No, I’m not talking soap operas. I feel lost and “wrong” after DazyLady put the question to me about what is my passion. I couldn’t think of one. “Nothing”, was my response. Readers, I never liked that response because even though it always felt “wrong” it was the only right answer with which I was comfortable. I posed the passion question to friends, asking them what they were passionate about and I’ve asked you, my readers, about what you are passionate. Have you found your passion? Did it just occur to you? Did you need help finding it? Sonofabitch I feel like an utter failure. Note: I hate that feeling.
Friends asked me what are things I’m good at and I responded, “That’s just it… I’m good at a lot of things. I’m going to sound smug, but there are very few things I have attempted and not succeeded in doing well.” Yes, I know that sounds smug, but it was the honest answer. Here’s something I’m not good at: knowing what motivates me and therefore is something about which I am passionate. I hated to sound like an ass with my “I’m good at most everything” reply, but… again, it was the honest answer, no vanity or smugness attached.
Oh wait… it just occurred to me that I’m not great at bowling. Unless I’ve had 1.5 beers, then I’m great… until I’ve had 2.0 beers, then my score tanks once again. Or if I’m Wii Bowling…. I rock at Wii bowling. Oh, I digressed.
So, anyway… there I was, wracking my brain, trying to come up with a passion, or at least thinking about things that might, just maybe they might, be a passion. Friends asked me about writing, photography, gardening, sewing…. and they are all things I enjoy, but I couldn’t say that I was passionate about them.
Last night, as I lay in bed, attempting to focus on my newest read, The Power of Unpopular: A Guide to Building Your Brand for the Audience Who Will Love You (and why no one else matters) by Erika Napoletano, though I ripped through a quarter of the book the other night, I could barely muddle my way through three pages, my mind continually wandering off to think about what might be a passion for me.
Is there a map for this sort of thing? I collect maps… I like to look at maps and can spend hours pouring over their details. Hey! I’m passionate about maps! I think. Score one for me! That truly just came to me. How awesome is that?!
Okay, continuing. Focus, Sarah… your topic is Passion and about what you are passionate.
So, drowsy with the heat of my electric blanket, distracted from my book and my mind giving itself a swirly in the toilet that is my mentally being lost… I started to focus on things I enjoy, or like, that I couldn’t say with certainty I am passionate about, but that I genuinely enjoy most of the time.
Cooking and baking. I enjoy cooking and baking. I have an extensive collection of cookbooks. When I was told to eliminate gluten and dairy from my diet, I stood in the dining room, staring at my bookshelf nearly packed to top with cook books and cut-out recipes from newspapers, catalogs and magazines and just about cried. The thought of packing them all up and hauling them to some antique store (I have a lot of old cook books) entered my head and I felt my heart break. I sighed. I felt my lower lip quiver and as my nose began to tingle with the telltale signs of tears which would produce that horrible, blotchy-complexioned, snot-dripping “cry face”, I forced myself to take a deep breath and like Scarlett O’Hara, I murmured, “After all, tomorrow is another day.” Why do today what you can do tomorrow, like… thinking about unpleasant things.
Writing. I enjoy writing. I like writing, most of the time. I don’t wake up in the morning, leap out of bed and say, “Hooray! I get to write today!” I like writing about whatever I want, beholden to no one except for myself. Generally speaking, I like what I write, the process of writing, and even though I write “for myself”, I guess I do write for you my readers. I like reading your comments – they are my validation. They are the ribbon I’m awarded. The feather in my cap.
Photography. I like and enjoy taking photos. I like and enjoy it even more when I take a photo that I think “kicks ass” and is something I’m really proud of, even if it is just peanut shells. I like learning about photography, taking better photos and actually knowing what the hell I’m doing with the camera. Yeah, I like that.
Traveling/Dining Out/Taking Tours. I lumped all of those things together because well, I tend to do them all together. No, I don’t travel around Madison, Wisconsin, taking tours and dining out all in the same day, as a general rule, but I like doing all of those things in my home territory just as much as I do when I’ve traveled abroad. I even enjoy writing about where I’ve gone and writing up reviews that others will find useful.
Homesteading/Self-Sufficiency. I could have separated gardening, raising animals, etc., all into their little categories, but really they can all be lumped into homesteading and self-sufficiency. I really enjoy knowing how to take care of myself, from planting a garden to raising chickens and livestock, to cooking the food I grow/raise. I like knowing how to chop down trees and cut up firewood. I like knowing how to butcher a chicken (or other animal) and cook it for a meal. I want to learn how to raise bees for honey. I want to learn to make soap and cheese. I taught myself how to tan rabbit skins. I like crocheting. I like knowing skills that a lot of people no longer know how to do.
So, there you have it, in the span of just over 48 hours, I’ve come up with those things. I’ve also managed to come up with a few things I don’t like much at all, even though I will tolerate them (sometimes very begrudgingly): being managed, being told what to do, having a “dead line” and being in situations where rules are constantly changing. I guess it’s a good thing that I know those issues really bother me. Of course, at this end of this post, you’ll get a chuckle – perhaps even like I did – at my results of the quiz I talk about next.
Today, I also did a search: careers finding your passion, which lead me to Oprah. I took the little quiz and chuckled at the results. I’ll be doing some more digging, more musing and more pondering over this Passion issue, however, in the meanwhile, please let me know your thoughts on this subject and enjoy the results of my Oprah quiz (you can even let me know what you think about my results):
Striving to Be KnowledgeableYou are an intellectual: As a leader, you’re often ahead of your time. As an employee, you try to surpass the competence level of peers, even managers. Incisive and curious, you’re driven to deeply understand how things work. But that’s things, not people. Oh, your family and friends are important; it’s just that you don’t need to spend hours engaging with them. Social validation isn’t your goal—you’re secure enough in your cerebral pursuits.
What to watch out for: When you can’t find a way to be the expert, you may withdraw or simply withhold information, which can make you seem smug or arrogant. If you feel yourself retreating into your own world, seek a friend’s help to pull you back. Also balance your cerebral tendencies through physical activities like jogging, hiking, or dance.
Looking ahead: You discover who you are meant to be through accumulating insight and knowledge. So follow your curiosity. Are you drawn to learning Mandarin? Joining a philosophy society? Studying and practicing Buddhist meditation? Delving into the complexities of computer programming? Writing a historical book? Pursuits that place you near the leading edge of technology, science, psychology, academia, or business are good bets. But any situation that allows you to work independently with freedom to investigate and innovate will fuel your drive.