood…until now.
My friend had an obsession with Passions.
And now, ten years later, I finally see her wisdom. Not in the failing of classes, but in the finding of something you love and doing it. We call that a passion. You know those questions?
What is your passion? What moves you? What do you love? What lights you up?
I have dabbled in many things in my short life: writing, swimming, animals, languages, books and reading, mountain biking, ballet, children, teaching, massage, pregnancy, motherhood, nutrition, and art among other things. And it has taken a long time for me to finally find my way into my passions.
I think I can safely say that my passions at this point in my life are all things pregnancy, birth and motherhood. Of course it took me actually becoming a mother to find the joy and enthusiasm in Mothering. My love for this has helped sculpt me into a sort of a Sherpa for those in my circle who are going down the path into parenthood.
But this is not about my passion- just that I have one and I am confident in identifying it. I am also continually exploring and finding new things to be interested in and perhaps become well-read on. What else is this time on Earth for if we are not learning and soaking up all that we can? How boring to not?!
I realize however, that not everyone has had that “coming to Jesus” with discovering what moves them. I read a blog post today where this was just the case. It took this woman 57 years to find that writing was her passion. Fifty-seven years. Can you imagine living almost an entire lifetime without that? My heart is happy that this woman finally did realize her passion.
But I have questions.
How do you find it? I guess some people just happen upon a passion. Others actively seek. And I think the people who don’t ever find anything they love is because they have not fully realized who they are. How can you possibly find a match to this puzzle if you are unsure of your own shape?
How to find “you”: self exploration through: discipline, taking risks, doing hard things, being alone, thinking, writing, following a curious thought, working, talking to people, listening and watching the world around you, taking time to be quiet, being brave enough to be loud, allowing yourself to feel awkward and just be in that feeling- questioning why you feel the way you do, be open to change. Change. Grow. Feel. Decide. Stand Up. Love.
There is an interesting ebb and flow of life. There are time when I feel like this:
closed. small. quiet. unwilling. push away. yin. safe. nostalgia.
And I guess that is okay too. But I think there is danger in nostalgia. “What if’s” sneak in. “If only’s” whisper temptingly. Regrets show their face. Unreal memories are created. And then all of a sudden the now doesn’t look so great. Then the cycle starts again: closed. small. quiet. unwilling. push away. yin. safe. nostalgia.
So. Passions. Those are things that help drive me forward. They beg the question, “What next?!” For example. My interest in Birth began with Massage. Let me take you through the process, if I may.
Hmm, massage seems to be pulling at me. Enroll in school. Dabble in 10+ different modalities. Intro to Prenatal massage class piques my interest. Take it. Love it. Take it beyond. Buy specific pregnancy massage supplies. Incorporate what I know in my own pregnant life. Love it. Read more. Graduate massage school. Get license. Begin practice. Invest in extensive certification course for Prenatal Massage. Practice prenatal massage. Love it. Feel fulfilled. Read more and more and more. Have two babies. Love it. Get involved in network of other mama’s just like me. Gather info on becoming a Doula. Work with/for Midwife. Love it. Read more. Do more. Talk more. Read more. Listen more. Watch my midwife. Notice that world. Flirt with the idea of Birth Assisting. Love it. Feel excited about it. Read more…realize the can of worms that has been opened. Breathe.
“What is next?”
Do you see how easy it is to be taken away in something you love? One thing leads to another and without fail, you are bound to find something at the end of some line that will define who you are. In fact, it is not that one thing that will define you, but your entire journey that has shaped you.
Each of us has something. What is your passion? What moves you? What are you so committed to that the clarity is unmistakeable? People who have that drive and direction are easy to spot. They have a glow about them. If you don’t feel like you have that, I encourage you to start asking the hard questions and get to know yourself.
What is your passion?