When did you know your life’s passion? Is there something you loved, adored more than life itself, from the time you were a small child? I think if we all went back to that place of loving something completely, with a passion we forgot we had, and made it our life’s vocation, we’d all be happier people.
There’s something beautiful about stepping outside your current world to discover a new one. I don’t think we do it often enough as adults, and we could all learn a little about passion from kids. Everyone comes to this earth being really excellent at one thing, at least one thing, even if it takes some of us longer than others to figure it out.
If you’re a parent, you know what I’m talking about. Kids show up on this earth hardwired to love certain things. Maybe you remember what it felt like the first time you read a novel, or danced on a stage, or took a gorgeous photo, and how it transformed the way you moved about the world.
My oldest child, my daughter, has been obsessed with words from the get-go. She started talking early, reading early, and as a teenager is now experimenting with finding her own voice as a writer. Nothing I could’ve done or not done would’ve changed that passion for her.
My son has always been about creativity. Play. Expression through art. He’s obsessed with art and has always taken every variation of art very seriously.
When my son is creating and or working on any sort of art, he escapes entirely to a place in his head, disconnecting from the rest of us. And when he has escaped, he figures things out through tactile play. When he’s playing with toys, (like these Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) he’s pushing the boundaries of what’s real, and what isn’t. What the toys represent, and how he can control that in his own way.
He’s only 9, but every year he’s more and more interested in different art techniques and the great masters of each. His current favorite artist is Vincent van Gogh, but the list of artists at the top rotates regularly.
When he was about 7, I checked a huge art book out of the library for my son. There was a whole section about Jackson Pollock, whose art I personally have never connected with, but whom my son adores. I showed him photos of several pieces of Pollock’s and asked,
‘Honey, what do you think about this? What does it look like to you?’
I fully expected him to tell me it was all a hot, splattered mess, but he turned his head sideways, inspected carefully and remarked,
‘I get it. I totally see what he’s doing here. It makes sense to me.’
My little guy had never heard of Jackson Pollock, and taking his new-found discovery of Pollocks’ art to the playground in no way earned him any street cred. He just feels art, like some of us feel music, or words, or electronics or numbers. It’s his passion. It’s the avenue through which my son interprets and understands the world.
He was pretty stoked to realize there are toys that represent four of the world’s greatest Renaissance artists: Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo, and Donatello. Especially because those particular artists were pushing the boundaries of what was considered acceptable in their own time, and were able to transform their worlds into how they saw it.
We’ve spent a fair amount of time studying Leonardo da Vinci, traveling as far as The Getty in California to see a traveling exhibit of da Vinci’s experiments and prototypes for inventions far beyond his time.
Learning from the great masters never hurt anyone. Do you have a childhood passion you wish you could transform into a profession? I’ve been obsessed with makeup and words since I was small, and I’m living out both of those in my professional life, but what about you? What’s your life’s passion?
This post is sponsored by Target. More Turtles, More Bold and Daring Fun: Blur the lines of fantasy and reality with your favorite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles at Target.