Given the timing of my post on passion, it’s been interesting with all three daughters around for the summer. It makes me realize just how friggin’ fortunate I am.
Let’s start with oldest daughter, now 21. She was struggling with a variation of the purpose and passions issues addressed in that post. Her struggle? Take non-paying internships/positions with a couple non-profit organizations or a 40 hour a week customer service job that pays good money?
After working out of town last summer, she’s spending this summer at home. Her plan was to get a job and save money for a new laptop and college expenses items before starting her senior year at college. Before school was out she applied for the customer service job and it recently was offered to her. But she also developed the opportunities for media relations-type jobs with the non-profits that really intrigue her. Her issue? Make money or pursue the non-paying positions that she really seems to have an interest in?
It’s something she struggled with for days. Just before leaving for Nebraska Monday, I told her that she may be running out of the times when a person can pursue something they love without any concern for what or whether it pays. I suggested she follow her heart because there’s plenty of time left to worry about rent, groceries and bringing home a paycheck. She told me she appreciated the input and, by the way, that was the decision she had already made.
Middle daughter, now 18, and I traveled to her college choice in Nebraska for registration. It was wonderful to see her eyes light up and the excitement bubbling just below the surface as she met new people, her honors program advisor and registered for classes. Her problem is like mine — she’s interested in too many things. She’s taking as wide a range of classes a freshman can freshman so she can see what might spark the passion in her.
While it’s a long way away (350+ miles), part of the reason she selected the school also sunk in. There, she is an individual, her own person. She will no longer hear, “Are you Liz’s sister?” or “Are you Tim’s daughter?” She will truly be her own person and an adult making her own decisions, both right and wrong, without having to live up to expectations created by other family members.
Finally, the youngest is 16 today. Mono wiped out her swimming season this past year. She is now diving back in to the sport (no pun intended) with a passion. She completed her lifeguard certification, is applying for lifeguard positions and rising at the buttcrack of dawn to make it to swim practice. At that age, I don’t know that I loved anything enough to get out of bed in the summer hours before I had to get out of bed during the school year. And while she loves the competition, there’s no doubt that what she’s really missed is the camaraderie of her teammates at practices and meets.
Oh, to have the whole world still ahead of you.
And you’re so much like me
“Still Fighting It,” Ben Folds, Rockin’ the Suburbs