Years ago, I was working in a well-known computer company. We needed a summer intern to handle general stuff like changing the toner in the printer, ordering supplies, making copies, and so on. The young man they hired was a nephew of one of the CEOs. No one expected too much of the kid; after all, he was only a summer intern.
Well, he managed to screw up even the simplest things. Copies of important papers went missing, the printer ran out of ink and he didn’t know that he was supposed to order new cartridges, and really didn’t seem to care one way or the other if he worked there or not. We rolled our eyes, and said among ourselves “nepotism is alive and well!” The kid was basically a joke. When summer ended, he disappeared from our lives, and that was that.
Imagine our surprise when we found out from the now-proud CEO that the kid had joined the Navy and was doing quite well. No one could believe it, especially after seeing him “work.” We just shrugged and thought that his career in the Navy would be short-lived, and went on with our work lives.
By the time I left that company, that “screw-up” kid had not only made a name for himself in the Navy, but had gotten into the Navy Seal program and had graduated at the head of his class! He had found his passion, and he was brilliant at it.
So–what is it like to find a passion that lights you up? It is life-changing, and it can put you in a direction you would never have imagined. For me, writing and reading are life-long passions, and always have been. At this time of my life, helping my dad with my dying mom is my full focus and priority. She may have days or weeks or months; we just don’t know. Right now, this is where I need and want to be.
I no longer work, and am not sure if I ever will hold down a job again–not sure, either, if I want to. I think of time, finally, to perhaps join a book club, or take up the ukulele again, or sing in a group, or go back to making jewelry. I recently achieved my Reiki Master Practitioner level, so would like to contribute my services to those who need it. While part of my world is closing, other parts are opening up.
But back to that elusive, amazing and wonderful thing; passion. How do we find it and how do we keep it blazing inside us? My guess is that we just try out new things. It’s like ordering a meal and seeing that there is a strange purple vegetable on the plate. You’ve never eaten a purple vegetable before, and you don’t know what to expect. But the minute you bravely bite into it, you know immediately if you love it or hate it.
To have passion is to have life, and no matter what the current circumstances are, there is always room for it.