Come on baby, light my fire

Anyone who knows me knows my first true love was ballet. I studied and trained pre-professionally for 10 years, and then I tried other sports and hobbies thereafter, but nothing could ever seem to fill that void. Not too long ago I took a rec center ballet class with my mom which brought me back but reaffirmed my ballet days are over. I knew that already so for the past 10 years, I have been looking for a combination of things that could add up to the sum of what ballet was for me. What was ballet to me? I think this little anecdote sums its up perfectly…

Recently, I went back to my middle school to find my 8th grade tile. As part of our art class, every 8th grader got to paint a tile to be mounted to the hallway walls above the lockers…12 years later and the tradition is still going strong. You could essentially paint whatever you wanted on the tile, the only guideline was it is supposed to represent you. I remember exactly what it looked like, but even more, I remember how much time and thought I put into what should go on the tile. Ballet was my #passion…my identity…my life. That was the only thing I could think of that summed up who I was. While the other kids painted a collage of things that made up their life as a typical 8th grader, my tile consisted of one thing…a dancer’s pointe shoes. Going back and finding my tile made me realize it was more than just an 8th grade art project, but it was a snapshot of who I was and a reflection of my #passion at that particular point in my life.

#Passions change as do we. Some are more obvious than others. And some aren’t discovered until later in life. But the crazy thing is that all #passions come from within, so that means we carry them with us wherever we go sometimes without realizing it either because we don’t always put ourselves in a position to bring them out or sometimes we don’t even know they are there in the first place. Finding your #passion(s) is hard. And most of the time it’s thought of as being one in the same with your #career. If it is, then more power to you, but for the rest of us, we have to do some soul searching. If I’m being completely honest…I’m still searching. If you’re like me and you don’t feel like you’ve hit that sweet spot yet, looks like we have some work to do.

Easily I could say my one #passion was ballet and that ship has sailed, but I refuse to accept that. Instead, I’ve come to view my decision to stop ballet as a way of being true to myself. The fire in me was burning out and I was running on fumes…not what you think of when describing your #passion. But that #passion was associated with a particular time in my life and being honest with myself has given me back the time and energy to find my new and undiscovered #passions that have always been a part of me, just never tapped into. Just the thought of finding something like what ballet was for me 10 years ago sparks my fire and gets me excited about uncovering my #passion that serves me today. When I think about what I like to do in my free time, a few random things jump out at me like reading, cooking, traveling, exploring my city, trying new restaurants (specifically brunching) and being outdoors. But just because these are things I like to do in my free time, does that make them my #passion?

I’ll let you in on a little secret about these posts…particularly this one. Each time I begin working on a post, I never know what I am going to write. Sure, I have some general bulleted ideas in my Notes app on my phone that I jotted down the previous week after a thought came to me in the shower, but I never know how my thoughts will come out when pen hits the paper, or in this case when fingers hit the keyboard. Another thing too, is I typically write a single post in multiple sittings. It sometimes takes a day or two for my scattered thoughts to be strung together in a somewhat cohesive and logical way. I guess you could say it’s all part of my “creative process”. But if I’m being entirely honest, I was a bit naive with this post and thought my #passions would become obvious to me as I sat down to write this post and the thoughts would just start flowing. That’s when I realized maybe I have to take a step back before I call something my #passion because that is not something you can fake.

Because I’ve come to realize that I don’t know EXACTLY what my #passions are today, I’ve decided I want to begin to channel my spare time towards the first interest listed above…reading. I  love reading, but I don’t make time for it like I should so I am notorious for almost, but never actually, finishing a book. But for me, this is how you continue to feed the brain when you are out of school, and the best part is, you can actually choose what you want to read about. Most importantly, it helps keep my mind open by exposing me to new ideas and perspectives. For the record, I only read non-fiction books as a personal preference because these are what I feel I can gain something from and ultimately enjoy the most. I never walk away from a book believing or agreeing with 100% of what the author had to say, but I believe if I learned something new or took something away from it, then it was worthwhile.

Currently I am reading Fire Starter Sessions: A Soulful and Practical Guide to Creating Success on Your Own Terms. The book consists of 16 sessions, or chapters, claiming to ask you those burning questions that get to the core of your truest desires and push you to rethink your assumptions about what makes you happy. I’m only three sessions in and I’ve already had one epiphany that I’ve begun to act on and I’m hopeful that and the remaining thirteen sessions will bring me one step closer to lighting my fire…

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