The last hours in San Diego before you board your flight to Ireland. It is amazing that you have come so far in the past few months. You are about to realize the fruits of months of careful planning, fear, and excitement.
So what do you have to say now? You’re not sure. The time you have spent since quitting your job has been bittersweet. You have iterated your plans over and over to many different people and you are very ready to finally be off. Although you’ve had a lot of time to think about what you’re doing with your life at this point.
What are your goals for this trip? Why are you even doing this? The answer a few months ago was that you just wanted to be legit. And as your mentor informs you, “the only way to actually be legit is to do legit things.”
This is certainly that. You have a habit of taking on challenges for the soul purpose of overcoming them but you have found over the course of your stay here that there is much more to it than that.
One of the friends you visited here in So Cal is your best friend Katie. You have known her since you were 11 and essentially grew up with her. She has a master’s degree from Yale in forestry and is a wiz when it comes to etymology and taxonomy. A living encyclopedia of plants and insects. It is quite impressive. Her good friend, Jason is the same way when it comes to physics and math. He can speak at lengths about topics such as, why light sabers are actually impossible to make and is full of factoids. It is awesome hanging out with them because you always feel as though you learn things. It’s like having wikipedia read out loud to you without prompting. Awesome.
Even Maria has her geek-out topics. She will spend days pouring over books and articles and documentaries about nutrition and fitness. Even finance. This woman is a steel trap when it comes to nutrition and exercise physiology and she can give lectures on the spot about almost anything under that umbrella. It is really quite fascinating and you love this about her.
However, you realized after spending a lot of time with these people, particularly together, that you were not contributing a whole lot to conversations. Of course you love learning, and you would consider yourself to be intelligent, but you were finding it difficult to pinpoint something that you were an expert in. There is nothing you can talk about like that.
This lead you to do some soul-searching. You expressed this concern to Maria one night in the car.
“You know, I don’t really have anything that I have expert knowledge in. Not like you, or Katie, or Jason.”
“So? I have never heard anything dumb come out of your mouth.”
“Yeah, and don’t mistake this for insecurity, I am just trying to unpack this a bit.”
“Well, what is it that really gets you excited? What is it that you constantly want to read about and know about. What is your passion?”
“I don’t know. That’s the thing. I know a lot about art, and a lot about art history. I am passionate about it but it’s not the same. At least, it’s not something that people really care about, or want to ask me about or anything.”
“You know, I think you’re passionate about premature wisdom. A Mr. Davis type passion.”
Hm. Interesting. You knew she was right after she said it. The more you mulled it over in your brain the more you began to realize that you are passionate about just being an impeccable human being. You read Deep Survival in two days. You were completely jazzed to read Touching the Void and were riveted.
What gets you off is not necessarily one subject in particular, but the idea of people meeting challenges, exceeding expectations, and generally being exceptional at whatever it is they decide to do. And that fits very well with the goal you have for this trip.
This is not something you have ever done before. A year ago you would have shit your pants at the idea of being unemployed. For whatever reason, you asked the universe for this opportunity. Or you made it yourself. Whatever. Either way, you put yourself in the very situation you feared and are now living it, or about to live it, just so you can overcome.
This is what you do, this is what you are happiest doing. And it took some time and musing in Southern California to finally somewhat pin-down this ethereal passion of yours. You thought you would blog about it just so that one day you could go back and touch base with your current mindset. Or perhaps just keep the goal in mind during any moments of weakness.
It seems clear to you now, that your passion is being legit.
Adios San Diego.