A couple of weeks ago, the question was “What is your passion?” My friend helped me answer it by saying that it was teaching. I was–for a reason I didn’t understand at that moment–hesitant to agree. I think I said something like, “I’m passionate about teaching, but it isn’t my passion.”
I spent the four years of undergrad working in a high school. I was a substitute teacher, and I moderated a yearbook staff. Three months before graduation, I remember telling my mom, “Whatever I do, please don’t let me be a teacher.”
Three months after graduation, I was hired as a math teacher. With no real experience and no training, my first boss said that I was a natural teacher and she could teach me everything else. I enjoyed it immensely.
After three years, I made my first attempt to “never work again.” That attempt devolved into panic as I realized that writing and photography would not pay my bills, at least not at that moment.
So, I took another job that involved both writing and photography that I thought would engage some of my other passions and allow me to cultivate a personal business. Both ideas failed. I wound up in a bigger mess than the one I had started in.
After four months of unemployment, I ended up teaching again. English this time. And I loved it for the exact same reason I did the first time. It doesn’t have much to do with the subject at all. It’s more about watching young people grow. I feel as though I learn so much from them. It’s almost not fair.
I have realized that I have many passions. There are many things that light up my soul and make me feel alive.
But for my bliss?
I’m not so sure. I don’t know that I know that “one” thing that will make me happy for the rest of my life. Then, I think is that the goal? Do I need it to be for the rest of my life? Or is it enough for it to be for today?
The one problem is that I realize that I have never fully explored some of my passions. Teaching was easy. It’s easy for me to do, and it’s easy for me to achieve. It comes with steady pay. And I think that frightens me.
My biggest fear has always been waking up at 50 and being in the exact same place I was at 22. And I hate to say that because some of the people who I love more than life itself have done that. And they have perfectly content lives. And then I wonder what is wrong with me?
I know a lot of people who are not content in what they do. I know a lot of people who dream of something else. But I don’t know a lot of people who try to find that something else.
Perhaps it is my personal arrogance. Or that damn invincibility complex that I have.
But I think that one of these days I’m going to find that Treasure. I also realize that when I find it, it’s going to be the sum total of all these experience and that without them, it wouldn’t be as beautiful or as rich.
So…my passions: writing, meditation, teaching, baseball, music, photography, sunshine, travel, the desert, reading, politics.
In that order.
My bliss: to be determined.