After an amazing summer in Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, I have greatly enjoyed having time to reflect on this unique experience. Returning home has been a slight adjustment, but I slipped back into routine as best as I could. It’s what I had to do anyway, as I only had one day upon return before I started back at work. The comments I’ve received since then have inspired me to step back and contemplate the jobs I do for a living, and how they affect me.
After traveling through a foreign country with a group of 20 high schoolers and a bunch of bottled water, most reactions were as follows..
“It’s too bad you have to go right back to work!”
“You must have slept all weekend.”
“You must need a lot of rest after that job.”
“I bet you’re exhausted!”
I playfully bantered along with my response, agreeing and nodding my head. Inside, however, I wondered why I felt so differently.
I didn’t mind going back to work. I didn’t sleep all weekend. I didn’t feel starved for rest. I wasn’t even exhausted! In fact, I felt excited to be in my classroom again. I played all weekend with friends and family. I felt alive, full of energy, and invigorated.
We often hear people say, “Follow your passions!”, though it can be easier said than done. What does it mean for something to be your passion? Can it be something that you’re just really good at? Does it change and grow? What if I can’t find it? What I do is look to the parts of my life that make me feel rejuvenated. They don’t suck energy out of me, but rather fulfill my inner needs. Working with kids and teens has always played a role in my life, as it provides me with this energy. Travel has also been a significant passion of mine (although not consistently in the forefront). My summer job combined these two devotions of mine, and proved their strength to empower me. The experience becomes more than work, more than a job; it is a life force that drives me forward and keeps me captivated. Because of my feelings upon return, more than ever, I feel ready to continue to seek these opportunities and explore more venues within my passions.
Have you found your passion? What invigorates you?