Tuesday, May 24, 2011


I began my summer course today. It is "Writing about Literature". It is one of two prerequisites that I will be knocking out of the way this summer. Writing is easy for me, and heaven knows, I do so love to read, but when you drop all of that into the middle of all the other classes, it is just too much. That pleasure becomes a pretty heavy burden. It just seemed wiser to knock those labor intensive courses out during the summer when I can focus on them, and nothing else. Well, nothing else but the house, and work, and Tim.

Last semester was a real trial, and I am glad to be done with it. I really struggled to keep up with everything, and I wasn't all that good at it. I wasn't even a straight B student. Straight Bs except for that one C+. I struggled. I was not happy with my performance. I was not happy with school. I slogged through the papers, one by one, and I thought it pointless at times, to have so many assignments that you couldn't even enjoy doing them. By the end of the semester, I was whipped.

I set the alarm this morning and I got up, and I was very unenthusiastic about going back to school. That week between the end of spring semester and the beginning of summer semester went waaaaaaaaaay too fast. But I am responsible, so I got myself dressed, and I went to school, and I sat down in the classroom. There was no joy in my heart. There was no enthusiasm to be there. There was no real interest at all. I stared out the window and thought about that house in a dreamy sort of way.

The teacher came in, and all of that changed. We read stories, and we discussed ideas. I disagreed with her on a point from the short story, "The River of Names." A charactor in the story responded to the death of two family members as "God's will". She felt that was an indication of faith. "No," I said. "He was a mean man, and the two charactors had packed up and were leaving. They died. The words are a warning to the rest of the family about the futility of leaving: God's on HIS side. Some of the meanest people I've ever heard of claim to have God on their side." Her eyes went wide, and she nodded. "Yes!" she said.

That's all.


That openness seemed to unleash a current within the classroom, and everyone talked, ideas flowing freely, everyone listening to what everyone had to say. I looked interestedly at my text book, and I read ahead through next week's assignment, and I walked out of the classroom today excited.

I had originally walked into the college setting with a lot of enthusiasm, but somewhere along the line, I lost it, much to my disappointment. It's not that OT is the wrong field for me. I love people and I think that it will be a good fit. It will be an occupation that brings me satisfaction. But it will never be my passion. My passion is thinking and talking and tossing ideas about. It is writing and creating, and dreaming.

Initially, walking to the car, I felt kind of bad about that realization. I had expected to bring a passion and zeal to my job. I expected that OT would be my passion. However, today, I discovered that passion is a visceral response. I cannot make myself be passionate about OT, not like I am about writing and reading, and thinking. When I got home, Tim and I only had a few minutes before he left for work, but we talked and laughed together, and he got that spark in his eyes and he suddenly stood and kissed me full on the mouth, his hands running down my back.

This is what I think: When we indulge our passion, we are enervated and energized. We are inspired and alive. That spark in me also ignites something within Tim. Joy draws people close. It's mean to be shared. That spark will make me a better OT. A better person. It's a stupid thing, I suppose. Common sense, really. But sometimes when one is hugely busy, we forget stuff, and I had forgotten this.


BUSH BABE said...

That is soooooooo SPOT ON. I would have been an okay architect (I think) as I passed all my exams. But it left me empty. Writing was always where it was at to me. And when someone threw photography into the mix: WHAMMO! Passion.

I think you will be an amazing OT. You love people and what you are studying now simply arms you for that work. Seems to me you come alive when you talk about the practical OT stuff - your tasks for clients etc. Just an observation...

A Novel Woman said...

Passion IS contagious.

You will make an amazing OT.

But you will do other things too, like write a book, or teach, and you will light that fire in others.

OT and creating art in many forms are not mutually exclusive. Life is full of possibilities and opportunities. You will find your bliss.

Kelly said...

I enjoyed this post.

*Sigh* I'm still searching for my passion.

Mary Paddock said...

You'll be amazed at how one passion can carry over into your chosen profession.

You want to make the world a better place--that's very obvious in your posts on this blog. That, combined with your training, will make you an excellent OT.

Mikey said...

A spot on post as usual. Very thought provoking. I was thinking about passion the last few days, so it's funny that you do a post about it. I've been feeling like I'm not passionate about anything right now. I don't know why... I "like" to do a lot of things, but I don't have that fire in my belly at the moment. I'm out of balance it seems and I need to find that joy and passion again.
Thanks for giving me more to think about, as always :)

Bob said...

Wise. You are so wise.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately I discovered passion doesn't put food on the table. Its finding balance and joy in whatever you fill your hours with, methinks.

Still the anonymous jeanie.