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?