Looking For: Passion

Hi, my name is Caitlyn and I’m looking for some passion in my life.

Sorry. Got my new Match.com profile mixed up with blog post.

I ran into a current student from my alma mater yesterday downtown, and as we were talking, of course the “what do you do?” question came up. I told her, oh I do marketing at a publishing company, I like it, it’s good, blah blah.

She replied “I hope I can be as lucky as you and find something I’m passionate about when I start looking for jobs next year.”

In reply, I think I stood there and blinked at her. Maybe I was on auto-pilot and managed enough to nod. I would be impressed if I managed an all-knowing ‘mmmhmm.’

Passionate? Where oh where did she get passionate from?

The whole walk home I was turning over that word in my head. Why does she think I am passionate? I told her I liked my job. Does liking my job automatically equal passion? Am I actually passionate about it? I didn’t think so. I still don’t think so. I like that we publish books that help people with disabilities and the teachers and professionals who work with them. I like that. Maybe I’m passionate about that aspect of it? I don’t know.  I LIKE marketing, but I wouldn’t ever say I’m passionate about it.

Clearly she doesn’t know what passionate means. But maybe I don’t, either.

Thank God for the trusty I-phone so I didn’t have to wait a single minute to pull up Merriam-Webster.

Definition of PASSIONATE

a : capable of, affected by, or expressing intense feeling

b : enthusiasticardent

I guess that makes sense.


So of course, naturally I thought well what would I say I am passionate about.


I love to read. Thank God, there’s one.

What else…?

Fine, enough about me, let’s look at other people.

I asked my roommates what they were passionate about.

Dana said service even though she hasn’t done a lot of it since graduation. Colleen said Netflix. They both agreed that they were not passionate about their jobs, which made me feel better.

I asked my mom what she thought I was passionate about. She said: reading, spending money when I should be saving and Bravo shows. I asked my 19 year old sister what she thought passion meant.

“It’s what gets you out of bed in the morning.”

That was another way to look at it. But really what gets me out of bed in the morning is the fact that I have to get up.  It’s not an option like it was in college (it shouldn’t have been an option in college, but…..it was, heh). As much as I’d love to, I can’t lie in bed all day and then putter around my room in my sweatpants and T-shirts.

Right now what gets me out of bed in the morning is that I am paying for a gym and I am – finally – motivated for the first time in my life to lose weight and get in shape.

It’s motivation, but is it passion? I don’t think so, but I don’t really know.

I am actually really looking forward to trying more workouts and exercises. Before, I was monogamous with the treadmill. I *hope* fitness and exercise becomes a passion, but it might not and that’s okay. I don’t think it needs to. I’ll keep doing it anyway. Which brings up yet another question, can you MAKE something be a passion? Prowling around Google land seems to say “no”.

So.many.questions. So.many.different.opinions.

But yet, I still don’t really know what I am passionate about. At 23-years-old-and-361-days, should I?

All I know is….


  1. How do you define “passion” or “passionate”
  2. What are you passionate about?
  3. Is it necessary to be passionate about your job? Or just an extra perk?

*kidding about match.com.


14 thoughts on “Looking For: Passion

  1. Ooh. Tough one. I am passionate about changing kids’ lives. About being that person that they look back on and think, yea, that teacher motivated me to do/be xyz. I am also passionate about racing. I just love the community…and crossing the line is addicting.

  2. This is a tough one. Something I’ve thought a lot about and struggled a lot with. I’ve been working for 5 years now (OMG can’t believe it!) and I still haven’t found something I’m “passionate” about. I work because at the end of it I get a paycheck and it’s not all bad. The people I work with are usually cool, the industry is pretty laid back, and the hours aren’t terrible. But I can’t say I’m in love with what I do. I really do hope to find it, but I think a lot of how you spend the beginning of your career is searching for that passion and trying new things. I can honestly say that I am passionate about fitness and that I like doing this whole blog thing. You seem pretty passionate about that as well 🙂

  3. Ha, passion. well, I think the first step is to have a passion for life. then the second and most critical step: have a goal. because then the jobs you find yourself in, the hobbies you pick up, the friends you meet will suddenly be things you are passionate about. I really didn’t get that until very recently, i thought i was just supposed to love ____ for the heck of it. but it doesnt work that way in my opinion. you have to throw yourself into whatever you’re doing, make sure you feel strongly that it’s part of a goal that’s getting you to who you want to be, take pride in it and you’ll find that passion.

  4. That is really a tough one. I’m passionate about my students and teaching them and wanting them to be successful… but sometimes it’s hard to be passionate about a job because the job part is rough, ya know? I do like my job though..

  5. Oh, GURL. You need to read the book I picked up this week: The Firestarter Sessions by Danielle LaPorte. It delves into a lot of the issues surrounding passion, career, etc., and it’s incredibly insightful. (I’ve basically morphed into a one-woman promotion team for that book, and I’m only, like, 20% of the way through it.)

    Also, I love that your roommate said she’s passionate about Netflix. Awesome!

  6. I don’t think that you necessarily have to have a list of “things” you’re passionate about. I definitely think that passion changes and evolves over time. 2 years ago I was NOT passionate about working out- I did it because I felt like I HAD to. Now- I LOVE it. I LOVE runs – mostly long, slow runs. Am I passionate about it? I think so.

