OPINION: This week in my existential crisis: Pursuing Passion


Emily Gayton | Society Staff Writer |eg006616@ohio.edu

For most people, the sound of their own voice makes them want to choke themselves out with their own hair. While most people at 20 years old have not found their figurative voice, for those of us that have, the constant sound of that voice DRIVES US CRAZY, TOO.

This week in my existential crisis:

Pursuing your Passion and Recognizing Redundancy

I have been lucky enough to discover what sets my soul on fire over the last few years. These things shape my conversations, the passage of my free time and have found their way into my wardrobe. These things are my instinctive responses to scholarship essays, articles and the dreaded ‘fun fact about me’ exercises.

For example, some people might find that their obsession with coffee is a staple to their image or even their existence. Thus, they think through the bronze tint of coffee – their laptops might be riddled with café stickers, their cabinets full of mugs and Instagram full of cute pics from their favorite local café *cough* Donkey. Their love of coffee has become a lifestyle.

By default, my brain is hard-wired to think through a few lenses:

* The global water crisis

* Identity politics

* Journalism – and my beat: positive global news.

Because of these, I always attempt to take 5 minute or fewer showers to conserve water, I strive to understand communities of which I am not a part and even the commercials for news outlets make me giddy – did you catch that Washington Post commercial from the Super Bowl? LOVE.

Even my Instagram Explore page is filtering information in from my fixations, but in this is where the problem lies. People who think like me, people who fixate and are inspired like me might often find ourselves pigeonholed by our own doing. To be clear, the issue is not having found the cause for which some dedicate their lives or the hobbies that define them, it is that when they found their niche, they shut out other ideas, they do not look at the big picture, or they miss out on something.

Because I have spent so long invested in identity politics, some jokes become less funny. Not to mean that anyone who is aware of the class versus race struggle hates the writers that created the frugal dad from Everybody Hates Chris, but it means that sometimes, I understand so wholly why the joke is true or untrue, it might just not make me laugh.

Because I have seen the effects of the global water crisis first hand, I face an ethical dilemma when my friends break out into a water gun fight in our dorm that lasts until we are all seeping wet.

For me, the struggle is also that because these topics resonate so deeply, they bubble up with every chance. My guess for random “Guess the Number of Jelly Beans” door prizes become 663 to represent the 663 million people that do not have access to clean safe drinking water. DISCLAIMER – typically, I only default to these tactics when I am entirely unsure but even still.

The mere mention of things related to items on this list sends me into a spiral of geeking out, lasting as long as my audience will let me, and I just cannot help myself!

On the contrary, in today’s age of branding, there is an emphasis if not value placed on having a few points of deep personal identification. So, while I internally facepalm every time I go off about something I am passionate about, I know that there is a community of people out there who feel the same way. Or bottom line, some people feel the same way about other things.

So, bottom line, if your reason to get up in the morning feels as though it is seeping into other facets of your life, and taking control, you are not alone!