I just got done reading Ashley Ambrige’s new e-book You Don’t Need a Job, You Need Guts. It’s an inspirational piece in the same vein as Chris Guillebeau‘s Unconventional Guides. Both authors encourage their readers to do whatever it is that they are passionate about (though Ashley claims to be weary of the term passion). Every time I read one of these books I think, yeah, I can totally kick ass in that self motivated, self promoting, me against the big bad world way. Really, I’m perfectly wired for it… until.
Until I start trying to figure out what I’m passionate about. Ashley recommends putting your passion right up in the subtitle of your blog. What I have up there is the definition of the term “forge over” which, when it comes right down to it, is probably about as close to a concise statement of passion as you are going to get from me. [UPDATE: I have changed the subtitle since this writing] When I start thinking about what I’m passionate about I get nothing but paradox. Let’s delve:
I’m passionate about community, and fierce individuality. I’m passionate about nurturing a family (in a very particular way), and about nurturing my own soul. I’m passionate about being excellent in my career, but want to take a 2-5 year vacation right about now. I’m really uncomfortable with the thought of anybody “following me” because I think what is so awesome about me is derived from following my own beat, but I would be totally wrought if I noticed my stats declining.
So I’m going to keep mulling this over, to see if there is an authentic me that I can boil down to a subtitle. In the meantime I would be really interested in your feedback. How would you define your “authentic self.” If you know me (or think you do) how would you reduce me to a soundbite—this should be interesting. And until I get a nice clear picture of what I’m passionate about I’m just going to keep writing about the legion colorful and diverse things that pop into my head, and hope that there is an audience for that!
Comment by Charity
Charity December 18, 2010 at 6:36 am
Oh my goodness. Aside from the references to the definition of “forgeover” and the fact that I’ve not read Ambrige’s book. I feel like I could have written this exact same blog post. Especially this line: “I’m really uncomfortable with the thought of anybody “following me” because I think what is so awesome about me is derived from following my own beat, but I would be totally wrought if I noticed my stats declining.” I’m going to mull this over a bit and then I think finding and distilling one’s passion may be the topic of my next blog post. (Unless I have the courage to write about the topic I’ve been thinking of writing about but which is rather unflattering to me personally. Oh! I think I just figured out how to combine the two!)
Comment by Tucker Bradford
Tucker Bradford December 18, 2010 at 8:03 am
When we were talking about this post, Vick mentioned that one of the things I’m passionate about is forcing people to be honest with themselves. I think that might be the answer to the following dichotomy. I do want to inspire people to see things differently, to challenge their comfortable notions, so I necessarily must be interesting to those people, I just don’t want them to do what I do /because/ it’s what I do.
I can’t wait to see your post.
Comment by Allen
Allen December 18, 2010 at 8:46 am
Tucker, you are a searcher. Whether it be in a job situation or in life in general. I’ve always been amazed over the last 20 years (I think that’s pretty accurate, believe it or not) of how philosophical you are and, I believe, that is all relating to your desire to keep searching.
It is funny that you should post this blog now, or that I should notice it, because just yesterday I was thinking about how passionate I am about what I am doing in connection with the Masters program I’m in. Not that this is a life passion, but it definitely puts my career situation in a different light.
Keep searching. I don’t think you’ll ever stop. The search is too great an adventure!
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Comment by Charlotte
Charlotte December 19, 2010 at 9:01 pm
Hi Tucker, I really like your posts about kids and life aboard. Forge ahead!
Comment by Serena
Serena January 2, 2011 at 6:00 am
Chris Guillebeau’s legacy project post has inspired me to think hard about what I want to do. Have been pestering my husband with the question, “What is my superpower?” There are no easy answers and I’m still feeling my way through. It is inspiring to read other people who are grappling with the same questions.
Comment by Livia
Livia January 2, 2011 at 4:15 pm
To add to your dichotomies, there are two kinds of bloggers out there: those who wish to be read widely, and those who lie.
Comment by Tucker Bradford
Tucker Bradford January 2, 2011 at 6:52 pm
Well Livia, you can +1 your blog, you’re in my feed reader. 😉
…but yeah, we would keep diaries if we didn’t care about readers.
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