Passion Redirected

I had an epiphany today.

This morning I went to Pasadena for my orientation to become a volunteer tutor for School on Wheels, an organization that tutors homeless children.  It went very well, and as soon as my references clear, I’ll be assigned a child one day a week.  I cannot wait to get started, to make a difference on that kind of level (most of the volunteering I do these days is for animal rights, and thus, I don’t get the kind of instant gratification/effect that I will by tutoring a child and watching them grow and succeed.)  What was most impressive was that, with the exception of a few college students needing volunteer hours, and couple of retired folks, the majority of them were people like me, who worked full time (there were a couple lawyers in the group, believe it or not, who work WAYYY more than I do, even WITH school), had school at night/families to take care of, but were taking time out of their busy schedules to give back.  To make a difference.

I puttered around Pasadena for another hour, then headed home, and did more puttering around the house.  Washed some dishes, watched some tv, started working on my next mini house project ( specific pictures edited and put in frames, nothing too exciting).

My friend Kolby took me to see a renowned classical guitarist later in the evening, a performance she was going to for her own guitar classes she was taking, and she knew I used to play guitar (a gazillion years ago).

It was truly awe inspiring.  I’ve always had an immense amount of respect for  classical guitar, but this man was out of this world.  With just a clip here or there, and a twitch of the wrist, it sounded like an entirely different instrument.  An African influenced number, it sounded like a tribal drum.  A jazzy number, his steel stringed(!) classical guitar sounded just like an upright bass.

And throughout both the orientation and the concert later in the evening, the same thought kept occuring to me;  “Where did all my passion go?”.

I am, no doubt, a passionate person.  Anyone who has spent more than 10 minutes speaking to me can tell you that.  But I’ve realized that over the last few months, I’ve been passionate about the wrong things.  The petty day to day.  Everything that directly effects my little universe (work, my schoolwork, my relationships with friends, family and dating, etc).

Mind you, I’m not talking about just being self involved.  We are ALL self involved (myself especially from time to time).  What I’m talking about specifically is passion.  What drives us, day to day, other than what exists in our immediate universe (that goes for our problems, our friends problems, what we are eating for dinner that night, etc.)

For years, survival was my M.O.  Just getting through the day, making sure I had a roof over my head, that I had friends, food, a book to read.  As I grew older, I started becoming more and more passionate about things that had nothing to do with me personally, but that were important.  That were bigger than me.  And I find that lately I’ve been more inwardly focused than is healthy (it’s probably why I’ve been so unhappy lately.), only focusing on the minutiae, not focusing on all the things that once aroused and excited me, like animal rights and literature, art and culture…the desire to learn new things constantly.  It’s a big big world out there, and there are so many things out there to adopt and take on to enrich your life.

This post may make no sense, because it’s late, and I haven’t gotten a full nights sleep in at least 6 nights..but I’ll say this:  to have your life mean nothing other than what exists in your orbit…thats not living. That’s just surviving.  And really, what kind of life is that?

I feel good right now.

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~ by Alli on Sunday, October 18, 2009.

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