Thursday, August 16, 2012

Passion Isn't a Search, It's a Checklist

I don’t remember not knowing what my passion was.

Since I was four years old, I always had an honest understanding about what I loved, what I was good at and where I was born to invest meaning. Unlike a lot of the world, passion was never something I had to search for. It was just there. Waiting for me.

But it’s not because I was special, it’s because I was surrounded.

By my family, who kept the door of opportunity open. They created an artistic home life that fortified, fostered and challenged creativity. And they never asked me to edit myself about whatever captured my imagination.

By my teachers, who spotted the trends early. They knew I was motivated by multiple passions, and they always let me keep them in play and in communication with each other. And they never told me that what I was obsessed with was wrong or weird.

By my mentors, who took me under their wings. They saw something in me that someone once saw in them, pulled me aside, pulled me in close and gave me a front row seat to my own brilliance. And they never let me bury my music.

By my friends, who nurtured my insanity. They affirmed and encouraged my most idiosyncratic personality traits, even if it got us into trouble. And they never asked me to be anyone other than me.

That’s why I never had to look far to find my passion.

The people who surrounded me crushed the walls that usually obscured it.

They helped me remember who I was before the world told me who I was supposed to be.

Because of them, passion was never a search, it was just a checklist.