Today I learned that identifying a passion doesn’t mean you’re ready to pursue it, and that if you end up choosing not to, it probably was never a passion. It was just an interest.
I am still learning that this isn’t a failure, either. (But to be honest, it feels like a loss worth grieving.)
One thing I’m trying to better understand about myself are my passions vs my interests. I hadn’t thought to explore this idea until author James Patterson mentioned it in one of his writing lessons. He puts it like this: interests may be fun to practice, but a passion is a necessary pursuit.
Now that I have the time to sit still and think about myself, I find myself thinking a lot about his claim. I’ve also thought a lot about his tone: it’s matter-of-fact. It’s wake-up-and-smell-the-bacon, sit up and listen and stop crying about it.
And I did want to cry a little when he said this, mainly because I’ve stitched my passion for writing into many parts of my identity. I did this, but in the end, I chose to teach. If I’m going to nurture writing into a passion the same way I’ve done with teaching, I have more work to do than I thought.