What’s your passion in life?

Passion strikes me as an interesting word. Maybe it’s another baby born from the Western civilization’s obsession with an extroverted culture: “We want to see you really going for it. Be a go-getter, and go for your dreams! Just chase after it with eyes ablaze, a soul on fi-yah, and lust for what you do just steaming off your body like hot pheromones.” Okay…

To me, the glorification of passion seems very unrealistic. Yes, passion is important, but it shouldn’t be primarily about that, should it? But you see it in job descriptions and interviews. You’re asked,”What is your passion in life? What are you passionate about?” and I always feel silly trying to seem like an enamored maiden possessed by a muse, trying to force my eyes to sparkle, as I feelingly insist my passion in life is this and that.

Realistically, I think what’s more important than passion is true love for what you do, because let’s be real here, passion is not enough. It can fizzle out at any time. In any relationship, passion has to be there to keep things going, but it doesn’t keep things lasting.  In any relationship, like that of a writer and writing, there will be both love and hate, ups and downs. You’re not always driving ahead in full force, your fingers firing away at your keyboard at the hands of an unknown force. Even with the rollercoaster relationship, you are in it for the ride for the rest of your life because, ultimately, you really do love what you do. And no matter what, it isn’t as glamorous as it may seem to outsiders, as glamorous as “having a passion” makes it out to be. Every work, art, hobby involves toil and practice.

Think of Olympians. They clearly have passion for the sport, but that would never be enough. Many people have passion, but they don’t have enough of the patience or understanding to pursue a dream that they fantasize about or romanticize. Olympians love what they do so much that they would go through the difficult training, the high-maintenance dieting, the psychological pressure, and more to keep doing what they feel is the most important thing in their lives. They have a deep understanding of what they do. When loving a person, you are there to both listen and have genuine conversations, and then perhaps doing that keeps the spark of passion alive.

Passion is often equated with lust in other contexts, so, even in the context of pursuing an art or dream, you could really compare it to f*cking. You’re fired up, but this feeling is not something that you can control, rather something that comes and goes. You can’t depend on it. On the other hand, when you love doing something, it is like making love. It takes time and effort, but you gradually come to learn every inch and crevice of your partner, and you two will stay together forever. It has to involve passion or any love will be rendered boring; it won’t seem special anymore, but there’s no real way of controlling passion, which can seem so evasive and whimsical at times. Placing so much importance on it is oversimplifying what is really necessary to accomplish what you want in life.

Picture a producer in a television studio. She might seem bored and lifeless as she drones into the mic, “Camera three, check. Camera three?” That’s because life isn’t as glamorous as it’s made out to be. This doesn’t mean that she lacks passion for what she does. It means she loves it enough to stick around for the good and the bad.

Do I have passion for writing? Why, yes, sometimes I love it with a passion.

jim-carrey-bruce-almighty

“I can do this all night, bishes!”

Sometimes, I hate it with a passion.

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“Brain, why you no work.”

But in the end, is writing the love of my life? Yes, and I’m excited for us to spend the rest of our lives together.

-Annie

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