Glamour, Sparkles, and the Underrated Ingredients of Passion


It feels like all of us are scrambling, questioning, and looking for our passion, probably because we sense or have been told that without it, we won't be fulfilled in life. Whether or not that’s true, I don't think the anxious, incessant soul searching is that healthy or productive. Plus, I’m convinced that passion isn’t actually that hard to come by. My intuition tells me that passion is little more than curiosity + consistency

Think about something you do often, that requires some level of skill, and brings you joy (not happiness, but a more lasting sense of positivity). We do something, we enjoy it maybe just a little bit, and become curious enough to keep it up because, put simply, we feel like it. Adopt this strategy with multiple topics or activities and pretty soon you'll be puking out passions left and right. The best part is: you choose and you know what you're interested in. 

Yea, it might be nice to be a platinum hip-hop artist, but if you honestly don't care that much for the emotional experience of rapping and writing lyrics (translation: if doing it isn't actually fun for you, if you can't see yourself becoming obsessed with it), then might I suggest you don't actually want that thing. You just want the glamour and sparkles that come with it. And chances are, you can get glamour and sparkles a different way. Although, if I've learned anything it's that, even if you do get the glamour and sparkles, chances are you won't even appreciate or care much for it beyond a hot minute. Humans are fickle like that. That’s what we call the hedonic treadmill. 

Most of us are all so consumed by ambition for ambition's sake that the very idea of just relaxing makes us feel guilty, lazy, and behind (myself included), but the alternative is to race full speed ahead towards riches and fame that won't actually satisfy a race car that smells of toxic motivations and stress and trying to impress and be accepted by everyone else but yourself.

Yes, I said it. You will not find yourself impressive, nor will you accept yourself if you don't do what actually brings you energy and joy. If you don't trust me, try it out. Live a life for everyone else and let me know what your self-esteem looking like in ten years. Mind you, I can only talk like this because I've stared at myself in the mirror long enough to realize I wasn't shit either. At some point, I betrayed my younger self, the kid who'd get lost on a keyboard or geek out designing card games with rules and attack and defense points or keep challenging my big sister in chess, knowing I'd lose (until I didn't) just because I could. 

Because I can. Because you can. Because you only have so much time with this breath you take for granted in the morning. Because there comes a little moment when you really experience something you enjoy, and you yearn to latch onto that feeling forever, and wonder why you'd ever give it up for a trophy or fourth degree or follower count or Canadian goose jacket. 

Every time we choose what fits everyone else's preference for us over our own preference for ourselves, we cram our souls further back into this vessel we have labeled "Fake" with our actions. I'm not implying we can all stop what we're doing and go pursue whatever impulse or interest we have. I'm just reminding myself and anyone else who reads this that life isn't that complicated. Passion isn't that elusive. 

Just follow the trail of joy.


Cover Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash