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“Hi, Annie!” My friend, who oversees the drive-thru window, greeted me when I stopped by my bank to make a deposit the other day. “I’ve been hoping that you would come by. I wanted to thank you, because your blog post the other day really got me thinking.”
Now this is what every author wants to hear. Writing is, after all, all about communication – reaching out and touching another person in a meaningful way, and so, my mind went into overdrive. Which post was it, I wondered, that had spoken to her?
According to one reader, we’ll call her K, before she had finished reading the post titled Where in America she had found herself in tears. Something about the post had connected to a story she had heard about 9/11 on NPR that morning, and her tears had begun to flow, as the two had joined in her mind to form a strong reminder of how wonderful and powerful it is to connect with others – a case of my post being in the right place at the right time to close the circle.
My mother and father have gained a strong following as stories of my family’s travels in the ‘50s have tapped into others memories as well.
A Tired Older Woman: Solves Her Wine Problem garnered a great response from a number of gals who were nice enough to let me know that I’m not the only clueless wine purchaser in the world, and lots of folks have said that they enjoyed reading Death and Food and Southern Families.
It turned out, though, that it was all of these and none of these at the same time. It was the passion that my friend had seen reflected in my face each time I had spoken of writing my posts that had touched her.
The power of this single word had captured her imagination.
She went on to share with me that as a young woman she had trained to be a photographer and had actually worked in the field for a while. Then one day, she had met her idol in the field.
“Don’t spend your life taking photographs unless you can’t imagine your life without photography in it,” he had told her over coffee.
Stunned, she had realized that she didn’t share his unbridled enthusiasm, and she had soon put her youthful dream aside. Now, many years later, reading and hearing about my blog had crystalized for her the fact that she had yet to discover the true passion of her life.
“I’ve really been thinking about this,” my friend continued, “and I’m now on a quest. I’m not going to stop searching until I, too, discover the passion within me.”
Have you started your quest yet?
For some, like my friend, P, who writes, fiddles, plays classical violin, gardens, tap dances, and bakes pottery in her own kiln, passions seem to be laid on the countertop of their kitchen, ready to choose from at a mere moment’s notice – a dime for a dozen.
Then there is my friend, I, who turned his passion for history first into a career as a teacher, then into a search for his genealogical roots in combination with a love of travel to historic venues, and finally into a fulfilling volunteer effort heading up a county historical society in Indiana. As the commercial now tells us, his is a life that’s well-lived.
For others, such as my friend at the bank, the twists and turns of the journey of discovery itself may morph into a satisfying, self-fulfilling passion somewhere along the way.
In his now famous book, The Purpose Driven Life (QR Code Enhanced Edition): What on Earth Am I Here For? (Purpose Driven Life, The), Rick Warren writes that fulfilling God’s purpose is an energizing endeavor.
Are you still searching for your life’s passion? Then might I suggest that you step back and ask, “What fills me with excitement and energy? What makes my heart beat a bit faster and sets my soul singing? What would I miss in my life if I knew that I would never see, feel, hear, or experience it again?”
Within those answers lies your passion. Grab hold of it! Clutch it close to your breast! Fight to keep it vibrant and alive!
My passion is writing. There’s no doubt about it. My friend at the bank is still searching for hers. So, what is yours?