Photo Credit: Riley Irwin

Dang, That Passion Looks So Good On You!

Passion.

The way someone’s eyes glisten, their face lights up, their uncontrollable smile–

it’s absolutely exquisite.

As the words roll from their lips, I watch carefully.

As they dive into their dreams and aspirations, I see it.

What I see is difficult for me to formulate…I just can’t place the right adjectives in the right order to create an accurate description.

I remember sitting on one of those uncomfortable chairs that are included in every dorm room. My body was pointed towards the window. The anticipation, man. I had never seen snow fall before and as the temperature dropped, my eagerness rapidly heightened. PLEASE PLEASE SNOW. I remember listening as my friend began to talk about the nooks and crannies of his favorite music genre… actually more like gushed as he entered the trance of passion for this art. Not going to lie, a great deal of the time I had no idea what he was referencing and saying, yet I wanted to hear more and more. The intellect. The ardor. The intricacy. The explanations. Every. Single. Little. Detail. It did not matter that I was not on the same level of knowledge on the subject. The passion in his voice and in his movements were beautifully distinguished. Screw the snow. Tell me more.

Without passion, it seems nearly impossible to find purpose within one’s life. There’s nothing more depressing than meeting a person who views just about everything as bland using “ugh” and “I’m tired” and “eh” and “sure I guess” and “I don’t do stuff” to sum up daily life. I mean, one can have a passion for absolutely ANYTHING. Some have a passion for football, while others have a passion for Harry Potter. What’s the big deal? Some have a passion for white wines, while others have a passion for DIY crafts. That’s cool. I dig it. Even more, I want to hear about it! Regardless of what it is, how common or how quirky, passion is passion, and that’s the only requirement.

“I don’t want to bore you talking about this.”

I remember when a different friend said that, pausing mid-sentence. Yes, I am a noob when it comes to vehicles, but the way my friend told his story, how he grew this interest in cars and how overtime he and his dad bonded over it, ’twas absolutely exquisite. I did have to use my imagination as he mentioned a variety of car parts and models, but the devotion in his voice allowed me to understand. At that very moment, something in the atmosphere changed. I could have sworn he was glowing.

I remember our conversation. My friend did the speaking, and when she noticed this, my lack of response, it was just like that… she stopped. I hadn’t been expecting the sudden interruption. I had been so embodied in her vehemence. It was enchanting. Her passion for a teensy bean is one-of-a-kind and yes, maybe the history lesson on coffee wasn’t something I, myself, could rave about the way she could, but I was perfectly content. The passion she held was beautiful. Her infatuation with the culture behind it may be something most (*cough* lame *cough*) people don’t give a shit about, but I wanted to hear it. The happiness that shot through her veins was contagious. Her genuine happiness provided me with genuine happiness.

And that’s just what passion does.

Neat, huh?

“Okay, so who is beautiful to you? Who are these girls you want to look like?”
I made a list aloud off the top of my head.
“You realize none of those girls you named look anything alike, right? They are different shapes and sizes and have completely different features.”
I had not realized this.
“Buuuut, what they do have in common is that they always seem to be smiling and have passions and ambitions and dreams.”
Suddenly it made sense to me.

Beauty shows itself through passion.

Here we are living in a society so obsessed with ourselves and bodies and looks. The extremes we go to physically…it’s absolutely insane. I love my highlighter (so don’t get me wrong), but I swear one can intensify that glow in a way no palette ever can with a passionate attitude. Nothing is more attractive than a driven person, especially one with a genuine smile on their face.

A friend once caught me off guard when he asked me what I was passionate about. Such a simple question, right? Yet I did not have an answer I was satisfied with. It bothered me in ways I can’t explain. It took me over 48 hours to come up with a response: I have a passion for people (which explains my album full of Polaroids of everyone I meet) and a passion for trying new things (which has proven to be the absolute best AND worst simultaneously).

Everyday I’m still learning about myself, still changing my mind, and discovering new passions.

It’s exhilarating.

Try it.

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