I recently listened to this podcast with Elizabeth Gilbert on how instead of chasing passion (something she’s been preaching her entire career), you should be chasing CURIOSITY instead. And let me tell you, this spoke - so deeply and so profoundly - to my soul.
Over the years, I’ve watched and listened to successful, ambitious people talk about the importance of finding your one, true, passion. I was married to Bradford Frost - the most focus driven person I know. And while he supported my life of enthusiastic exploration, for years I felt inadequate in my lack of direction and singular passion. I’ve had countless jobs in countless industries. I’ve stopped and started. Changed directions and changed courses. I justified it (because when you’ve had cancer, you get to forever say, “Fuck it! Life’s too short!”) but I still felt less than because I didn’t have this - all caps - PASSION.
And then, listening to this podcast, Elizabeth Gilbert’s husband (also lacking a singular passion) said the most simple and profound words: "My passion is for life itself, in all its magnificent directions."
And sitting alone in my car, I felt understood. I felt seen.
Because I might not have one PASSION, but I am really good at living life in all its magnificent directions. In between all those jobs, I chased curiosities. I rode camels in the desert of Morocco. I swam in the Arctic waters of Norway. I climbed up glaciers in Iceland. I camped with a herd of elephants in South Africa. I slept under the brightest stars in the middle of the Australian outback. I read books. I tried new hobbies. I had countless conversations about cultures and politics and love and death. I gained perspective. I learned empathy. I listened. I learned. I expanded.
My best and most meaningful experiences came not because I chased a passion. But because I chased curiosity.
And a couple of years ago, I became ok living a life chasing curiosity. In fact, I moved to northern Michigan with the intention of creating a life of multiple passions. I have several jobs and get paid to write and tell stories.To explore nature. To be a shop keeper. To facilitate conversations with cancer survivors.
So to the 22 year old version of myself (and anyone else struggling to figure out your PASSION), just relax. And chase those curiosities instead.
Brad's grad school classmates from The Fletcher School at Tufts (aka Fletcher Mafia) created the most amazing video for Brad. Don't Stop Believing, everyone.