I think everybody has something they’re passionate about (or could be). Maybe it’s being a mom or dad. Maybe it’s your job as a comptroller (I don’t really know what a comptroller does, but hey, maybe that’s what you do and you’re passionate about it). Maybe it’s saving marine life (I had to work that image in somewhere).
For me, making music is a passion. For me, one of the most difficult things in life is keeping on track with that passion. I’ve spent years away.
I know you’ve got better things to worry about than the ramblings of a musician. Especially one who’s about to complain about how hard it is to pursue his “art.” But I think there’s a lesson here for everyone. And I’ll keep it reasonably short.
What’s difficult is keeping on task while dealing with day-to-day life. Sometimes you need to sit down and pay a few bills. Sometimes your kid needs help with his homework. Sometimes, you’re just tired and want to watch TV. And sometimes, your 90 year-old mother falls, breaks her neck in two places, gets a kidney infection, then sepsis, then has a stroke — all in a period of a few weeks . (Yes, that happened and believe it or not, she’s doing fine.)
How can you focus on your passion when that’s going on?
And all those things add up. It’s easy to go a day, a week, a month, a year without spending time doing what’s most important to you with the energy it deserves. And those years can add up to a lifetime. If you have a job that you’re passionate about or are in an environment that encourages it, wonderful! For me, being able to dedicate time to my passion often conflicts with other priorities.
Now, I know some people are out there dealing with real problems. If you have a serious illness or have to take care of someone or are destitute or live in a terrible situation, you have more crucial things to worry about than whether or not you practiced your guitar today. The fight you’re fighting, you may consider the fight of your life.
But I’m going to say, being able to pursue your passion is a fight of your life. Spending time doing what you really love gives all the other struggles you go through meaning. It’s the reason why. It’s the best of human nature that even when we’re up against the odds, we still want to create art and celebrate the beauty of it. It’s in every culture.
I gotta go practice now (after I pick up my son from the bus stop). I’m grateful to have that opportunity.