The Passion Conversation, Continued

I discovered a few years ago the idea of cultivating a passion instead of finding it. The article on the Minimalists website explaining this idea brought validation to the struggle I felt so strongly in college to find something I was passionate about so I could be like my peers. During one lecture in college the speaker even asked, “What are you willing to lose sleep over?” as an exercise to determine what we get excited – or passionate – about. But the silent answer I came up with was that I’m not willing to lose sleep over anything because sleep is important. It’s important to live a balanced, healthy life.

And so my journey of personal growth developed over the years. I still love sleep every bit as much as I did in college, and I become vexed if I can’t have my sleep. As I have explored in many of my previous posts, I have many interests and many things I love to learn about. However, I only love to explore them if I can do so in a healthy way.

As I’ve grown, I’ve realized I do indeed have passion within my being, just not a traditional, 21st-century type passion. My passion is not for a particular career or cause, but for life itself.


My Blog Anniversary 2020

In January of 2013, I began this blog as a sophomore in college. I was having trouble deciding what to major in, and I began writing as a way to help me figure out what to do, to help me figure out myself.

At first I wrote often – almost every week.  I wrote about things I enjoyed and things I wanted to learn more about. Things that confused me and things I longed for. I changed from declaring an undecided major to a bachelor of science in multimedia production, although I still didn’t know what I wanted to do with that. I chose a broad major in hopes by the time I graduated I would have it figured out, but graduation came and went and I still had no idea.

I continued to write, though less often. Writing was how I processed my thoughts, and in many ways it felt easier to write than it did to speak. I found that in the act of writing down what I’m thinking or struggling with, my process feels more complete. I don’t stumble over my words the way I do when I try to express myself verbally.

At the same time I wanted to maintain a healthy boundary on expressing vulnerability on the internet, so I kept hand-written journals and would save the less private thoughts for publishing online.

Throughout my journey I sought other ways of processing life: therapy, yoga, walking, and connecting with friends. Writing became just one of many tools, a supplement to help me create balance and to live more holistically.

These days I continue to write as a form of self-discipline. I’m still figuring out how to balance privacy without seeming sterile. If I do publish something online it’s usually with minimal details of events and people, and with a greater focus on reflections and emotional process. Countless times I’ve heard the advice “write what you know,” which often doesn’t leave me with much to write about other than myself. And so my journey continues.

Trapped in Education

“I could just run away,” I thought to myself, “yet I’d still feel a need to finish my homework first.” -my brain between classes as I looked out a window to the campus below.

It’s amazing how different it feels walking on a school campus after graduation in comparison to before. I wander the brick pavement, taking my time, while students rush around me to class. I can finally relax because I’m on the outside looking in.

As a student, the stress of never being done gnawed away at my soul. There was always another assignment, always more reading material, always something exhausting my mental energy. There was no relishing in what I learned because I always had more to do. Even times of rest were laden with the knowledge I would have to get back to work soon. There was no clocking out until suddenly everything ended for break.

When people say school prepares you for life, I suppose they are referring to stereotypical 70-hours-per-week jobs. The ones where you wear a suit and stay late out of a need for constant busyness and endless production. I am not envious of them. People say school (college years) are the best years of your life, but I have never been more relieved to not have homework looming over my head.

Too often we trap young people in constant to-do lists that probably prohibit their growth rather than aid it. This can happen in adulthood too, but adults tend to have a little more control over it. I empathize with young people who are still bound by academic responsibilities. And while I am a huge advocate for learning and growing, I am so glad to not be in a formal school setting anymore.

In my limited life experience, I find I much prefer independent adulthood than the stress of student-hood/childhood. Going through high school and college was mentally and emotionally draining, not just because of the endless cognitive workload, but also because of the development that was happening within my own body and brain. Life is still immensely draining now, but I feel much more equipped to handle it now that I don’t have homework to worry about.