As I sit here, giddy after reading my latest guilty pleasure romance novel, I shift my eyes from one side of the room to the other. Both of my travel companions, entranced in their respective interests, looking so content and at peace, while at the same time determinedly focused. Writing and reading are what make them happy; and while my desire for attention and my playful energy is abounding, I can’t help but smile and quietly find an alternative outlet in my own writing. Passion is an interesting thing. The way it affects people, drives them, energizes them. Consider what it has done to the three of us. It has transformed a rainy night in a sleepy island bungalow into a haven where three independent souls coexist but feel no distinct need to interact. We all know we are here, together, but no one makes a move to turn our attention away from what inspires us–the keyboard continues to click away and the sound of pages are swiftly turned. I choose to find happiness in observing and reflecting.

I have realized in my past few relationships what an incredibly attractive thing it is to see someone passionate about something. Whether it be a job or a hobby, the way we approach what inspire us is unparalleled by any other motivation I’ve experienced or witnessed. The pursuit of wealth and beauty breed shallow ambition, easily faulted by setbacks and difficulties; however, when we pursue things that are a part of who we are, there is a more emotional reaction and drive that allows us to persevere in spite of such challenges. I want to believe that we all have at least one thing that we are passionate about, and naive as it may sound, that it is possible to maintain these interest despite financial and societal pressures. Unfortunately, on more than one occasion I have experienced conversations like the one below:

Person 1: I hate my job
Me: If you don’t like it, why don’t you find another one
Person 1: I am not sure what else I would do
Me: What is it that makes you happy? Start from there
Person 1: I don’t know. Money makes me happy but I don’t really like working.

All jest aside, I have had this conversation on numerous occasions. If it is with a romantic interest, most attraction is immediately extinguished. Fires doused in a downpour of rain. I can’t quite explain what it is, but it leaves me with an urge to shake them and scream “There must be something other than money!”

However, I know it is not always this easy. It’s not simple to pinpoint what it is we love, how this can play into what we do, and how not to get caught up in material desires that might deter us from our original intentions. If consider myself lucky to have even been able to address two of these three things. #1 know I love the world of education and #3 I am willing to accept that in this world I might not ever make a lot of money and am more than happy to continue my pursuits despite this fact. It is #2 that trips me up. How can I channel my passion for education, travel, and research, all of these things that inspire me, into a career, into a future?

As I observe my two companions, I am energized by the models set in front of me– both of which have been able to channel their interest for reading and writing into their work and day to day life. Their passion is what fuels their focus and determination on such a lazy rainy evening. I hope to learn from our time together, and continue to brainstorm my future trajectories in both life and work. With no clue where it will lead me, I have nothing to lose and envying to gain. To the pursuit of passion! Just after my more immediate pursuit of a good nights sleep that is…