It’s November 2005: It’s halftime at a district semi-final field hockey match. The winner of this game will go on to the district championship as well as the state tournament. I look at my teammates, carefully. Sweat is dripping from my eyebrows, and tears are working themselves up from behind my eyes. The score is 0-0. I look at my teammates again, and I think ‘We are tied with what is considered the best team in the nation…we have a shot.’ Once more I look at my teammates, and I feel love, compassion, and determination on this night. Most of all…I feel passion for this game, for this fight, for this chance.
Fast-forward two years to August 2007: It is late afternoon and one of the first practices of my college field hockey season has just let out. Our coach has told us that not every player will be traveling this season, that some will be left behind, and that some won’t get to go on the road, maybe ever, that they will post the names a day or two before each game. My teammate and I enter our temporary dorm suite.
“I am not missing any games this season!” I proclaim. “Kick my butt every-time I let down. Push me harder each time I stumble. Whatever you do, help me to make that team every week. I am not getting left behind!” I was more passionate in that moment about field hockey than I had been since the night my high school field hockey team lost the semi-final district game. I was more passionate that day about field hockey than I would ever be again.
It was in these two moments that I truly learned what passion for anything was, what passion for doing well was; what passion for success was; was passion for a sport was. Sure I had played sports for twelve years, but it was in these moments that I knew true passion. Regardless of my team losing on that November night and regardless of my being left behind for a game in Maine that fall of 2007…I came away with something more than I could have ever imagined…I came away with a passionate heart.
I am not sure that anyone would have guessed that four years later I would be more artistic than athletic, more savvy with words than with a molded metal bat or composite stick, or that my weapon of choice would be a video camera rather than a dodge left or spin on a field hockey field. But here I am…passionate. Passionate about life, about words, about filmmaking, about sending a message to people—passionate about art and creativity!
I am not the only passionate one out there. People write about passion all the time. Some people talk about it. Some people sing about it—and normally those people who sing about it are actually doing their passion at that exact time. Sometimes our passions and our talents go unrecognized, unnoticed, and unacknowledged. Sometimes we perform for someone, or do a task for someone revolved around our passion and we never get the pay off; we never get the check for the concert we agreed to put on for some extra cash; and we never get the favor in return for doing ours.
But at the end of the day our passion is still ours—and whether or not we get stood up on a paycheck…No one can buy our passion from us. No one can put a price tag on it—because simply enough, 100 dollars for a concert; 200 dollars for beautifully stunning words, 1 million dollars for what we love—could never be enough to pull whatever we are passionate about away from us.