No one ever wants to settle. Settling implies that you are one peg below your potential. Things could be a little better. However, it seems like as we get older, more people are satisfied with being content. Content is feeling comfortable and at ease. While all is dandy, I never want to be content.
Content leads to passiveness and indifference. Too much comfort lacks passion. I am happiest in life when I am passionate — it doesn’t matter what the subject, but passion gives me energy in all other areas of my life.
One of my sisters is a year older than me, and we were practically raised as twins. While she has never been as social as me, she was always full of energy towards her studies and activism. Her junior year of college, she became pregnant and paused her studies. Two years later, she has two little boys that bring so much joy to our family. She has recently decided to finish her degree, and we were recently discussing how she understands now how easy it is to become complacent in life.
She said that in college, she could not understand the people who were not driven to make a change in the world. Now, she understands how easy it is for priorities to change when forming a family. It is not that your values or opinions change, but if your time is spent with your hands literally full, it is easy to enjoy and often prefer comfort and content. While she is excited to revive her passions, I worry for two reasons that my generation will soon fall to the same patterns.
My first worry is that we are all going to get boring. Don’t get me wrong — I love a good night in of binge-watching Scandal on Netflix. However, I do not ever want to get used to doing that every night or going to the same bar every Friday night. I want to constantly be exploring. I think that society encourages that the only ways to relax and blow off steam are to sit in front of the TV or to go out drinking. Every time I try something new, whether it is travel or even a new restaurant in a different are of the city, I am left with questions. I want to see more, do more, and learn more. I love learning new perspectives, and a world without different perspectives terrifies me.
My second worry is that blissful ignorance will become more prevalent. Election years always intrigue me because it reminds society how much opinions vary. Everyone was raised differently with different values. There is not a right or wrong way to have an opinion, and by telling someone their opinion is wrong, tension and hatred is the result. By removing yourself from your passion, by being content with your own ideas, you are not seeking a greater understanding. If you are content within your own little bubble, what are you doing for the world? How are you contributing?
Some people want to live just to simply live a content life. I never want to do just that. Life begins outside of your comfort zone, and I constantly want to be challenged with new ideas and new life lessons.
After 17-20 years of education, many people are ready to take a break from learning. While understandable to want a break from organized, structured education, I never want to stop learning. To do this, I aim to try something new every month. These goals vary between trying new restaurants, trying a new fitness class, visiting a new city, or learning a new hobby, but they always keep me learning and growing. There is a fire inside me, and I never want to quell it.
How do you keep your passion alive? Comment below or connect with me @itsmaryk.