How many times have you heard ‘Follow Your Passion’?
And, how many times have you thought, even felt, like somehow, you’re ‘Passion’ must be hiding behind that big stack of unpaid bills?
How many times have you been advised to ‘Find what you’re passionate about and do THAT’?
How many times have you wondered if something must be wrong with you because you’re either not very complex or you suck at hide-n-seek?
How many times have you heard that if you ‘do’ what you’re passionate about you’ll never work a day in your life?
How many times does a day’s work resemble unicorns farting rainbows?
So let’s be honest, you and me, between friends and all, let’s be speakers of truth.
Let’s look each other in the eye, take a deep drink of wine, and say, ‘Me too and we’re awesome still.’
When I was young I played piano- playing a piano became my passion.
And I was HAPPY.
Now, you can’t play an instrument and not SING with it, so I SUNG. Loudly. Every damn day. And I was HAPPY.
Then I started writing my own music, and some of my stuff was pretty good- I had the wife of a Entertainment producer tell her husband about me- THAT good.
My mother begged me to Follow My Passion.
And I declined.
‘Why?’, you might ask.
Because I was HAPPY, because I suspected that once this ‘thing’ I WAS passionate about became something people expected from me- the expectation would ruin it- the Passion. The Happy.
So I ‘did’ other things, other jobs, had other responsibilities, made differences in other ways WITHOUT BEING PASSIONATE about them.
And, ‘ya know what? It’s been good. Even great– this life of mine.
You don’t need passion to participate in a meaningful occupation, to do a good job, to become accomplished, to be heard because most of us don’t even know what our ‘Passions’ are, let alone how to finesse them into a career, and if you do know what your ‘Passions’ are, there’s no shame in just experiencing them quietly, with loved ones, by yourself, for the JOY, for the …HAPPY.
All of those ‘people’ that espouse these little ditties aren’t passionate about you, or your passion. They are usually standing in front of a choir, selling a book, or receiving an award.
It’s just so easy for them to inspire you. You feel empty. You feel left out. You are ripe for the pickings.
And then you go home and try to identify your passions. But the kids are crying and you need to get dinner on the table, and your husband needs his med’s, and your boyfriend hasn’t called, and your father’s insurance won’t cover his treatment, and you don’t know…
What your passion is.
Because LIFE is getting in the way.
Except it’s not
Because living Life IS the great Passion, and you’re a big part of IT, and IT may not always say ‘thank you’, and IT may sometimes walk right past you, and IT doesn’t buy you a house, and IT let’s you get old, but IT’s the story. The big reveal.
YOU are the Passion. And you are an awesome creature in all of your ordinariness, and invisibility, and seemingly mundane vanilla existence.
Because without all of us, in every form, suffering every malady, and creating joy from dust, there would be nothing to live for.
It takes a hero to get up every damn day and go out again.
And life is made-up of unsung heros- thank God.
So consider giving yourself a break, apologizing to your own soul, kissing your own face, painting masterpieces on the weekends, creating an environment that provides for the next generation, rounding-up stray animals, being in love, being upset, being forlorn, planning a funeral, having a baby, being properly diagnosed, clean sheets, cold milk, hot showers, and receiving a smile from a stranger– all a part of your Passion…
And you just might find yourself HAPPY.
At least enough of the time.