I posted this article on a different blog a few months ago- A conglomerate blog entitled "The Writers March." To my great pleasure It was well received, but some wonderful feedback and self-reflection has inspired to make some edits. Writing is always a work in progress.
Part of humanity is comparing ourselves to the others around us. It keeps us uncomfortably self-aware. We look at a reflection of ourselves and say one of three things, 1) I’m happy where I am 2) I can live with this & 3) Who have I become?!?
There has always been one aspect of my life where I would respond with the latter. I have always felt a little absent in one aspect of life- passion. Passion for one thing that drives me or inspires.
I never felt a consuming love of any one thing- I have no hobby that consumes my energy, thoughts, and time. I look around at friends, family, and historical figures and see people that are filled with both a healthy and unhealthy fascination for one thing. Maybe I am romanticizing this almost obsessive behavior- but it seems incredibly fulfilling.
My brother has spent his life eating, breathing, and sleeping baseball- now he’s a college ball player. I was always so jealous of his commitment to baseball. I was going to t-ball games and now I’m at college games surrounded with boys just like him that worked hard to maintain their grades and bodies in order to fulfill their desires to simply play baseball. These events are absolutely thrilling, but not because I love them, but because they, the players, do. I enjoy baseball, but I'd prefer to read a book. It is the energy which thrills me and not necessarily the activity itself.
In addition to my brother, one of my dearest friends is an artist: she paints, sketches, spins pottery, and is a photographer. She is now graduated with a degree in Art and is a professional photographer. She fulfilled her dream and literally creates art every day.
My choice historical figure who embodies passion and commitment is 1st Lady, Dolly Madison. Mrs. Madison ran back into an enflamed White House in front of quivering soldiers to save treasured paintings, risking her body to conserve pieces of American history.
But back to my own perceived lack of such feelings. I always felt that I would find my passion- so I explored different hobbies. I am not an artistic woman- I can’t sew, knit, crochet, or create anything really. As much as I want to be a writer, I lack the creative imagination (at least for now). I am far from athletic; I can barely walk in a straight line for any length of time.
I was discussing this with a friend and she laughed at me, responding, “You have a hobby! It is just less expressive than others- you read.” She’s right, but I struggled for some time with this realization. I wanted a “better” passion, something that could make itself known to everyone around me, something animated and obvious.
If we truly “can’t choose who we love” I think it’s safe to assert that you can’t choose what you love. At last, I feel like I am no longer missing out on a pivotal aspect of life. I have what I love, and it is one thing, reading.
Upon further reflection, I see where this dilemma has shown itself before. I return to my struggle with my Major in college- English Literature. Now I have a response to the question, "How did you choose your major?" and I respond with a little laugh, saying, “I didn’t choose my Major, it chose me.”