The wind bellows like an old dog through autumn leaves as I make my way along the gravel road from football practice to my high school dormitory. I can’t recognize it yet but I am completely in the moment, whistling some recycled melody in a state of flow.
Flash forward 8 years and I am on a similar walk to my dorm at Colby College. I'm distracted by two iced up shoulders and a clicking knee that can’t help but disturb the rhythm of the chirping birds I grew so fond of. Football isn’t forever, and I needed something else to trigger the state of flow that football so easily gave me.
That said, what even is a passion? It is something that, when doing it, is effortless and the sole focus of the mind and soul - a “flow”. I say, it is something one loves. So, do all things through love, and one’s passion becomes everything. To be less abstract, as football practices came to an end and the zip of a spiral could no longer be my tune, I found singing, writing, and crafting a world of music to be my passion. Find this passion, pursue it relentlessly, with love as your spearhead, and happiness will be consistent and fruitful. Move against this, and be prepared for life to become a task.
I found my passion but becoming at home within it was a different story. As high school progressed I found myself at odds with my identity. My “friends” loved the jock in me - but my slightest hum triggered an onslaught of criticism. I felt betrayed by my budding passion, and punished myself instead of the fools I called friends. Then a Quaker boarding school a stone’s throw from Philadelphia saved my love for music. Here I was welcome, and could grow into myself. I found my home. Find yours.
As my passion evolved from shower singing, to Carnegie Hall solos, to selling out crowds in NYC, one thing became clear: anything but the fervent pursuit of my musical passion would result in deafening regret come retirement age. Do not let yourself regret your younger days. As my friends purchased cars and settled into Manhattan apartments envy slithered into my mind. I struggled and the road less traveled became lonely, but in a moment's notice it filled with people interested in me, and not my bank account. Do not let material obscure what gives you joy. This is not easy.
As I piece together this blog and reminisce about my journey I find myself remembering when I wanted what I have right now - especially peace. That is, peace with my journey and my choices and the realization that the whole journey is the dream, not the fruits of whatever actions I take along the way - a powerful lesson I learned from the late great Kobe Bryant.
With that, I invite any and all to reach out to me - tell me about your passion, what makes you tick, who do you admire? If life is anything it is the meaningful connections we make along the way.