The word passion used to give me hives.
For the longest I thought passions were confined to art and music. And I fit into neither mold.
I thought there were such thing as cookie cutter passions which were admired - as if there was a hierarchy in "coolness" of what was presented as a passion.
Travel, photography, music, food, art creation - I didn't seem to quite fit. Sure, I love traveling, I appreciate great photography, love me some Jhene Aiko, Childish Gambino, Jill Scott etc but I felt unless I traveled more than x amount of places, unless I could actually create music, or make a dish from scratch, I didn't have a passion.
I don't know why I let what others think of a as passion determine if what I enjoy would "qualify."
After all what is passion? Hm.
Possibly quite simply, giving a damn about something, or more so something that brings you to life when you perform the activity or speak on the topic.
In my case, my passions would include health and fitness, life hacking, learning new ways to stay present, blogging, and YouTube. I'm still uncovering my unique talents and for the longest I also struggled with revealing what talents I had.
The thing about identifying talents and passions are that when you are using a talent, when you are speaking about a passion, you are so engrained in the moment, the talent comes to you so naturally, that the last thing coming to mind is, "I am really enjoying this or I am really good at this."
Whenever someone enters my apartment for the first time, they usually comment on the home decor and how at home they feel. Decorating and organizing my place to be neat and functional has been something I've always been interested in. And it wasn't until a colleague of mine expressed her frustration of having no creativity when it came to decorating her home that I realized, maybe a talent of mine is translating my vision of home life into actual reality.
Going layers deeper, speaking about one's talents and passions can be difficult because, as I'd like to think, most people do not want to come across as bragging. But this very same fear of being seen as a showoff limits us from being able to explore our own needs and wants.
Ask a 5-year old what they like to do and they can go on and on, ask a 25-year old whose been in the workplace a couple years, and there's going to be a slight pause.
As time passes, and life catches us it can be all too easy to be jaded into thinking how life should be lived, setting aside how we want to live life.
Simple questions about what we like to do in our spare time have answers reduced to a checklist of to-do tasks rather than illustrating the ways we're living our best life now.
When someone asks you about your passions and your talents, be forthright - do you like kayaking? do you love studying sea urchins? Maybe you just like looking up the lyrics to songs and dissecting their meaning - whatever it is, I guarantee there is something in this world that you probably know more (read - care more) about that anyone else around you. There is something you can do in your own way that no one else can do.
And when you're struggling to identify what that passion is - start with thinking about what it is you lose time doing. When you are struggling to identify what your talents are, think about what it is people compliment you for and what is it that people ask you for help with.
And if you still can't find the answers, trust that with time, they will be revealed to you.