The Spicy Meatball

What’s Your Passion?

Has anyone ever asked you, "So, what are you passionate about?" I'm not a fan of the question. What does it mean anyway? According to, the definition of passion is:

pas·sion [pash-uhn] –noun

1. any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling, as love or hate.
2. strong amorous feeling or desire; love; ardor.
3. strong sexual desire; lust.
4. an instance or experience of strong love or sexual desire.
5. a person toward whom one feels strong love or sexual desire.
  Lots of sexual desire comes up in that definition. Anyone else find it weird that you're asked the passion question most often in interviews? Interesting...moving on. I have been writing professionally for 10 years. Of course I am no Pulitzer Prize winner, but I know I can string two sentences together pretty well. When I had to pick a major in college I thought, "Ok, I guess I'll be a journalist because I'm super nosey and I don't really have skills in anything else." Of course I always dreamed of being a Jennifer Lopez-triple-threat type, but shockingly enough that one never panned out. So I settled for journalism because I could show up to class with party hair and still get an A. Did I work hard to retell the goings on in other people's lives? Yes. Did I like it? Yes. Was I good at it? Yes. Then that's my passion, right? Wrong. Right after college I got my first gig at a publishing house. I was 22 years old, editing text books (things I never read in college), and reluctantly adjusting to a 9 to 5. I didn't plan on being an editor, but like most things, it just sort of happened. As I gained "real-world" experience, I started to decide what I wanted from life. I thought less about "what I see myself doing for the rest of my life" and more about "what will not make me miserable every day." After lots of trial and error, I figured out that affording a comfortable life, starting a family, and doing a job I actually like would probably not make me miserable. So I went to grad school, got a new job, and started a blog. Seems logical that after all that I would say writing is my passion, right? I guess so, but it doesn't feel like passion. It feels like an inherent skill I was smart enough to capitalize on. To me, the passion question is bogus because it's not asking what you really want to know. If you want to know what I see myself doing for the next 40 years, just ask. If you want to know if I am boring or not, just ask. If you want to know about my mad skillz, just ask. If you want to know about my strong amorous feelings or desires, then you better buy me a drink first. To ask about someone's passion is to neglect the fact that we're human. We're complex creatures who enjoy a myriad of things, so to have to narrow it down to one, two, or ten things is difficult. I purpose that the question be restated or thrown out completely because it's too open ended. Maybe I'm over thinking it here (first time for everything), but I still have no idea how to answer the passion question in a thoughtful, honest way. Do you? Tell me what you think. Am I over thinking it? Do you think the question is bogus?

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