    I am in Marketing too, and I’m not necessarily passionate about it as a whole, but there are a few aspects of online marketing that I AM passionate about… and that’s usually where I excel the most, too.

    And if one of your passions is spending money when you should be saving- i am right there with you girl 🙂

  7. ohhh great post!
    I would define passion as the thing that drives you, that lights up your life and makes you excited. I am passionate about my friends, family, reading, writing and, probably above all, theater. I miss it so much! I need to get back into it.
    I think for me, passion is a necessary component of my job, which is why i’m struggling right now. I’m a passionate person, I need to be driven and excited so I need my job to make me feel that way!

  8. I take the word passion pretty seriously. It’s not something you just like or enjoy, it’s something that inspires you and creates a fire within you. It’s mutually a love and a challenge.

    “Is it necessary to be passionate about your job? Or just an extra perk?”

    For some people, passion is necessary in the workplace. Those people are lucky enough to find/make a job out there that fits their passion. Personally, I don’t believe passion is necessary in one’s job- I actually think it’s rare. Your job should ideally either be something you enjoy and get fulfillment from or something that allows you to be around good people OR it should enable you to do something else you are passionate about. The money you make or your flexible schedule may allow you to travel. You can take care of your kids. Your job and your passion may be one in the same, or one may support the other.

  9. You sound a lot like me, recent college graduate May 2012) still trying to figure it all out.

    When I was in college, my passion was my major: mathematics. I lived and breathed my schoolwork because I loved it (though I still had a lot of fun). Since graduation I have been working as a waitress/tutor/temp for the past year. The professions I have been thrown into did not invoke my passion like being a student did, but luckily I will be starting grad school this fall so I will be able to get back to it! For awhile, I didn’t have a passion. This for me was very upsetting as I honestly dreaded getting up in the morning for another day of meaningless work. But then I found fitness…

    Like you, I decided to join my local gym and get into shape! I am now one of those crazy gym people and I have developed a passion for fitness. Now, I want to become a Les Mills instructor one day so I can motivate people the way my instructors do for me. Fitness easily became my passion because: I loved the classes I was taking so much, a saw some amazing results, and I was inspired by my trainers and instructors. I know I mentioned on a previous post of yours that you should try out some Les Mills classes (BodyPump, BodyCombat, ect…) but I can tell you they changed my life (in that cheesy way). Getting up knowing that I was going to the gym was exciting, and I finally was able to wake up with a smile on my face again.

    What I am trying to say is that I think your passions are the things that make you happy and excite you every day. I also think that you discover your passions based on your life situation at a particular point in time. If I went to grad school immediately after undergrad I would have never discovered by passion for Les Mills classes although I would have been consistently with my passion for mathematics. I am sure you will find a passion soon! You will know you found it when you wake up each day with a smile on your face!

  10. The same thing has happened to me with someone younger – that whole, “I hope I can be as happy and successful as you” thing. I couldn’t agree more with you on the lack of passion. I’m in the same boat. And, I can’t even pinpoint what I’m passionate about with regard to work. I get asked what my dream job would be constantly and I always answer, “I’m not sure yet.” What?!? How am I pushing 25 years old and unable to figure out what I’m passionate about?? I
    Here’s what I know about passion. I love my job, the people I work with and the money I make. But, there is a really lack of passion and I discovered that after about one year of work. So, I took up hobbies that I’m passionate about. I can say I’m passionate about running. I can say I’m passionate about being a pet owner. I can say I’m passionate about desserts. I think that in general, I’m a passionate person – just not within the realm of my job. You are perfectly wonderful and not alone in that capacity and I, personally, think that is just fine so long as you have other things you care deeply about. 🙂 Have a fabulous weekend my dear!

  11. I suppose you could be ‘passionate’ about your job, maybe if you’re doing something super rewarding. I’d tend to think that the majority of the world is not ‘passionate’ about working and really there to collect the paycheck! Great post, happy I found your blog. 🙂

  12. What a tough question… but, honestly, thank goodness you’re asking it. Many people stumble through life and never even think of what their passion is. In my humble opinion, passion is what motivates you to do what is difficult; it’s that spark that wills you to persevere, even when it may not make sense (to others and to the rational side of your mind) to do so. To find what you are passionate about, think about what you care about enough to sacrifice other things for and what you hold so close to your heart that when it is endangered, you become angry.

    My passions lie in the environment, a fulfilling life, child advocacy, and a general desire to help those (people, animals, environment) less fortunate and defenseless. I hope (and maybe I’m naive) that I’ll be able to make a living that is directly related to at least one of my passions in some form or fashion with a law degree I will begin to pursue in August.

    Personally, I don’t believe that your job must align with your passions, but it must align with your values, if you desire happiness.

    Anyway, that’s my $0.02 on the subject. I hope you’re able to find some clarity! 🙂

  13. Great post! I find being passionate about your job makes you more excited for the day! Like the old saying “Do what you love and you never work a day in your life!” I’ve found that I’m really passionate about health & fitness and helping others. So I became a health & fitness coach. That and my blog have made my life so much more exciting! Finally doing what I love! How about you? Do you enjoy helping others get on the path you’re on?

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