Since my quarter life crisis (please see post about girl leaving medical school, ending her toxic relationship, and moving back in with her parents), I’ve found my mind circuit tons of flighty ideas. Not flighty in the sense of eloping in Vegas or tattooing a unicorn on my body at 4 am, but rather recognizing the wide array of interests I have. More specifically, sometimes I think of myself as a walking oxymoron. For example, I live in an apartment in downtown Pittsburgh and Manhattan is the one place I really feel alive, but I truly feel like me in the middle of the woods, surrounded by trees and fresh air, accompanied by the sound of the wind. My music collection includes everything from Drake to Lana Del Ray, Thomas Rhett, Aerosmith, Halsey, Dashboard Confessional, Big Sean, Garth Brooks, the Chainsmokers, Spice Girls, Matchbox Twenty, and the list goes on and on. I love shooting guns, camping, and fishing, but I also love a Sunday filled with brunch, shopping, and mani/pedis. I have tons and tons of things I want to do and accomplish in my lifetime, and I continuously long to try new things, but have found myself questioning my newfound lack of directionality.
At one of the sessions during my yoga retreat last month, one of the instructors mentioned the Flight of the Hummingbird, which is both a novel and the subject of a TedTalk by coincidentally, one of my favorite authors, Elizabeth Gilbert. With only the brief description the instructor gave, I knew it was material I wanted to explore further. Gilbert discusses living a “curiosity driven life” and speaks against following a single, defined passion. While the focused approach may work for some, Gilbert goes on to explain that the people she truly admired most in life were those who didn’t have a single, unidirectional plan for life. She mentions that those who change their path or find a number of “tiny passions” rather than devoting all of their energy into one avenue, were the individuals she thought may get the most out of life.
The concept of the hummingbird has since resonated with me. My world was rocked when I made a significant change in my educational/career path, as I had been jaded in the past by thoughts of what I was supposed to do and who I was supposed to be. Finding this metaphor made me realize that maybe Gilbert is onto something; maybe I am onto something; maybe my evolving life and continual discovery of new things, places, and ideas that I love is OKAY. Actually, maybe it’s better than okay, maybe it’s pretty freaking awesome. A single passion may be fit for some, but it definitely isn’t for me. I hope I can continue to uncover new pieces of me and my soul and things that make me feel alive. This world is a big, fantastic place and no matter what anyone thinks, I’ll find comfort in loving the crap out of everything.
You can watch Gilbert’s talk here. And in the meantime, I hope anyone reading this post has or will find their passion(s).