There are a lot of avenues in life where people are told that being emotional is a no-go. Men are taught from a young age to refrain from feeling and react to the world through getting angry. Women are taught that, while it is expected of them to be emotional, a proper lady knows what emotion to convey and when that emotion should be put forward. There are implications that soldiers in the military need to compartmentalize to survive in that environment. Being professional in general is closely associated with maintaining a certain stoicism; apparently personal strife isn’t conducive to a proper work environment.
There is a positive stipulation to the dreary world projected above — passion. I’d never thought to look up the definition of passion before; I’ve always just stood by the idea that passion is something beloved beyond hobbies. Passion is defined as being something so enjoyed that it yields barely-controllable emotions. By definition, passion doesn’t fit in with the societal expectations placed upon humans; perhaps that has something to do with why passion always entails something people love. I bet the first paragraph concerned some of you: you probably thought that this was going to be a morbid letter. Take solace in knowing that I try to let my optimism shine through these things.
At age 12, I first found an interest in stories. This interest spanned a lot of facets of my life: reading books, watching television, the compulsive lies children are wont to tell, playing video games and even the occasional coercion into a church on Sunday bled into my love of stories. It wasn’t long thereafter that I took up the pen and began to craft my own stories. Writing is something that drives me and makes life a more hospitable experience. To me, those are the contributing factors to a passion.
I’m aware that passion is a bit of a sensitive subject for some; it’s not uncommon to meet people who don’t buy into the concept of its existence. Passion isn’t the Easter Bunny though — it surely does exist. I think what trips a lot of people up is this misunderstood belief that passion has to come from an early age, and there is a lot of evidence to favor that concept. Many people that are masters of their respective crafts tend to mention that they’ve been honing them since they were children. Technically, I just lended to that argument myself in the previous paragraph. There is another side to this concept though and it starts with an anecdote.
October has been an interesting month for me because a lot of my personal ventures have been coinciding. My archaeology class has been providing a lot of insight that has related to my geology class, and led to an overall interest in geology as a whole. The new interest in geology couples well with my interest in hiking. Those two interests also lend themselves to a new interest I’ve developed in indoor rock climbing. All of these small interests, that would be hobbies if they were alone, come together to a new passion I’ve discovered — outdoor recreation. Sure, I always enjoyed a hike or two, but all of these interests convinced me that I have a love for doing exhilarating things outside. Now I’m wondering if I would enjoy kayaking or bouldering even.
This seems irrelevant, I’m sure, but hear me out. I thought I only had one passion, and that would be the sum of my existence, but this is not the case. You will find many passions in life, you will find them in different stages of your life and they’ll hardly ever come to you already put together. It’s far more likely that your passion will begin as an interest or hobby, and these seemingly-irrelevant pieces will slowly come together to form something greater than the sum of their parts. If you don’t have a passion, don’t worry, these things aren’t measured by a set standard of time; consider what your interests are instead. After all, maybe you do have a passion, you just haven’t put it all together yet.
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