What are your passions?
It's a common question this, what are you passionate about? Its a 'good' question, not like where do you work, where do you live, how much did your car cost blah blah blah. It's about you as a person, what drives you, the point of your life.
And I fucking hate it.
So much pressure! If words carried weight, you wouldn't be able to lift passion off the ground. For something meant to lift you up, the word itself is HEAVY.
There's so much baggage that comes with the word passion. That you need one, that you should have found it by now. That you should be living it Every. Single. Day. And your life is pointless if you're not.
I don't know what I'm passionate about.
It seems nothing I do comes close to the passion ballerinas have for dance, or mathematicians have for equations.
I know the same word can have different applications, different meanings in different contexts, different levels of degrees. I know this, but I just can't seem to shake the feeling nothing in my life comes close to fulfilling the requirements for the word passion.
So.. what's the alternative apart from living an empty passionless life you ask?
The answer is to listen to the whispers. Stop waiting for a thunderclap of passion because it's unlikely (possible but unlikely) to happen that way. Instead, listen for the tiny perk of interests.
*btw I stole this from Elizabeth Gilbert, I don't think she would mind though, she seems pretty chill. Also, I think someone else gave her the idea*.
If we focus on small interests and curiosity we have a better chance at being real with ourselves.
Curiosity is quiet where passion is loud, curiosity fits in with your life while passion demands attention. There is so much less pressure, fewer expectations.
What are you curious about? What do you want to know more about? What things do you wonder about? What draws your interest? What are some recurring hobbies in your life, themes that keep showing up? And what completely new things catch your eye?
As someone who has wrestled with depression for over ten years, passion has been more of the foe than a fire inside. Elusive and mocking, making me feel like a failure. It's difficult to say you're passionate about anything when just getting out of bed seems too much for the day. Passion has seemed like something for other people. Better people.
But curiosity and interest..... I have those (most days). I'm interested in dance, in writing, in slam poetry and yoga. I'm curious about how the brain works and how to be a good mother. I'm interested in watercolour painting and typography. I'm drawn to things that involve moving your body, like tai chi, sign language and Just Dance*.
For some people, interest and curiosity grow into a passion. Elizabeth Gilbert's curiosity about the flowers in her garden grew into her new book.
For others, myself included, we may never have a burning all-encompassing passion. And I think that's alright. I think we'll be alright.
What are some things you're curious about, interested in, drawn to? Let me know in the comments or shoot me an email. We're in the mess together.
*My recurring disclaimer because I'm scared of pissing people off - If the word passion clicks with you then own it. If you're reading this going "BUT STAK...all those things ARE passions", then yes, you are right. This is more about the connotations the word carries and the feelings they can bring about. If you love the word passion more power to you!!