Monday, May 9, 2011

A New Generation of Passion

Following Your Passion is something that we all dream of doing. My blog features contributors who have dreams of their own. Melissa Gresham, my first guest contributor (and daughter-in-law) writes about her passion. Read what she has to say.

What is my passion? I don’t think anyone has ever asked me that before, and so directly, to make me really stop and think (and write) about it: What is my passion? Mine?

So often I think we lose sight of what truly excites us. We become bogged down with our nine to five jobs, the Monday through Friday routine, and trying to stay afloat amidst our busy, always on-the-go schedules. We get overloaded with doing chores and, if we have kids, helping them with their homework or breaking up arguments. Life is hard, exhausting, and with all the responsibilities we have it doesn’t leave much time for following dreams.

Though if you’re like my mother-in-law Cindy, she has charged her once tucked away passion and found a way to follow it. With ambition, vigor, and strategic planning she has made her dreams reality and to our benefit, with the creation of Passaggio Wines.

With her great accomplishments in mind and her challenge to me to write about discovering my own passion, I find myself excited to share with you.

I have several passions, but only two that truly move me to top a level of excitement that the others do not. My passions, igniting my heart, are simple: fitness and writing.

When I was in high school, I convinced myself I was going to become a personal trainer and do that for a living, for my career, for life. But I was discouraged.

Personal training is not a real profession, people would say. You also have to have a “real” job.

And as the pressure of other peers going off to great colleges to get four year degrees began to perpetuate the dissuasions of my foggy plan, I found myself formulating the same idea for my own short-term future that would follow in my peers’ footsteps. I would go to a four-year college myself.

So I put my real passion on the backburner and went to Southeastern University. Not really doing the due diligence I deserved to give myself by researching degree options, I went without a plan and began an education undeclared.

Saddened to find that there was nothing physical fit-related to study there, I pursued a Journalism degree. And through my junior and senior years I began to really uncover my love for writing. It was all coming together, and the joy of being at college, this college, excited me more and more. A passion, dormant in my heart, was being unleashed.

My father, who I attribute the roots of this passion, is a writer. He has authored songs, stories, articles and books galore, and continues to do so even in into his graying years. He is one of my deepest inspirations.

My Journalism degree sparked an interest to become an avid blogger, documenting family life and notes of inspiration about my Lord Jesus. I also became a freelance writer for the Manassas Patch where I contribute weekly to its hyper-local focus. And I get to write about what I love: this hometown of mine that melts my soul.

My passion for writing is unmatched. There is nothing that blesses me more than touching someone with words on a page and relating to them in a way that no one else can. There is nothing more exciting to me than formulating stories to touch a heart or help someone recount a memory or inspire them to find their own passions. And so I write. All the time.

After discovering and living one dream, I decided to revisit my aspiration for fitness all over again. And six years after college ended I pursued a Personal Training Certification. This past February, I obtained that degree.

My zeal for physical training started when I was young with gymnastic lessons. And soon, I learned that my highs came from using my body to perfect physical technique, skill, and precision. And when I was in this mode, this mindset, nothing could stop me. I was on top of the world. Gymnastics led to cheerleading and simultaneously, an interest in softball. I found such purpose in being active, in keeping my body moving and in shape. I constantly craved reaching new levels of excellence and helping others find the same excitement to perfect their own bodies.

I am not up to par to teach lessons with my new degree at the moment because, excitedly, I’m a soon-to-be first time mom. And needless to say, I am out of shape and lacking much drive to do anything that requires a strong center of gravity or balance! So, starting this sub-career will wait.

For now, I am happy just to say I passed the test and finally accomplished this goal.

Though it may take time, or a different route to figure out what you truly love to do, don’t give up on it.

Discover your passion. Live your passion. Follow your passion.

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