Ena: Alright, feeling a bit more motivated today (thank goodness), so, as promised, I thought I’d share the story of how I came to realize that my life lacks passion. As previously noted, I recently finished my MA degree and concluded my 25 year scholastic career. The sudden and unprecedented free time that completing my education created in my life, coupled with the event that I am about to relay, made me abruptly and acutely aware of my passionless-ness.
To replace a class which no longer exists (thank you, Governator), in my final quarter I took an upper level undergraduate class, and it was while studying for the final exam that I had my traumatic epiphany. I was sitting outside prior to the final reviewing my notes – oh, alright, I was cramming – when a fellow student asked if he could join me. Normally, being the jaded skeptical a-hole that I am, I would have said no or just pretended not to hear him. But, this was different; this guy just happened to be the smartest student in the class, so I told him to take a seat…told you, a-hole.
Once we finished going over our notes, my smarty-pants partner thought that we should get our minds off of the exam and suggested that we chat. I hate chatting, especially with strangers – that’s right, I said a-hole – but I was sort of freaking out, so I thought I’d give his theory a try. I suppose it was your usual run-of-the-mill chitchat, though really I wouldn’t know, and I learned a lot about my new friend. He is 20 years old. He loves rhetorical theory. He plays piano and bass guitar and has a makeshift studio in his house where he mixes and records music with his friends. He is a black belt in Karate. He works with a homeless men’s shelter in South Central Los Angeles. But, what he’s really passionate about is teaching underprivileged and disabled children martial arts at his dojo. In short, he is amazing. I felt sick.
Naturally, my new friend asked, “So, what do you do?” Then it happened. After I said “work” and “go to school” it happened; I realized that the actual answer to his question was “nothing.” My stomach sank. My mind went blank, my head got hot, there was a ringing in my ears…I swear. I felt like I was having an out-of-body experience. That, my friends, is realization. I don’t “do” anything. It hit me like a ton of bricks. As I sat there dumbfounded he kept right at it – he should add “cause early onset mid-life crisis” to his long list of favorite activities, he is certainly good at it.
After listening to my pathetic attempt to answer his question he replied, “Yeah, but what do you like to do? What are you passionate about? ” I mean it, this guy was a killer. Uh…Play with my dog? Eat? Watch Top Chef? Eat? I like to walk; can I be passionate about walking? Finally I gave in, “Nothing,” I said, and that was that. We sat there for a moment chatting some more, but I wasn’t listening. I was freaking out again but not about the exam (his theory had worked, he is an evil genius); this time I was freaking out about my passionless life.
That conversation had a profound impact on me. I told everyone about it, my co-workers, my friends, my family. Profound. Since then I have spent a lot of time contemplating my life, trying to understand why I lead a passionless existence. Maybe being a full time student and full time worker for the past 10 years stopped me from experiencing new things and finding my passion. Or, maybe I never recovered from the knee injury that robbed me of my one-time passion, soccer. I have absolutely no idea how it is that I have reached age 30 without discovering my passion…or at least developing a hobby. And, to be honest, I am not really concerned with the reason for my passionless-ness. I am, however, concerned with changing my life and I am hell bent on becoming passionate about something…wait, can I be passionate about finding my passion? Hummm…
Bina - Day 43
Bina: This morning, when I got dressed, I think my head was still swimming with images from my repeat flu-viewings of Going the Distance this last weekend. Drew wore a lot of stripes and this I HEART RONSON cardigan from Goodwill fit the bill nicely. I wanted to be rough around the edges – a girl who knows where she’s walking in New York City, and even when she doesn’t know where she’s going, you wouldn’t really know the difference – because she has a sense of purpose. That’s the woman I wanted to dress as today. Also, I dig purple.
When you’re a little girl (or at least when I was), you have this idea of how your life is going to go. Most weeks, I wanted to be an actress, and I wanted the school bullies to be sorry they ever messed with the likes of me. I wanted to find someone who appreciated every weird, quirky, sensitive thing about me, and I would share my life with that person. I daydreamed about it incessantly. And I had absolutely no doubt that I would someday find that person. It would all work out.
Then, at some point many years later, it suddenly occurs to you, “Holy crap, what if it doesn’t work out?” Well, it may not work out the way you thought it would anyway. Okay, what now? To be continued…off to dance class!