I DON’T KNOW WHAT MY PASSIONS ARE! Gosh isn’t that frustrating? What gives? I just want to kick (or write a mean note to) the next person that tells me to follow my passion. I have too many! There are far too many beautiful things in this world for me to simply pick one. What’s a girl to do? Be a flake forever and never settle on a specialization? Flit around from branch to branch never knowing where the sweet spot is? Even my beloved Tim Keller podcasts tell me that the only way to truly know my calling is to make a decision. But how to make a decision? In the midst of MANY decisions I am kept from making a single one!
Ok, so I’m being a tad over dramatic, but only because I have dealt with these bouts of indecision my whole life. I am a person with constantly evolving passions who simply doesn’t fit into the beautifully idealistic land of one-colored parachutes. I will never be someone to say, “I always dreamt of doing…” because the reality is that I haven’t always done anything! Even as a child I remember watching an interview with a prima ballerina and her mother. Her mother said it was always clear her daughter would be a ballerina because as a toddler she was prancing around the house and making tutus out of pillowcases. Interesting… so that must mean…. MY MOM KNOWS! By my 7-year old logic I became convinced that my mom must know what I was going to be when I grew up. That evening I told her about the ballerina. Was I doing anything on a daily basis that clued her into my eventual passions or dreams? As I remember her answer now it suddenly all makes sense:
“That mom would have said the exact same thing had she chosen to be a runner, an actress, or a tightrope walker. If one day you become a paleontologist I will proudly tell people how you always stayed up late reading dinosaur books and learning them all by name. If you grow up to be a makeup artist I will tell them how excited you used to get when I let you wear blush. If you grow up to be a ballerina I will tell them about how disappointed you were when no one was wearing a tutu on your first day of ballet class.”
All of these things are true about me. But aren’t they true of all of us? We didn’t spend our time doing only one thing our whole childhood (and if you did you are an anomaly). We did many things, but eventually we made decisions and chose certain dreams over others. As a kid I was THE dinosaur expert at my school. Now? Not so much. I choose different paths along the way which led me to where I am today.
Once I reached college, I hit another bout of indecision. Choosing a major seemed absolutely impossible to me. There were too many options and I could see my life going in so many directions. One day before the cutoff, I scrolled down the list of majors and made a choice: Fashion Merchandising & French. Did that stop me from becoming a catalog editor, a marketing leader, a yoga instructor? No. In the end, choosing a major didn’t set my path, it put me on one. Without having made a choice I could never have graduated. I would have remained stagnant.
I realize now that regardless of which path I choose to take, I will always be moving in the right direction. Today is NOT the day I planned for yesterday. Sure I made plans, but I could never have planned the life I’m living right now. That was a direct result of living. I chose the path, but not the direction. But none of that is possible until I make a decision. So here we are. Decisions, decisions.
“When you arrive at a fork in the road, take it.” ~Yogi Berra