General Question

wundayatta's avatar

Was your passion something you chose or something that was urged upon you?

Asked by wundayatta (58714points) April 21st, 2009

By passion, I’m thinking of some creative activity you do. It could be your work, an avocation, a hobby, an artistic pursuit, or whatever. I’m wondering how you got into it. Was it something you had to fight for, or was it something someone put on you, and it kind of took.

I was thinking about how I picked up the trumpet. I can’t remember if it was something I had to convince my parents to support, or if it was something they expected me to do. I remember when I was in fourth grade, someone came in to demonstrate all the instruments, and after I heard the trumpet, I knew that was my instrument.

It has brought me much pleasure and meaning and spirituality over the course of my life. My life would be so much less without it, except I wouldn’t know what I was missing. Making music keeps me whole. It contains my soul. It is what I would be doing full time, if I didn’t have to care for a family and myself.

So what about you? What’s the story of your passion?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

35 Answers

Facade's avatar

I don’t have a passion so I’ll just read

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

My creativity was actively suppressed for many years. My parents subscribe to the notion of “if it doesn ‘t make you money, it’s not valuable”.

So I had to struggle against the tide to be creative with art. I understand that art doesn’t pay well so I do something else to pay the bills but art keeps me healthy.

Likeradar's avatar

This is a really interesting question, Daloon. It’s making me think a lot.

My passion is for children (let’s be not-gross, people). Every job I’ve ever had has related to them one way or another, and I’ve always been told I’m good with kids. I always just knew I would spend my life helping kids in some way.

My family is full of teachers, and it was always pushed not as something I had to do, but as a very reasonable option. I never even explored going into a field that doesn’t have something to do with kids. I’ve wondered what would happen if I went into aviation or foreign relations or journalism or something that has nothing to do with kids- maybe I’d discover that’s really my passion. I’ve never even given myself the chance to discover that about myself.

cak's avatar

Can it be your passion if someone else picks it for you?

I recently did something I thought I would never do, ever. I sold 4 stained glass windows. I love making stained glass projects, usually they are for friends or family; however, I tried something new. I couldn’t believe how well it went.

I started when I was pregnant with my daughter. I let it go for sometime, then started again, when I was pregnant with my son. I never stopped, but only made small things. (it can be pretty pricey!)

I can sit in my little work area and design and produce the things I feel like making. It’s something that is growing, I’d love to be able to just focus on making things…but ya gotta pay the bills! damn bills! Luckily, our house will be paid off soon!

I started when I was watching a PBS show about stained glass. I’ve always loved it…I love touring old churches that have these amazing stained glass windows.

My husband told me to start it again, he’s encouraged me and he encouraged me to sell some of my work. Neither of us thought it would go for what it did, but I must admit, it was very hard to part with. One can only have so many windows stored in the garage, right?

avalmez's avatar

something i found. as a youngster growing up in the post 60’s haze, i was bound and determined not to work for “the man”, meaning biz was not the thing for me. When in college, i decided that computers were soul-less and wanted noting to do with CS either. As it turned out, i have a talent for developing computer applications and found myself working for one of the premier capitalist institutions in the world. and thrived as a result!

aviona's avatar

With exercise it was urged. I grew up with an almost exercise-obsessed father. He exercised a lot himself, he is an author of a plethora of books on the topic and pressured me to get out myself, which I did.

I played soccer in my youth. In high school I joined the cross country team and loved it. It was tough for me to stay motivated in the off-season, though.

My dad would push me so hard to go out and run or hike or play frisbee with him. Most kids would kill for this kind of attention from their parents, so in a sense I feel lucky. But, being an insecure teenage girl, I took his encouragement to exercise to be about weight control. I thought that he didn’t want to have a “fat daughter.” I struggled with body image issues like so many girls that age and his constant pressure to exercise was just salt in the wound. I felt like I couldn’t make him happy (or myself for that matter).

I’ve since discovered that his intense encouragement for me to exercise was more for my mental health. I had struggled with depression and obviously there is no doubt that exercise and endorphins help with battling it (naturally).

