In the modern society, we put a lot of pressure on living life to the fullest. We’re all supposed to live, laugh and love with passion, live in the moment and “live your true self”. But what happens if you don’t have a passion?
I have this friend who loves singing and loves modelling. She tries out for the X-factor every now and then, heads out to Karaoke whenever she can and does PFT shoots with local (and not-so) photographers. She does pageants and won one of the bigger ones this year. She says that she comes alive when she does these things, feeling like the passion just bubbles within.
Another friend of mine lights up when she talks about football. The team she supports is her lifeline, and not a game goes by where she’s not on the bleachers, watching the game on the edge of her seat.
These people are living as the society expects them to; immersing themselves in their interests, embracing their true selves and enjoying every second of it.
But what happens when you don’t feel that passion, that drive to do That One Thing? What if you kind of like a few things but there’s never anything that creates a burning desire/need to “complete a mission”?
I have never had a true passion. Sure, there are things I enjoy, and there are things I love. But nothing that would create a sense of urgency, of overwhelming desire. I enjoy my job. As sad as it sounds, I’m in a profession I truly enjoy doing and I couldn’t see myself doing anything else. I enjoy not having commitments in the evenings. I wouldn’t want to have to commit myself into practicing an instrument, honing a skill, attending classes… I just know I would flake out at some point. I like being able to just sit and relax, browsing the Internet whilst watching TV. My job is very mentally taxing, so being able to completely check out in the evenings is important. I’ve truly learned this in the last few months where I’ve been trying to study for an hour after work; my whole body is just exhausted come Saturday. Checking out is super important. But I digress.
I used to think that maybe writing is my thing, my passion. But I’ve come to realise that it really isn’t. I don’t feel the need to do it. I enjoy journaling, blogging and generally writing every now and then. But if I had the chance to do it every day, would I? No. It’s not something that I could do constantly; I’d run out of material by day two – look what’s happened to this blog!
I spoke about this lack of passion with my counsellor. That, and how I feel pressure to have That One Thing, and how I’m not really supposed to feel happy unless I have it. And she pointed out that this is the curse of the current times. Individuality is pushed, accomplishing things in life is pushed. Back in the day, if you lived past 30, you were a success. Now that the life expectancy is climbing, the pressure to have kids is declining, we as a society have found ourselves in a place where we need something else to fulfil our lives. And somehow we have propelled forward with this whole self-gratification thing. We’ve decided that if you’re not incredibly passionate about something, there’s something wrong. That you’re abnormal.
I’ve said this over and over again in counselling but I guess I still need to convince myself; I like my emotions level. I don’t like extreme lows, nor do I like extreme highs. If I could live life emotionally at a baseline, I would be content. And this ties in with the whole passion thing; if I feel most at home at an emotional flatline, why on Earth would I need That One Thing that pushes emotions high up? Why on Earth would I need to push myself into feeling extreme emotions when that is not my thing?
So I have ended my search. I have forgiven myself for finding The Thing, and I’ve decided to embrace my life and my feelings just as they are; mild and mellow. I am comfortable.