“It is obvious that we can no more explain a passion to a person who has never experienced it than we can explain light to the blind.”
– T.S. Elliot
My parents never talked to me directly about ‘my future’ much never mind helping me figure out my passion in life. And there’s nothing wrong with that; my parents are old school. Trust me when I tell you that my parent’s passion back then was for me to graduate high school, not get pregnant, and graduate college. If anything, they made me passionate about getting an education…and not getting pregnant. By the time I graduated from college, not once, not twice, but three times, I had admittedly reached all the goals I had ever really aspired towards. Job well done, but goals are not a passion.
Passion was never a subject discussed at home, in school, or anywhere that I can remember. It’s always been as simple as, you do what you have to do in life, whether you like it or not. If you like it, consider yourself lucky. Unintentional or not, my parents provided me with a pathway for a passionate journey through life. As early as I can remember, my parents let me take dance lessons, musical instrument lessons, participate in Brownies and Girl Scouts, go to summer camp, and signed endless permission slips for honor programs and field trips to museums, theaters, and more. Oh, and when I was a kid, you played outside. I ate mud pies (so I’m told), dug holes, built igloos, played with other kids (gasp!). I had my imagination, which was a playground of its own. Through a fine balance of nature vs. nurture, I’m certainly passionate about being creative.
Not so long ago, I found a story I’d written in first or second grade. I can’t remember the exact year, but it was one of those ‘where will you be in 25 years’ deals. Now I find myself wishing that the teacher, that any teacher, would’ve asked me what my passion was instead. Well, according to my 7- or 8-year-old self, I should have been America’s first black female president. Flash forward to today, and you guessed it. I was the first black female president of Salem State University’s Beta Sigma Chapter of Delta Mu Delta’s Honor Society in 2007! (Disclaimer: This statement may or may not be entirely accurate until I do some further research after accidentally discovering that potential fact while writing this paragraph.) Okay, okay…so I was a little off in my early prediction. Hey, Salem State is in America. Even imagining a black president, whether it be me or President Obama, was a profound idea at that time. Look at how far we’ve come. Two things learned: I think BIG and I have pretty good foresight.
I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. I remember going to a science fair in junior high and wanting to be a meteorologist like Michelle Michaels, or even a physicist. As I watch my youngest niece Casey journey through college, I’m happy to report that some of that dream was not lost in her passion for science. In high school, I thought I’d follow my dad’s footsteps and work at General Electric as a machine drafter or engineer. By senior year, I learned that I hated straight lines and trigonometry. I should have taken graphic design. Didn’t matter. The Internet boom would change technology as anyone graduating in the ’90s had learned it. Therefore, my dreams of working at GE were obsolete before I even knew it. All was not lost, I carried the torch to Temple University where I double majored in English and Psychology. The goal then? To be a criminal psychologist, studying serial killers, of course. Never quite reached that goal, and I left that torch in Philly. After a year of the college experience, some lingering homesickness, and a steep increase to tuition, that dream would never be fully realized. Oddly enough, my oldest niece Chelsea, is a psychology major with an interest in forensics, and some serial killer tendencies (kidding, kidding). Hey, everything happens for a reason, right?
I could go on and on about the variety of jobs I’ve had since I was 14 and able to get a work permit. I’ve been a tobacco peer leader, women’s clothing sales associate, jewelry sales associate and a piercer of ears, cashier, retail/wholesale auto parts associate, a driver, gym facility attendant…and those are only the paying jobs! Thankfully, I’ve found marketing to channel my creativity, but the journey continues. I’ve done marketing for a wealth management firm, a custom cake bakery, and a home health agency. I guess I’m a Mik of all trades if you will! So naturally, I’m curious to see where I end up next. I’m like a leaf in the wind.
So. We’ve established thus far that I am definitely passionate about having a career, learning new things, and being creative. I love marketing great products and services to people who truly need them! And as I was most recently told, I am definitely passionate about LIFE. I’m also becoming more passionate about writing this blog. Maybe that English major at Temple wasn’t a total fluke! Okay, now were on to something. Time to piece it all together…
Stay Tuned for Finding Passion – Part 3