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August 16, 2009

An ex-boyfriend once said he always thought he’d end up with someone more athletic and outdoorsy, citing a girl friend I had who liked to ski as an example.  I wasn’t offended (I think the whole conversation was towards the end of the relationship and started with me suggesting maybe he wasn’t my dream guy).  And I’m a klutz, naturally bad at all sports, and that’s just how it is.  I don’t take it as a personal failing that I occasionally trip over non-existent cracks in the sidewalk.

Anyway, it is just amazing how little he really knew about me, but only because I knew so little about myself at the time.

The only foreign country I’d  been to was Canada.   I had never lived more than 5 miles from my parents house.  I hardly had seen mountains, much less climbed them.  I had been to the ocean twice in my life.  I still thought maybe I’d get a PhD (what a bad fit for me!) and I’d never had a professional job of any sort.  I accepted 7 months of cold and snow as part of my life.

As of today, I consider backpacking one of my passions.  Outdoorsy and athletic enough for you?  (I’m still bad at sports though.)  I do not use the word passion lightly — I’m always uncomfortable with it because it seems so powerful.  But backpacking is a passion of mine.  (The others, as of today, are travel and writing.  My job is not my passion.)

Hands down the most magnificent experience so far this past year was our little backpacking trip in Kings Canyon National Park last month (and uh, getting engaged).  The first day was rough, but we settled into a rhythm and the quiet Alpine beauty of the High Sierras captivated me.  It is difficult to explain the peaceful exhilaration of walking among the granite mountains and the contentment knowing you are carrying everything you need on your back.


But the real point is, it amazes me how much I’ve changed in five years.  I’ve made choices that allowed (and forced) me to change.  I plan to continue to make choices that help me grow.  I wonder what passions I might uncover in the next five years.  I cannot wait to find out!  So much I didn’t  know then, so much more I must not know now!

What are your current passions?  Have they changed over time?

9 Comments leave one →
  1. apieceofwood permalink
    August 16, 2009 7:55 am

    Gosh, yes they’ve changed, but then not really. I love music, and playing instruments, have just changed what I want and listen to more stuff than I used to. I think I probably have less passions now, but they are ones I really really enjoy and get a lot out of…

  2. August 16, 2009 1:41 pm

    I put intentional effort into discovering my hidden passions. Therefore almost every year I dicover something new which costs money! lately I am interested in horseback riding.

  3. August 16, 2009 2:34 pm

    I had never been outside the USA until 6 years ago, the moment I crossed the border for the first time, I knew immediately it was amazing and I wanted to see as much as I could, that’s been one of my passions since then. I also never have driven a motorcycle before but somehow now have crazy idea to drive one around a big trip, it is still to be determined if that will be a passion or not. We always have to seek out new passions otherwise we will be stuck doing ‘this’ forever.

  4. SS4BC permalink
    August 17, 2009 7:14 am

    What a great post. I can’t even describe how much of a change I made in how in myself from 20 to 24 years old. And then from 24 to 28. And to be honest, all of those changes scare me because I seem to reinvent myself every four years. And thus that makes me scared about marriage and commitment and all of that good stuff – because who is to say that I will want to be with someone FOREVER when I’m pretty sure I’ll be a completely different person with different wants and desires in probably the next 4-7 years?

    Perhaps I’m just irrational about the whole thing though. =)

  5. August 17, 2009 7:23 am

    @berry girl -& frugal bachelor – i know what you mean, I love trying new things, even though it can be a little scary at first

    @SS4BC – My theory is that if you spend time together and maintain your relationship well, you grow and change together. not necessarily choosing the same passions, but at least, remaining compatible and at best, introducing each other to new passions and activities.

  6. August 17, 2009 8:50 am

    This post really made me smile….and then made me a bit sad. I haven’t quite found my passions yet. Its hard to find your passion without an open mind, and I’ll admit that keeping it open is something I struggle with. Its hard to turn around 25 years of habits and thoughts, and convincing yourself there’s a chance that you aren’t who you thought you were. I’m working on it though!

    It really is amazing how much one changes as time goes on, and the more you are exposed to. I particularly liked your last few lines in the post:

    “it amazes me how much I’ve changed in five years. I’ve made choices that allowed (and forced) me to change. I plan to continue to make choices that help me grow. I wonder what passions I might uncover in the next five years. I cannot wait to find out! So much I didn’t know then, so much more I must not know now!”

    My feelings exactly. 🙂

  7. Christine permalink
    August 17, 2009 10:28 am

    I’ve been wanting to go to King’s Canyon! 🙂 I think passions also change depending on where you live and your local friends. When I lived in a big city, I was really into music and art. The past several years I’ve been living in an outdoorsy large town/small city (pop. 140k) so I haven’t really been paying much attention to music or art. Instead, I got into running (did my first half-marathon last year), skiing, biking. I started playing softball and soccer for the first time because the closest leagues for the sports I did play were an hour away driving 80 mi/hr. The two things that have remained constant are travel and food, but those are more transferable I think.

    I have a hard time using the word passion because I think that I’m interested in too many things. The phrase that comes to mind is “jack of all trade but master of none” or something to that effect. So when I think of passion, I think of when someone dedicates their life to something or does mostly one thing in their leisure time. It’s a strong word as you’ve already mentioned, but I suppose passions can come and go…

  8. Bonnie permalink
    August 17, 2009 10:37 am

    I’ve also never been ‘outdoorsy’ and always sucked big-time at sports, but in recent years I’ve really been enjoying hiking and more recently biking. I doubt I’ll ever play an organized sport still, though. I used to have a passion for cold weather that is slowly but surely changing to a passion for warm weather (perhaps partially explaining my obsession with wanting to move to California). I think what some of the posters have said is true–I’ve always been passionate about music and film, for instance, but in certain relationships/times those things weren’t so important and I survived and found other things to keep my interest. Books are a constant, though! Like you, SP, I am proud of the traveling (both in the U.S. and outside) that I’ve done in recent years. ALWAYS money well spent, in my opinion!

  9. August 19, 2009 4:05 am

    I love this post. 🙂 It’s amazing to me how I have changed in the past few years, and I think/hope it’s for the better. I think at the core my “spirit” for adventure and new things has always remained the same, but my passions and interests have varied and evolved based on location and time of my life. I too am excited to see what new things occur in the future!

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