Love

My Last Word on Following Passion

courtesy Joshua Sheldon via Unsplash
Or, “Don’t just do something; sit there!”

Last weekend when I recorded the Love Life Practice Podcast I was able to read the comment that my friend Petrona left rebutting my rebuttal. I actually had to re-record the section, because the first time I read it I kept on interrupting to argue with her points and insist on clarification and jump up and down and occasionally tear at my hair. It was actually kind of funny, and I was amused at myself.

It also made me wonder: why was I so passionate about this? Why did I get so heated up in the discussion? Why did I sit there trying to work out statistical probabilities and Venn diagrams and such when the closest I have ever come to statistics is my Uncle the actuary? Where was this emotional attachment coming from?

I realized: In the argument about whether to follow passion, those like me who follow their passion but aren’t quite as successful as they’d like hear “don’t follow your passion” as “You’re silly, naive, and unrealistic!”. Meanwhile those who are making a living by sacrificing their passion hear “You should follow your passion!” as “You’re stupid, and you’ll be sorry!

Why make someone feel that way? The one thing both sides can agree on is that no one really knows. So why bother trying to persuade anyone els?

So this is the last post on whether or not to follow your passion. There’s no reason for me to tell you to follow yours; I’ll just follow mine.

It did, however, inspire a bit of a poem. This is not my comfort zone; poetry doesn’t normally come out of me. But in this case it came just about fully-formed to mind, so I’ll go ahead and share it.

Follow your passion
or don’t.
It doesn’t really matter.
Your passion follows you.

It knows where you sleep
and whispers to you in the gray pastels
between sleep and wake.

Between now and death
there’s plenty of time
for you to whisper back:
“I wish I had.”

 

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