Although we have come to terms over it all, my psyche is still really messed up about exercise. My dad sort of “claimed” it. Even though I consciously know he pushes me to exercise out of love, it’s hard because for so many years I thought it was about weight and my body and it’s hard to tear those ideas apart. Everything is associated. The trail I like to hike on is also the trail he hikes on and so that is associated with him and therefore his urging me to exercise and then all those negative affiliations. I remember I would drive to the state park and just sit in the car for an hour…not being able to get out. Not being able to hike. Because of all that mental gunkyness.

And it shouldn’t be like that because I do like to exercise! And I do know that it is healthy, especially for someone struggling with the things that I struggle with. So, for the past year or so, I have been in the process of reclaiming exercise as my own. It’s come to the point where he can’t even bring it up to me or I feel that pressure all over again, even if it is just an illusion.

rooeytoo's avatar

I discovered in the last couple of years that I can pick up a piece of a tree and find a beautiful creature hidden inside it. It astounds me, it is like an out of body experience, I pick up my tools and soon a bird or a turtle or a dog, something amazing appears. Now I found an interesting piece of rock and I am going to see if the same thing happens with that. I believe I see a lizard beside a little pool of water.

aviona's avatar

Other than that though, my parents never forced me into anything. They were very open—they let me explore my passions. They were supportive of my interests or hobbies I picked up.

Dansedescygnes's avatar

My three strongest passions are photography, linguistics, and geography. Photography started because I elected to take a photography class in 7th grade. No one suggested it to me, I just thought cameras were cool and that I would probably like getting to use a B&W camera. Turns out taking that class for 4 semesters got me hooked on photography, and not just B&W. My interest in digital photography was sparked by that too and has now become full-fledged. I have 2 digital cameras a B&W camera and am still actively pursuing it.

As for linguistics, it wasn’t forced on me, but it stemmed from my mom and grandmother. It started when I became interested in Latin because of Orff’s Carmina Burana, which is in Latin mostly. My grandmother and my mom told me about it and after that my interest in Latin sparked an interest in linguistics in general. Now I am pursuing a degree in linguistics.

I also really love geography. That got started by geographical placemats I had as a young kid. Map of the U.S., map of the world, etc. I won the Geography Bee at my middle 3 years in a row, I make my own maps of fictional places, I look at real maps, I read about the state highway system, I look at Google Earth all the time, and am also considering getting some kind of degree in geography.

zephyr826's avatar

I think my passion chose me. I picked French when I was in 6th grade because all of my friends were taking Spanish, and French sounded so much more exotic. I continued through high school and into college, but it was just a side thing; I was going to be a choir teacher. Music turned out not to be for me (I’m bass-clef challenged), and I sort of floated around in the humanities. I even took a semester off from French, because I thought that maybe the only reason I liked it was because I’d been doing it for so long. It was the worst semester of my academic career. I missed it so much that I hung out in the language building just to hear it spoken. That was when I realized I had no control over the language, that I needed it to be a part of my life. Fortunately, I was able to find a position doing what I love, and sharing that passion with others (hopefully).

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I kid you not but I got into Argentine Tango because I watched ‘Shall We Dance?’ the movie and realized how much I miss dancing (I used to dance for many years before…originally started because my mom thought it’d be a good idea)...I literally started moving around my house once the movie ended, then I called my best friend and said ‘we’re going to take dance lessons’ and he is NOT a dancer, lol, but he agreed (my husband at the time would never do such a thing)...turns out that Argentine Tango lessons were available on a day I was free at night…and I just fell in love with it…it was madness, it was passionate and I can’t wait to return to it…

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

In terms of my other passion, social justice activism, it was revealed to me, nothing I chose but something I couldn’t and wouldn’t ignore

sdeutsch's avatar

I have sort of a love-hate relationship with my passion. I love the theater – I always have, since I was three years old and my mom took me to see Peter Pan, and I clapped my hands and made Tinkerbell come back to life. I knew when I was 12 that I wanted to work in the theater, and I worked towards that (with a lot of support from my parents), and I got into Carnegie Mellon, and I got a degree in stage management, and I worked full-time as a stage manager for four years.

