To Stand Up for Your Passion

Food for Thought

I went to an event called “Dessert Goals” @omgdessertgoals where over 20 vendors were selling sweet things. If you are picturing a large space filled with girls in groups of 4 to 6, you are accurate. To that picture, add me eating a bunch of sweets by myself. All the women I know are currently watching their figures, so the idea of going to an event where we would be devouring as many sweets as possible, wasn’t enticing to them. If I asked my male friends around 50 years of age, they would just laugh at me.

Sometimes your passion does not match how you look. Once I read an article about a boy who wants everything in pink even though he is not gay or particularly feminine. I know a girl who is a hardcore video gamer, and I’m not talking about dress-up games or Candy Crush; she plays the stuff boys typically play. I’ve also read about this 83-year old Japanese woman who started learning how to DJ at 77, and is now a professional regularly performing at a nightclub in Tokyo.

Stories like these are charming only when other people do them. Once you are known as the boy who loves pink or female video game master, or hold the Guinness World Records title for the Oldest professional club DJ (she actually does), the fact that you don’t look the part becomes an advantage. What is awkward and even painful, however, is the road to get there. It’s a lonely pursuit filled with self-doubts. Just imagine at 77 being in a classroom full of 20-somethings to learn about the DJ equipment.

In so many ways in our lives, our passions get squashed or self-censored. They survive only if you actively stand up for them. Our passions by nature are not rational. It’s not possible to logically defend something irrational. Even something as simple as your favorite color cannot be defended through reason. What could you say about liking, say, blue? You just do. There is no rhyme or reason. You might defend it by saying, “Because I love the sky,” but you simply passed the buck to “the sky”—you don’t have a rational reason for liking the sky.

To stand up for your own passion, there is no use being defensive. You have to be willing to be bruised, like civil disobedience.