Passion and I

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Really, passion isn’t something I curated. It’s something I realized from doing what made me happy. I had a relationship with the outdoors stemming from when I was little and as I carried that with me into my future, it began to become a larger and larger part of my life.

From before I was old enough to remember, my mom has an old picture of me in the front yard of our house with a little adventure backpack on. In the bag were things like a bug box, a net, tweezers, and a small array of other miscellaneous items that I carried around with me like my life depended on it. Looking at that picture now, it’s no wonder I am where I am at now in life having built up my adult adventure backpack and partaken in many wonderful and exciting trips throughout the years.

I don’t even remember that backpack but my life has always sided with the outdoors at some point or another and to this day continues to shape who I am. It makes me wonder if a passion is something we discover or something that lays within us that just hasn’t been fully realized.

Looking back in middle school, there were days I’d come home crying to my mom asking her why I was so different and why I liked the outdoors so much when it seemed like no one else cared. Still, there are days when I hate my passion. I hate being consumed by this aspect of my life because it’s something I have very little control over. Now, more often I know it’s because I have a passion and yet have few people to share it with. I have something that gives me fulfillment yet it never truly gives me a community. Precisely because my passion is unique, not many can truly share it with me.

That passion has been a double-edged sword all my life. The strong and direct feelings for the outdoors I have sometimes makes me feel alone and an outcast when I realize how limited I am with sharing that passion. Other times it gives me direction and drive in my life.

Most likely, that is where TheOutLife comes from. That desire to build a community around me that can talk with the same fervent passion of the outdoors as I can drives me to pursue artistic inspiration and media communication skills in the hope that others will join me.

Thus, this passion for searching out a community appears as a passion for my life. Passion is definitely seen as predominantly good but also runs the risk of having negative aspects as well.

My passion is also my voice. It’s why I write the way I do and live the way I see fit. It’s always in the back of my mind as a driver for my actions. Passion lies inherently in all of  us and is a well for why we strive to be more and do more even if it’s hard or difficult.

Here’s a point I found; passion has to get hard before it gets easy. I read recently that “Follow your passion is shitty advice” to which I immediately recoiled.

               “What the heck,” I thought to myself, “what are they trying to say?”

From what I read, follow your passion is shitty advice because many don’t know what their passion is and don’t know how to find it. It becomes bad advice because it assumes everyone has their one thing and only one thing. It assumes that you already have a passion to follow and that not having one makes you lazy or indifferent.

The real first step is, “Do what makes you happy.” THIS is where passion is given the opportunity to thrive.

If you feel happyfrom hiking, explore that energy. What about it makes you happy you think?

If you feel meaning from singing, sing all the time at 100%. What about it makes you feel like smiling?

Instead of follow your passion, look for instead what gives you meaning. Look for the things that put a smile on your face and make you happy and give you an outlet. From engaging in these things, you just might find a passion.

Passion isn’t something you have, passionate is something all humans are. The only thing that changes is zeroing in on the things that make us smile.

Out among the trees and the mountains and the lakes and rivers, I feel home.

And I always break a smile.

You are passionate and creative and revolutionary and strong. Give yourself a chance to grow before wishing yourself to bloom.

In my room, I have a plant known as a Christmas cactus. Every December the flowers flare out from it in a magnificent red and brighten up against the white, snowy world outside.

It’s a constant reminder to me that although our lives sometimes appear to lack illustrious beauty, sometimes we just have to wait for the right time to show it.

Everyone has passion. Instead,  pursue the things that give you meaning, that make you smile, and in the midst of having fun and enjoying life, a passion will develop.

Don’t follow your passion, follow your smile.

That’s where you’ll find meaning.


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