During that four years, I realized that, while theater is my passion, it really isn’t my life. Once I started living with my soon-to-be-husband, I started to resent the theater because it was taking away from the time that I had to spend with him – choosing to do theater full-time really is as much a life choice as a career choice, and I realized I wasn’t ready to devote my whole life to it.

I still love it, but I value my time with my family and friends more – that’s why I made the decision to start my own (non-theater) business. It gives me the flexibility to spend the time I want to with my family, and to take the time to do theater when I want to, not because I have to. It’s made a huge difference in my life – it’s nice to actually enjoy my passion again…

So, I guess the answer to the question is that my passion chose me, more than I chose it – but it definitely wasn’t forced upon me!

fireside's avatar

I wanted to play the drums, my parents paid for trombone lessons.

Now I don’t play trombone.
I wanted to study video production and had to take out loans to pay for it, not to mention the low paying grunt work I had to do when I got out of school.

Now I’ve made tv commercials.

aviona's avatar

Here, here @Simone_De_Beauvoir to your second passion and to being informed.

knitfroggy's avatar

My passion is knitting. It’s not a deep, life changing passion but it’s what I love. I love to pick up a ball of yarn and two needles and make something beautiful. The things I make are loved by the receivers, which makes my hard work worthwhile. My kids love it when I knit them a hat or a pair of socks-they think it’s so cool when momma makes them something. I can pick up my knitting and zone out and listen to the tv or just concentrate on what I’m doing. The rhythm is very calming and soothing.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

It was a chosen outlet, a profitable one and a dream come true. I’ll get back to it in time.

augustlan's avatar

@zephyr826 I had the same experience as you, only in reverse!

Art classes were my chosen electives from middle school on. I wanted to branch out a little, so I took French 1 instead of art. Even though I really enjoyed the language, my heart ached to be back in the art rooms. I went back to art and have never stopped creating things since. It doesn’t make me a lick of money, but it is my chosen passion.

ubersiren's avatar

I actually stumbled on mine.

ubersiren's avatar

@aviona : Great site, thanks for sharing! But, no it was a strange string of events that lead to my discovery. I guess that’s more or less everyone’s story, though. Nothing comes from nothing.

drClaw's avatar

@Facade I have a lot of passions if you want to borrow one?

Most of the things I am passionate about are things that I collided into at one point or another over the course of my short 26 years. Some however were cultivated by family or friends, for instance my parents started me in art classes at the age of 6 thereby cultivating my passion for drawing. Similarly my older brother pushed me to start boxing. I don’t know whether I would have found all of these activities on my own without outside help, but now I couldn’t imagine my life without them.

mattbrowne's avatar

All my passions are a result of choices: science and technology, science fiction, creative writing, music, photography. Yes, there’s nature and nurture. My genes are probably the cause for using my rational brain rather than my intuition (I’m working on that) and my upbringing and an influences on my choices. But I believe in free will. I decided on my own what I want to be passionate about.

ninthart's avatar

My passions have been honed over the years. I’ve always loved reading and drawing, so most of them have come out of that – reading has always led me to new interests, and some of them became passions, and others just sort of fell by the wayside.

augustlan's avatar

@ninthart Welcome to Fluther! You may quickly find it a new passion for you. :)

Strauss's avatar

My passion is and always has been music. From as far back as I can remember, there was music in our house. My older brother (12 years older) played accordion, and I bugged him to teach me until I was big enough to hold the instrument. My sang together in beautiful harmonies. My mother had a very strong voice, and my dad would harmonize with her. We would always sing at family gatherings, while riding in the car, when doing chores, anytime at all. I was one of seven, and each of us had the opportunity to learn one music instrument.

I played French horn in 7th and 8th grade, moved down the scale to tuba in high school band. I narrowly missed being accepted into the Navy band, but I enlisted anyway, and ended up being in the boot camp band.

