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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Find Your Passion

  When I was in high school I first ran across the maxim "carpe deim" - seize the day. I remember reading it and feeling how much the idea resonated with me, but I was unable to actually take the advice. My life for a long time revolved around doing what I needed to do and trying to conform to what others expected me to do - none of which involved seizing the day or embracing the moment. I was a people pleaser, even in my non conformity. How that changed is a long story, but I think we all at some point come to a place where we realize that making ourselves happy matters as much as making other people happy and that we need balance between the two. Whether we choose to act on this realization or not, and whether we over-react and go to far towards only pleasing ourselves, will depend on the individual. 
   Its an interesting thing in life that we so often choose not to do what we feel drawn to do, but rather try to do what we feel other people want or expect us to do. We make ourselves unhappy in a constant quest to please others, instead of spending our time and energy on what makes us feel fulfilled. This life we are living is a unique thing, the only time we will be here in this exact form and these exact circumstances. It is a shame to waste our chances at joy and fulfillment, to miss opportunities to experience life and the numinous, because we are trying to make ourselves into some thing we aren't. 
Waterhouse, "The Flower Picker" 1895
   I believe all of us have something we are truly passionate about, something that drives us and that gives us a feeling of completion. It is part of our true self, part of the person we are inside who we don't always let other people see or know, but who is at the core of our being. What this something is will be different for different people, and it may not be limited to one thing - we may find several things that invigorate and inspire us. I feel this way about my family, about my writing, and about my spirituality, for example, and I couldn't say that one is a greater drive than the others. I think what matters though is finding what drives you and embracing it. Make your passion part of your life and let yourself be a priority for you - instead of an afterthought. Amazing things happen when people put their time and energy into what they love to do instead of just into what they have to do. 
   Stop and smell the spring flowers. Dance in the rain. Write a novel just for yourself. Accept the pain along with the joy, the disappointment and the success. Reach for your dreams, no matter how impossible they seem. Be who you truly are and love your life.

"Ut melius, quidquid erit, pati. Seu pluris hiemes seu tribuit Iuppiter ultimam, quae nunc oppositis debilitat pumicibus mare Tyrrhenum. Sapias, vina liques et spatio brevi spem longam reseces. dum loquimur, fugerit invida aetas: carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero."
 - Horace, Odes 1:1

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