What are you passionate about?

pas·sion·ate [pash-uh-nit]
having, compelled by, or ruled by intense emotion or strong feeling; fervid

I feel like this is one area in my life that I am lacking. I look at the people around me and I see that they have something that they are passionate about, something that fuels them forward and encourages them to set goals and take the steps necessary to achieve them.

My little sister Nikki just ran her first half marathon today. My best friend just ran her second 5k. My father-in-law ran two marathons last year. They plan to run more. Nikki is going to do 13 races in 2013. Sandi is working up to 10ks and eventually a half. Inspired? Yes. Impressed? Absolutely. Passionate about running? No. I wish I was. I’m still trying to learn to run consistently and to really enjoy the process and not just the way I feel afterward.

My friend Kelsey is passionate about eating Real/Whole Foods. She experiments with trying new foods. She learns new ways to make everyday items that don’t include chemicals and other nasty things. She just finished her doula certification and is constantly researching new ideas and healthier ways to live. Inspired? Yes. Impressed? Absolutely. Do I think she’s crazy? Maybe a little 😉 But as much as I try to eat healthier, it’s not something I can fall into whole heartedly.

My friends Sandi and Chris are passionate about music, especially live music. They probably went to more concerts last year than I have been to in my entire life. They’ve invested significant money into this “hobby.” They have formed friendships with bands and tour managers. They have traveled far and near to see their favorite bands. Do I enjoy concerts? Yes. Do I enjoy listening to music all day, including in the shower or when making dinner? Yes. But is it something I have really invested in? No.

I could go on and on about things that people I know really have a passion for. Wildlife conservation. Saving the environment. Rock/ice climbing. Crossfit. Cooking. Traveling. Politics. Quilting. A sport. Guns. Playing an instrument. Snowboarding/skiing/surfing. Swimming. Baking.

When I look at my life, I feel like I don’t have that one thing that defines me. Sure, I’ve got a lot of interests, but I find that I am too lazy to really pursue them.

I want to be a better runner. I do well for a short time but then something sidelines me and I fall into excuses and off the wagon. Some were legitimate (having stitches in my leg) but I milked them for far too long.

I enjoy taking photos. I have a gorgeous new camera. But I am falling behind in learning how to use it properly. I feel like this is what I could really love and yet I don’t take the time to pursue it enough. Sure, I’ve got excuses. Oh, it’s too cold to go outside and take pictures. Oh, I don’t want to completely annoy my husband by taking ridiculous amounts of pictures of him. I worked all day, I’m too tired. I’ll do it tomorrow.

Why do I have such a hard time really pursuing things?

Fear of failure. I don’t like not being good at things. So I don’t try new things. In my early years, doing well in school was the most important thing I could accomplish. And it came naturally to me. In my entire schooling career, I barely studied. I didn’t have to. When they said at graduation that we had “passed the rigorous requirements for graduation” I literally laughed. And I took honors classes, mind you. I loved school because I was good at it.

So, for the year 2013, my goal is two-fold:

1. Really pursue my interests: take a class or do the research necessary to learn to be good at the things I want to do. Practice. Really spend time trying to be better. No excuses.

2. Try new things: Who knows, I could be good at them and enjoy them. I’m not sure what yet, but something.

I’ve been an academic overachiever my whole life. It’s time to carry that over into other areas of life.

3 thoughts on “Passion

  1. It’s interesting because sometimes our passion finds us during the little things in life. Who knew my love for my husband and my dislike for marriage being looked down upon by so many (or thought to be a burden rather than a delight) would develop a passion in me that rivaled every passion I’d had in the past. It’s been interesting to watch it grow. But to your point, I had to be faithful and diligent to keep that passion alive and pursue the things that are in line with it rather than jumping on to the next thing. Kudos to you for making this decision (I prefer that to the word “goals” or “resolutions” because those are so easily changed or forgotten) and I look forward to reading about it :).

  2. Thanks, Fawn! I’m lucky that I have a really supportive husband who will help me to accomplish whatever I set my mind to do. He did, after all, buy me the aforementioned gorgeous camera! 🙂

  3. Thanks Sis 🙂 I find that the longer I run the more clarity I find. Sure, I make excuses too (especially with how cold it’s been outside), but I am kind of in the same boat as you. I don’t feel like I do anything particularly well or that I have a real passion for anything. At least when I run I get some time alone, it’s good for me and I feel good once I am done. You’ll find something and you will be amazing at it!

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