After my 3 years in the Navy, I came home, got a job in a warehouse, and a part time job teaching music. Later I went to college and majored in music (voice). I never finished my degree, (got distracted by theater), but several years after my last semester I found myself stranded in New Orleans. It was in January, 1979. I had no money, no job, no car, no place to stay. But I had my guitar. I noticed that there were some street performers in the French Quarter, and decided to give it a go. Within an hour, I had made $20.00. (Not bad, especially at that time.) A couple hours later, while I was taking a break, a guy came up to me and asked me if I had a place to stay. I was a little wary, and told him yes (figuring the $20 would get me a place to stay, at least for that night). He was a manager of a rooming house, and needed a handyman in return for rent. I met with him the next day, and took him up on his offer.

Long story short, I ended up staying on in New Orleans for a couple years. I found out that the street scene was very seasonal (pretty much between Christmas and Mardi Gras), and found a day job cooking for some of the more famous hotels and restaurants there.

At one point, it was off-season and I was between day-jobs. An acquaintance provided me with an opportunity to work in Austin.

I stayed in Austin for about 8 years, working day jobs, and honing my performance and songwriting skills. At times I fit the stereotype of “starving artist”, but I was moved by my passion for my art.

Then I met the woman who became my wife. When we became serious, I decided I did not have the right to expect her to live my lifestyle, so I changed the focus of my music. We volunteered with various performing arts organizations, and became active in the various communities we lived in.

When our kids came along, I knew it was time for me to concentrate on a career that would provide us with a comfortable lifestyle, and I knew it would not be music, so my passion for music was put on the back burner for about 15 years. I practiced when I could, and kept my chops up, but I rarely performed. But lately, we have been pursuing opportunities for performance, and I have set up a home studio. I am taking my music in a totally different direction these days, but it is still a strong influence in my life.

fathippo's avatar

i always felt like art (kinda a general term but oh well) when i was young, it was there but there was nothing to let it out sort of thing.
And music, I’d been made to learn some stuff, but when i was younger, id never found/ been exposed or whatever, to the stuff that i love now, or never really really felt how awesome, amazing and beautiful and otherworldly music really is, so only when i felt that stuff did it become near enough the whole universe to me, not sure that works but hey…
I guess what i mean is things i had always loosely done, became passions when i found how much it can fill up your soul and send you to the most amazing places kinda thing…
and music makes all the art stuff that happens (even though its crap =) ) happen in my head in the first place, and man its so awesome how it enhances everything in your mind and sends the best parts of the world into HD kinda thing….
Not sure i know what i mean… =)

russian123's avatar

I think that all people have passions in life.
Some you see when your young, some when you’re older.
I realized what mine was when I was about 7.
When I ask others around me what their’s is they don’t know.
However, interesting question :)

wundayatta's avatar

@russian123 So what is that passion?

russian123's avatar

I’ve always dreamed of traveling the world & being a Christian missionary.
Kinda far-fetched but thats mine :)

wundayatta's avatar

@russian123 That seems pretty doable. Good luck!

evegrimm's avatar

One of my passions is…Egyptology.

I have no idea when or where I initially discovered it, but I have been fascinated with Ancient Egypt for most of my life. (I was so into it, in fact, that I can clearly recall when there was an Ancient Egypt exhibit in town. I was in third grade, it was a Thursday in March, and it was the last day of the exhibit, and I was so bummed that I wouldn’t be getting to go. My mom pulled me out of class early that day and took me to the exhibit…one of the happiest days of my life.)

Another passion is music. I didn’t/don’t realise how much I miss it until I’m doing it again. However, I enjoy it more as a social activity than as a virtuoso thing. I don’t want to be the premier solo flautist (or whichever instrument). It took me a long time to realise that I hate performing solo…which was what my flute teacher wanted for me.

I remember that my reasoning behind picking the flute (not being in band) was that I was told by several people that it would be too difficult or that there would be a lot of performers playing the same instrument. True, but I was first chair for most of my time in band, and even made it into regionals one year. I’m so proud of that (regionals, not first chair).

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I think it chose me :)

PacificToast's avatar

God made me, so he formed whatever passions I may have, my love for music, drawing, and the Japanese language, were all stumbled upon as they were placed in my path by God.

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther