“That’s not what I asked. What are you passionate about? What makes you excited or makes you speak up when you hear about it? What is something that always catches your attention, and that you could dedicate your life to?”
I couldn't answer.
Since this conversation almost a month ago, I have been putting a lot of thought into it. What am I passionate about? It bothered me that I didn’t know, and that I actually needed to think before answering.
A couple weeks ago, I think I began to figure it out. I was in the restaurant at the Kartause with Stasia, Elyse, and Josh, and over beer and a great conversation, we naturally turned to the topic of the Church. (Must’ve had something to do with the fact that we all attend Christian/Catholic schools, and that one of us is a seminarian and another, a Theology student...) I don't remember who, but someone asked, "How are we to reach the Church’s faithful, especially the youth?"
Oh boy, I got excited! I spoke for several minutes about theological education. About the importance of parental involvement and of reaching out to the youth. Of putting our hearts and souls into conversion and being all we can be for the sake of the young Church.
I think that the reason that I didn’t know what I was passionate about right off the bat is that I haven’t thought about Catechesis for a while. But lately, I’ve had to think about it. See, up until now, I’ve been a triple major: "Theology, Catechetics and Communications with a concentration in Multimedia". I could rattle it off and it had become my identity, something I didn't even think about anymore. I liked my majors, yes, but to be honest, Communications was thrown in because 1) it interests me and 2) “it makes me more marketable”. While these are both really good things, my media studies were taking away from the extra classes I could have been taking in Catechetics and Theology.
I came to a better realization of this about a month ago, when I began thinking about (wait for it…..) dropping a major. I know, I know, for most people this would be a no-brainer. But I felt like a quitter. Like I was giving up just because it meant doing a triple thesis. And I am not one to run from something just because it’s difficult.
Passion came up again when I was emailing my brother David about this whole dropping-a-major situation. He said something that really struck me: “Figure out what you're passionate about and pursue it with your whole heart. You will be most successful with what you're passionate about, regardless of degree.”
David writes from experience, and I can see how this has been true in his own life. He says on his website how he doesn’t have a “hobby”, because his job is what he really loves doing. I definitely understand what he’s saying- I find myself spending hours researching theological articles or finding out about the ‘latest and greatest’ in technology, just for the fun of it.
Ultimately, I realized that I’d be doing both myself and the parishes I hope to work for one day a favor if I dropped media. Because you know what? I’ll now have a heck of a lot more knowledge of Theological things, and that’s something that’s harder to learn on your own. I have enough of an interest in technology that I’ll continue to learn on my own, and that experiential knowledge should be all I need.
And so, while I may be leaving my “official” studies of Communications behind, I will certainly stay engaged due to my passion for it. And although I will be dedicating the rest of my college career towards Theology and Catechetics, I will be sure to remain passionate about all three.
Because it is with passion that we succeed, and through love that the passion we feel is shared with others.