I am going to admit something. I don’t know what my passion is. I’m not even sure I have one.
For years, I’ve been trying to figure it out, and I’ve stumbled on a few things which have gotten me closer, I can’t say I’m really there.
All the books, articles, web sites, bathroom stalls and tea leaves on the subject seem to say that it should be obvious what my passion is. I wish. I have, and have always had, multitudes of things which interest me, which have kept me occupied for hours, without noticing the passage of time, or caring that I’ve missed a meal and it’s 3 am. The bad news is, that none of my interests can carry me to that state consistently.
That is to say, one week, I’m completely absorbed in stamp collecting. The next week? It’s not particularly compelling, and I can’t force myself to even look at it.
Sometimes, the compulsion lasts longer. Weeks or even months. I think “Hooray! I finally found it!” Yeah. No.
I keep trying to find something more than an interest. I read more articles. I feel like a freak. How is it everyone knows what their passion is? How can all those competing chefs all say that cooking is their passion? I want to laugh at their confidence and I question their sincerity.
I honestly can’t bring myself to call anything my passion, because it sounds so pretentious. I don’t want to call anything “my passion,” until I know what really fills that roll in my life. And, frankly, I’m dubious that I’ll ever be able to use that label on anything.
I suspect, if I do have a passion, that it’s something fairly abstract. That what I enjoy most is making people laugh, or telling stories, or helping people discover something new. Frankly, that seems anti-climactic, or even somewhat boring. I can’t see people being particularly passionate about something that vague. I mean, it’s not the same as having a passion for medicine, or saving lives, something that is obviously a great and noble contribution to humanity. Compared to that, what I have seems somewhat unambitious and frivolous.
Besides, even if it turns out that these are legitimate and useful things to offer to the world, and not frivolous, I could do all of those things in any number of settings. If my passion is one of those things, it seems obvious that I should pick a job that has a higher incidence of these sorts of things occurring. Why would I choose something so lonely as writing?
I don’t often enjoy writing. Most writers don’t. Like the quote from Parker? Welty? I don’t enjoy writing, but I enjoy having written. On a few rare occasions, there is some fun in sitting down and putting ideas into words, but most of the time, it is a struggle, and it’s hard. I can’t actually refer to that as a passion.
I write because I know how, and because I seem to be pretty good at it. People other than my mother have told me this. Many people other than my mother (who is just the one lady) have told me this.
So, I write. And I hope that something I write inspires you, or helps you in some way, or teaches you something, or puts a smile on your face. If something I write has helped you in someway, I would love to hear about it. It means the world to me. Who knows? It might even be my passion.