“Don’t Follow Your Passion”

Mike Rowe, my all-time favorite celebrity, recorded a message to the 2016 graduates recently. He told them not to follow their passion, but instead, to take it with them. Work hard, do well, but do something that is needed, something that you’re actually good at. I love this message. 

Today was one of those days that just felt good. We had our first cleanup at Blackland Cemetery and had quite a few people show up. The men in particular did an outstanding job and cleared the entire two acres long after the women left. I can’t express how grateful and how excited I am that they did so much – now we can get down to the real business of making it wonderful. 

I was telling the hubster some of the things I’d like to see happen – form a cemetery association, landscaping, picnics, get non- profit status…and he just sighed. 

“Chelle,” he said with that look he gets when I’m making plans that he thinks are crazy  ” You’re trying to turn it into something it’s not.”

It kind of stopped me for a moment, so I could let that sink in. Was I?  Was this really overboard?  Mike’s message came back to me. Don’t follow your passion. Take it with you.  When everyone is headed one way, turn around and go in the opposite direction. By all means, take your passion and apply it into your hobby. But find the thing you’re good at and do it. If the two mesh, perfect. I’m good at my job – it supports me and my crazy plans. But it’s also helped me be able to take my passion for helping others and funneling it into projects that can make a difference. 

And then I knew the answer. 

I can see some really neat things blossoming from this project. Community involvement. Making new friends. Sharing and learning the history of the area we live in. Connecting families. Eagle Scouts. Community service. All of that. And all because two people saw a need for something and put their heads together and got the ball rolling.  I strongly believe that all you need is that first push, and people come together. 

My answer?

“It’s not about turning it into something it’s not. It’s about turning it into what it CAN be.” 


About Michelle Barton

Things I find myself asking or saying in everyday life.
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