This I Believe
I believe in living life with passion. I believe that every single person must try to discover what it is they are passionate about so that life can be lived to the fullest. Without a passion, we really are just soulless beings pushing our way through an unimportant, unfocused existence.
I believe that we do not find our passion; our passion finds us. I have been lucky enough to be born with the passion of dance in me. I know that my passion has found me because when I dance, no one else matters. It is just the music, the mirror, the floor, and I in our own little universe. Mary Ann Lamb, professional Broadway dancer once said in a documentary about her career, “I might not always be the one that’s in the spotlight, but I didn’t become a dancer to be a celebrity. I’m a dancer because that’s what I have to do.” Mary Ann once said to me in the middle of a dance class, “Jackie, I believe that dance comes from spirituality. I don’t mean that you have to believe in God to be a dancer, I’m just saying that when you dance, really feel it from within your soul.” We don’t fulfill the passion because we want to; we fulfill it because we have to. The passion erupts from deep within the soul.
First, the passion must be searched for. Then, the passion is discovered. Once it is found, it is important to follow through with a plan to embrace the passion and find a way to incorporate it into life. Some people are luckier than others and discover their passion early on in life. Other people are not as lucky. Although my mother always knew that she had a gift and passion for singing, she was unable to pursue it at all until her thirties after she had children. Growing up, her family did not have enough money for voice lessons and she was far too shy to audition for school musicals. Now, she sings in a professional band that plays at weddings and is finally fulfilled.
I suppose I always thought that dance would just be a hobby, something I did on the side. I thought that I would go on to have a “real career,” but as I grow closer to adulthood, dance continues to be my one and only passion. I have made the decision to graduate early and move to New York to pursue dance. I know that some people think the odds are against me. But as long as there is support from someone like Mary Ann who feels the same way, I will pursue whatever I want to pursue. I believe that we sometimes get caught up in the rush of what parents, teachers, and friends tell us we should be doing and we forget about ourselves. I believe that as long as we are passionate about what we do, everything will fall into place.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.