“Passion will make you crazy, but is there any other way to live?” –Howard Hughes

School again, school again, jiggety jog. Well. Semester #2 of college. I’m not really feeling it yet, but I’m sure that I will by Friday, when I’m facing a huge stack of reading assignments. This semester will probably be a little tougher than last semester, because I’m taking 18 full hours, rather than 15 full and 2 extra. It will be especially challenging because I’m taking both economics and math. Ah, math. Having gone sixth months without it, I’m nervous about my recall, but because I’m taking Pre-Cal, the last math I took in high school, I’m hoping I’ll be able to pull through. Economics…hmm…it could go either way. My main thing is to stay on track with all of my subjects and not focus too much or too little on one or the other.

Balance. I’m working on balance. Not just in school, but in life. Balance. Nothing in excess, everything in moderation. Not that I’ve suddenly become a “try anything once” kind of gal. But I’m always trying to constantly expand my horizons. I guess it’s just how I was raised. I remember when I was little and dad would take us hiking or we would be on vacation or something that Sibling-Creature or I would ask “Are we going to have an adventure today?” I’ve always been one for adventure. Not Darwin Award-worthy adventure or super-adrenaline rush, but I’ll travel to different places, and try new foods or clothing or go Alpine sliding. I won’t do potentially dangerous things, simply because I value my life too much. It’s funny-on a FB survey that I did, I asked the question of my friends “Would I ever go skydiving?” It was hilarious to me, because Strawberry Shortcake hit the nail on the head when she responded, “I’m not sure if you would go willingly, but I would totally drag you along.” For the record, I am 98% certain that I will NEVER go skydiving. Afraid of heights, of jumping out of an airplane…whatever. I’m sure it’s amazing, but I’m pretty sure a person can get a similar adrenaline rush from something else, like climbing a mountain, or going white-water rafting.

Which brings me to my thought of the day: Passion. I’ve spent some time on planes in the last couple weeks and I’ve been thinking about pilots. Every pilot or astronaut I’ve ever talked with or read about or seen in a movie or on TV has always seemed to want to fly since they were a little kid. That is their single point of motivation. I mean, come on. If you ask a group of people what superpower they would want, I bet at least four of them would want to fly. (I personally, would want to have healing powers or be able to calm emotions or read minds or something like that. I can’t decide.) A couple of years ago, I thought about signing up for flying lessons, but more as a crazy cool idea than from an actual desire to learn how to fly. I don’t really have the desire to “go boldly where no man has gone before”. I like flying and I can certainly understand the appeal. It’s exciting to feel the earth drop away and look at the landscape with the feeling of having never been on the ground before, but at the same time, I’m perfectly happy to have others fly me.

When I was thinking about this on the plane, I suddenly had the feeling that I had never had a real passion. Metaphorically speaking, I had never wanted to fly. For about three years, I did have a burning desire to become a paleontologist. I’m not really sure why-I think it had something to do with finding ancient skeletons and putting them back together in order to create a vision of the past. The research part also intrigued me, as did the digging. I don’t really mind dirt. I waffled between paleontology and archaeology, because both involve many of the same processes. In the end, I realized that the minutiae of detailing involved in cleaning a skeleton would drive me crazy, and that digging, while fun, also involved lots of tiny details and probably weather conditions that I couldn’t deal with. So I switched to working in a museum, which developed into becoming a teacher. Now, I’m thinking a counselor is more in my line. It’s not that I don’t want to do something magnificent with my life; I do want to make a difference. I’m always saying “that’s why I’m here”. I really just want to help others. I’m not trying to make myself seem selfless-I like the feeling after I’ve helped a friend through a problem. But ultimately I feel my purpose in life is to help others. I don’t know why. I just like helping.

But while I was sitting on the plane, thinking about all of this, I came back to passion. Sometimes I feel like I don’t have a true passion for anything. I love reading and yoga and history and being outside and watching movies with friends and music and helping…did I mention the helping? I feel strongly about caring for the environment and the sanctity of life and literacy and service to the community. However, I don’t think I’ve found my real cause yet. I worry that I’ll never feel that deep abiding passion for flight. I know I shouldn’t worry, because I have plenty of time. I still have three and a half years of college left, and in those years I get to explore and discover even more. I can find my passion and I can find my cause. I have a lot of time. I know I’ll eventually find my passion, my own personal version of flying. I’m looking forward to finding out what it is. Who knows? Maybe it’s right under my nose. And once I find and develop that passion, I know I’ll think like Howard Hughes, when it drives me crazy because I feel so strongly about it. I do feel strongly about some things, but I’m not a very political person. I’m never one to get into a discussion about politics simply because I was brought up that your political beliefs were your personal beliefs, and one doesn’t have to feel obligated to share them with the world if they don’t want to. It’s perfectly fine to share them if you feel they are valid, but in a political discussion, I usually feel I don’t know enough and so I keep my mouth shut. I’m working on becoming more informed every day, but I’ll never be like my friend Elle Woods, who introduced herself to me sophomore year and added that she was going to be the first woman president. I don’t have that sort of passion. I only speak up if I feel very strongly about something, like literacy or the sanctity of life or organic produce. Right now, I just want to help. And I guess that’s the root of whatever my passion will be: helping.

On another note, I’m thinking about changing my brother’s alias. Sibling-Creature, while amusingly fitting, seems kind of disparaging, which is the opposite of my intent. So, Sibling-Creature has become Spazzy McGee. Blink and you’ll miss it in “School of Rock”. There you go. What do you think? Feedback gratefully welcomed.

Learning to fly,

Susannah

“When genuine passion moves you, say what you’ve got to say, and say it hot.” -D.H. Lawrence

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2 thoughts on ““Passion will make you crazy, but is there any other way to live?” –Howard Hughes

  1. Oh noes, I’ve been neglecting my blog for a while! D: Bad Stella! But I totally get your feeling about lack of passion. I’ve been feeling that for a long long time this entire year and even before then. I honestly have difficulty getting into things, even though I enjoy doing them. I’ve been thinking about doing some paintings lately, so that might incur something, haha. But you are such an amazing person when it comes to helping others, just like with me today. You’re seriously like a stable rock to me and you always seem to just read me like a book (even with the CD you just gave me, I could relate to every song on there at this moment). It’s like you’re psychic!

    And yes…my superpower I always wanted was to fly too. Although for that dare devil thing I’ve ALWAYS wanted to go bungie jumping! 😀 But I understand the feeling of finding your “flying”. I’m still searching too, and like you said, it’s probably right under our noses. What a surprise, it always is isn’t it? Haha. Let’s work hard! 😀

  2. You’ll find something to be passionate about. Don’t worry too much about it and eventually you’ll find something to rant about into the deepness of the night and dawn of a new day.

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