As a coach who focuses on bringing out millennial’s passions, it’s #ironic that I’m writing on a lost passion- one I’ve let go. Call this a nostalgia post, but I think there are a lot of old passions in our lives that we let go, and perhaps there are reasons, we grow out of it, or maybe they remind you of a past hurt. In this case, my old passion definitely brings up some great memories, but also some sad ones.
When I was young, I can remember picking up my very first instrument with my mom, it was a Viola (not to be confused with the Violin), and I was so unsure but excited to try out music. I remember the very first time I came home from school after a lesson, and I started to practice. My Dad called it the most beautiful screeching he’d ever heard- I was determined. I came back into the class and played, and I’ll never forget how happy I was. I continued playing the Viola, in concerts, private quartets, traveling groups, and State orchestra until I graduated high school.
The passion for me was loving how I could think about the music without even playing. Every song was a new chance to try something new- to obsess about getting through the rhythm and making sure your hand was positioned in the right way to hit the note with precision. It was unfortunate, but a series of mistakes that I made as a kid, i.e. letting it go, led me to never pick up the Viola again.
It’s been over ten years, YIKES, since I’ve even picked up my passion for playing music.
When I moved fully from my childhood home, the Viola would go with me, from apartment to apartment, but it sat in my closet. I never touched it, and when my husband asked if I ever would, I couldn’t answer him. It’s almost like I was waiting to be asked or struck by the muse again in order to pick it up and fall in love all over again.
I think with anything that used to bring you such joy and ultimately a sting of pain, there is healing involved. I have to move past the barriers that I felt when I let it go- I let my pride get the best of me, and as such the talent and promise I had to go to music school did not materialize. What did happen from my musical experience, was a never ending love for music. I think in many ways, walking away from a passion that wasn’t serving me, was such a life lesson in choice. It made me realize that in order to love what you do- you have to choose it much like it chooses you.
If you have a natural talent that others pressure you to pursue- you may not feel excited by it. Heck, you may never love it. I think we innately know and can feel when something is truly right for us- and sometimes it’s about timing, and sometimes it’s about something else. We wait to be called to pursue something- we wait for the sign around us- asking what’s my purpose or what’s my passion?
I think we have the unique ability to defer to what we don’t know to answer what we do know. Maybe we need to reverse this. Start with what you do know- maybe it’s a lifelong love for music, or maybe it’s something else. If it brought you incredible joy and happiness at one point- you probably still love it deep down. I have found many different ways to express my love for music aside from touching the Viola- from performing on stage, to singing Opera and musical theatre, to choirs and bingeing musicals with my GBF, I have found plenty of ways to enjoy it.
To quote one of my favorite composers, “Neither a lofty degree of intelligence nor imagination nor both together go to the making of genius. Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius.”
Go get your genius on this week!