After three hours of driving, one of which spent entirely on the Parkway, I am happy to report I arrived in Carnegie quite safely. I have a glass of Wigle rye whiskey (distilled in Pittsburgh) at the ready, and I’m prepared for a weekend of relaxation with my family. What more could a guy ask for, right?
Before I forget, and on one hell of a tangent: I really enjoy Coke’s Share a Coke with campaign. I feel like Pepsi is totally missing an ad opportunity, though. How many of you would buy a Pepsi with the tagline “Buy your own Pepsi, (name)”? It’s just the right amount of snarky humor, and it’s a great jab at Coke. Or maybe I’m just being ridiculous.
Now that I’m a bit more relaxed after the chaos of last night, it’s time to get to talking about the exciting stuff. There’s something really intoxicating about talking to people on the topics they’re most passionate about. The way a person’s eyes light up, their speech becomes more animated, and so on. I’ve been told, for instance, I’m a totally different person when I’m talking about writing, and some gaming, because it’s what really gets me going.
So here’s to passion.
Day Seventeen – The addictive beauty in people’s passions
I’m prone to some down-in-the-dumps moments about work-related things, and that’s no fault of my job at all. On the contrary: I’m very happy with where I am today, and I owe a great deal to the company I work for (which will continue to remain unnamed here as much as possible). There are times, however, I can’t help but dwell on the what-ifs of having a career in writing. Some level of fame, even. The excitement of waking up, sitting down, and writing for hours on end. An afternoon tea. More writing. And so on and so on. I feel bogged down by not being able to do that just yet, and wonder if or when I’ll manage such feats.
My good, tremendously intelligent (and eternally smartassy) friend Dave pointed me to a quote by HP Lovecraft about not being interested in a man’s job but what he is passionate about (super shoddy paraphrasing here, as I can’t find the damn quote verbatim and have no access to Thanatos or Aperture Surface at the moment). I had to appreciate that, not only because I know I’m a very different person when talking about my writing, but because it’s a noticeable change in anyone. It’s one of the most real and most fantastical magics in the world, I think, when someone really opens up about what they love to do the most.
I’ve had quite a few conversations with people, both close friends and relative strangers, on this topic. Some while sober, some while heavily intoxicated, and they were all magnificent. Getting to hear about what really drives people through the drudgery of the day-to-day and keeps them moving is just such terrific fun. It’s even better because there’s no exclusivity to being passionate. Everyone has something they find passion in, and you can always tell by the way their eyes light up when they hit that topic. The way the person’s voice fills with such emotion. If I could, I would bottle these experiences and savor them like the highest, most-revered of top-shelf bourbons (my preferred spirit).
During my trip to Edinboro for this past Thesis seminar, I had a particularly animated, rather drunk, conversation with both friends and strangers alike about passion, and had the realization I am passionate about people’s passions (and being redundant with blog post phrasing, I guess). I live to write, and I live to enjoy what other people enjoy. That’s a big part of why I think it’s so important to share other people’s dreams and so on, no matter what they are. If you have a friend who is crazy in love with acting or writing or charity work or anything, the best thing in the universe you could do for that person is to share in that enthusiasm, even a little, because in doing so you are fanning that flame into something even bigger. Helping act as a driving force to hard work, determination, and dreaming of more.
On a bit of a flowery closing note, as I have some Jack Daniel’s Rye Whiskey to try that’s calling my name (and dinner, because I rather forgot dinner earlier somehow): remember to find time for what you’re most passionate about. Whatever makes your heart race and creates order in the chaos of your life. Grab hold of it with both hands and hold onto it for dear life, savoring it to the best of your ability. Use it as dream-fuel, and refuse to listen when people have the audacity to tell you that you’re not capable of something.
Fuck those people. Every single person on this planet has at least one thing that can make a shitty day awesome, and I think it’s only right to mold those passions into dreams, and make those dreams a reality. You’re all gods and goddesses of your own little universes, and it’s all in what you choose to do with those places that makes all the difference.
Eighty-three days remaining.