What Happens When You Have More than One Passion?

I never thought this would happen to me. I found myself at a crossroads: the calling to be a teacher and the calling to be a writer. All along, the crossroads was an illusion.

In my limited mentality, I thought that I could only be loyal to one passion. You always hear of that saying: follow your passion not follow your passions. I thought that when the time came, I would have to pick one over the other. Just today, I have learned that this is not the case.

I found myself listening to Elizabeth Gilbert on Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations podcast (the “Elizabeth Gilbert: The Curiosity-Driven Life” episode). In this episode, she talks about how after she became famous for her book Eat, Pray, Love, she started giving speeches about how her passion for writing led to her success.

While Elizabeth kept preaching follow your passion, follow your passion, one listener one day admitted that she’d never had a passion. She told Elizabeth that she felt like a total failure after listening to her speech.

Photo by bruce mars from Pexels

This led Elizabeth to rethink the way she delivered her message. Now instead of saying follow your passion she believes in follow your curiosity.

I don’t find myself without a passion. I find myself with two passions, but Elizabeth’s message of follow your curiosity came at the moment when I needed to hear it.

I’ve been feeling like I need to either be a teacher or be a writer. That I can’t be both.

On the days when I’m too tired from a long day of work and don’t have the energy to be a writer, I feel like I let myself down. On the days when I feel like pursuing my writing dreams selfishly, I feel guilt for wanting to let go of my job as a teacher in the future.

Listening to the podcast freed me and opened my eyes into seeing the bigger picture: There’s no need for me to only be the teacher or only be the writer. I can be both and as long as I want to be and however I choose to be both.

The saying follow your passion brings the problem of not knowing which passion to hold on to and which one to let go of. But it was never about letting go of one passion in pursuit of the other. It was always about staying curious and letting curiosity lead us with or without our passions.

In the podcast, Elizabeth shares a poem by Hafiz that resonated with me and that I want to share in this post.

April 20, 2019, Tuesday


“The Place Where You Are Now”

by Hafiz

This place where you are right now
God circled on a map for you.

Wherever your eyes and arms and heart can move
Against the earth and the sky,
The Beloved has bowed there –

Our Beloved has bowed there knowing
You were coming.

I could tell you a priceless secret about
Your real worth, dear pilgrim,

But any unkindness to yourself,
Any confusion about others,

Will keep one
From accepting the grace, the love,

The sublime freedom
Divine knowledge always offers to you.

Never mind, Hafiz, about
The great requirements this path demands
Of the wayfarers,

For your soul is too full of wine tonight
To withhold the wondrous Truth from this world.

But because I am so clever and generous,
I have already clearly woven a resplendent lock
Of his tresses

As a remarkable truth and gift
In this poem for you.

~Hafiz

Translation by Daniel Ladinsky, The Subject Tonight Is Love


Today’s Source of Writing Inspiration:

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The Hummingbird’s Journal is an online journal where I share inspiration, motivation, and thoughts on writing and life. My name is Andrea, and I strive to be the type of writer you look forward to reading with a cup of something, like coffee or tea, with sunbeams. Welcome.

7 thoughts on “What Happens When You Have More than One Passion?

  1. An interesting post.
    “Passion” is a strong word. Whenever I think about what my passion is, I come up empty-handed, too. It’s because I have multiple interests. It’s because I like a few different things. It does make me feel lost sometimes. As if I wasn’t good at anything. Because if I have no passion, then how can I work on it?
    It’s good that you realized you can do both. We do need to be realistic. You need the paycheck, after all.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you! Hmm, I hadn’t realized how “passion” is a strong word compared to say “interests”. As an English language arts teacher, I never knew how important history is within my subject area (the subject of history is one of my weaknesses). So I think that the focus on interests versus “passion” makes us more well-rounded individuals because of how interests/passions overlap.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have the same 2 passions but I’m following my writing dream as it’s too much paperwork involved and too little about the teaching. Also children are not always the nicest to be around. I like my solitude.

    Liked by 1 person

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