Finding Your Passion
Growing up, I was the only kid in town who never faked an illness in order to skip school. Not because I actually enjoyed school, but because sick days meant being propped on the couch like a taxidermist’s latest victim and forced to spend “quality time” with my Mom. This quality time was also spent with Donahue and Sally Jessy Raphael, watching them deal with issues that were about as interesting to a 6 year-old as a creative writing class is to an Engineer.
Every so often an episode would grab my attention (the conjoined twins who were trying to poison each other was quite riveting), but more often than not, it featured some “self-help” guru proclaiming he had discovered the secret to happiness. Although each had his own approach and the “cheese” factor varied depending on the host, generally every episode ended with the same redundant message; In order to obtain true self-fulfillment and lifelong happiness, you must find out what you are passionate about and do everything in your power to follow your passion.…or something like that, I was only six at the time so my memory is a little foggy.
During my first 12 years on earth, my passion consisted of chocolate bars, bacon sandwiches and anything Earl and Edna Graham would give me from their ice-cream freezer when I happened to be in the neighborhood. Since our house was two-doors down, I happened to be in the neighborhood every day, which resulted in both my non-existent social life and my colossal fear of spandex (wearing it drew attention to the fact that I bore an uncanny resemblance to a stuffed bratwurst with limbs).
It wasn’t until 20 years and countless Weight Watchers meetings later that I stumbled upon what would soon become my true passion. Spanish…the Universal language of love. Or in my commitment-phobic world, the language of “I like you enough to make plans for next weekend”.
It wasn’t easy discovering my passion, and now I feel it is my duty to help others uncover theirs. Therefore, I have come up with a few simple rules to follow:
1) Don’t declare your passion after pounding back a bottle of Jack Daniels at your work Christmas Party…you will end up regretting it the next morning and be forced to tell your co-workers you decided against selling all earthy possessions to live off the land.
2) Do not follow more than one passion at a time. Becoming an environmentalist and a drag car racer can turn out to be a conflict of interest. And last but not least;
3) Don’t feel forced to choose a passion you aren’t really passionate about. Nobody likes a passion phony.
If you follow these simple guidelines, one day you too could end up on Sally’s show proclaiming; In order to obtain true self-fulfillment and lifelong happiness, you must find out what you are passionate about and do everything in your power to follow your passion…or something like that.