What follows is a re-post (of sorts), originally published in April 2011. The purpose of the re-post is to participate in Monday’s Listicles, a weekly creation started by Stasha at The Good Life. The idea for today’s list comes from Jackie at Not Wifezilla. She recently lost her friend, Marilyn, to an illness. Jackie’s friend was full of passion, which is exactly what Jackie wants us to write about today. In memory and honor of her friend, Jackie asks the question, “What are your passions?”
I was asked a similar question during a job interview in April 2011. The question stumped me, and I was not prepared to answer.
Rather than reinvent the wheel, I thought I would share my original post again, in honor of Marilyn. Plus, I added an update at the end of the original post.
I was asked those questions last week during a job interview. My answer? “I don’t know.”
After saying I didn’t know, I looked left, and I looked right. Then I asked out loud, “What am I passionate about?” (Please ignore my poor grammar, Mum.)
“Writing.” I said quickly – assuming responding to the question 8 minutes later is considered quickly. “I love to write. I’ve always loved to write.”
“Have you ever been published or paid for your written work?”
Oh sure. Try to put my writing in a box. My passion is pointless unless I’m paid or published, eh? I thought to myself. “No. I haven’t published anything. I wrote for a local magazine for a couple of years, but it was not a paid gig.”
“Do you have any other passions?”
“Do I have any other passions?” Again, I look to the left, and I look to the right. And again I respond, “I don’t know.”
What is your passion? Do you have a passion or do you have passions? And, because I am famous for asking back to back questions, without leaving any time for an answer, let me throw in one more question, is it possible for a person’s passion to be fluid like water: ever flowing and ever changing?
According to Merriam-Webster, the word passion means several things. Coincidentally, Passion is used to describe the sufferings of Christ between the night of the Last Supper and his death. (Timely, since we just celebrated Easter.) Passion also means suffering, emotion, ardent affection, sexual desire, a strong liking or desire, an outbreak of anger, etc. Passion is not confined to one thing. So, why do I become nervous when someone asks me about my passion? And, why is it a struggle for me to name my passion(s)?
I have interests; are interests weaker versions of passions?
This morning, as I prepared for my 2nd interview (apparently, one does not need to know his/her passion in life to be called back), I asked myself the question again. I wanted to be ready to respond with greater – wait for it – passion, if asked again. Then I remembered a note I sent to a friend late last night regarding the U.S. government. I’m passionate about politics. When I think about the trouble this country is in financially, I am overcome with anger. I have a strong desire to crack some political skulls. And, I don’t care if the politician is red, yellow, black or white – Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Independent, Tea Party, etc. We all need to work together. All of us. Yes, you too.
As I started thinking about politics, I began to think about government schools. As I began to think about government schools, I realized I am passionate about our education system. Furthermore, I am passionate about keeping our boys enrolled in a Montessori/International Baccalaureate school. I have a deep interest in the education of my boys to the point that I am looking for a second part-time job, so I can fund their private school enrollment.
Today, when my NOAA weather radio alarm rang alerting me of a Severe Thunderstorm Warning, I was reminded of the fact that I have a passion for weather. I also love the fact that my passion for weather is known by many of my friends and loved ones. In fact, my friend called me shortly after the alarm sounded. (She has a weather radio, too. I gave it to her.) She wanted to know why I didn’t alert her to the chance of storms. I quickly said in my defense, “We only had a 30% chance of rain. I wasn’t expecting storms.” OK. Sorry. This paragraph is not really needed in this post, but I really love weather. (Yes, brother Joe D., I really love writing and talking, too.)
Hmm. Seems I do have passions. I just needed to look outside the employment box. I wonder if my passion for storms will get me hired by my prospective employer. Stay tuned. I was told I would be informed by Friday.
Update: I did find a second part-time job, though the job referred to in this post was not offered to me. I have also had more time to reflect on the question, “What am I passionate about?”
While the education of my children and the weather are still high on the list of my passions, the list also includes: blogging/writing, faith/religion, politics, my family, integrity and respect.
Finally, I am passionate about holding my tongue. In a previous post, I mentioned Thumper, the rabbit in the movie Bambi. Thumper’s Dad shares some advice with son: “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all.”
Twitter and Facebook make it easy (too easy) to write a quick jab here and there about this and that. I won’t play that game anymore. I may disagree with any random hot topic, and I may express my opinion on the matter. However, I will refrain from releasing any jabs or digs. Jabbing and digging serve no purpose other than fueling negative feelings. I’m guilty of thinking negatively – trust me. But, I will refrain from sharing or saying it ‘out loud’.
Erica over at Yeah Write wrote something with regards to reading and connecting or not connecting with other bloggers. She wrote, “…not every yeah write blog is gonna be your cup of tea. If you don’t like a yeah write blog, back away gently.”
That simple sentence resonated with me. This world is full of things that may not be your cup of tea. Fine. Back away gently. No need to trash talk what is not your preferred cup.
Apparently, preaching is another passion of mine. My apologies.