What makes you happy?

Passion: 1) a strong and barely controllable emotion. 2) a state or outburst of such emotion.
I think I’m a pretty passionate person. 
I recently read a post by another blogger who wrote about passion.  She told a story that she was asked “What are your passions?” and she didn’t have a clear answer.  Somehow everyday life got in the way and she was just subsisting…not really living with a passion for much outside of her family and home and work. She just had the daily grind, not really anything she was pouring herself into that made her ridiculously happy.
I think I fall on the opposite end of the spectrum.  If you ask me (or really, anyone who knows me) about my passions, I think you’ll get some answers.  Zumba, fitness, blogging, Hanson…would be some things that may come to your mind.  Sure, these may seem like “silly” things to you…but they are things I’m passionate about. They are things I have found that make me happy.  I wish I could explain it, but if you don’t have those things, I’m not sure you would understand.
But there is a small problem I’ve encountered.  Many people read this passion as “obsession.” I think it’s because they either don’t have passions themselves….or they don’t think mine are worthwhile.  Either way, I’m not their shrink, but I can’t tell you how many times in the last few weeks I’ve heard “You’re really obsessed with Hanson.” Or maybe “All you talk about is Zumba. You’re so obsessed.”  When people say these things, they sort of sound insulting or condescending.
Obsessed: 1) Having or showing excessive or compulsive concern with something. 2) influenced or controlled by a powerful force or emotion.
Sure, maybe in their eyes, if I was devoting this time, energy, and passion to say, saving the whales, it would be more worthwhile…and not an “obsession.”
But you have to understand: I have found things in life that I have decided to wholeheartedly chase…things that make me ridiculously, unapologetically happy.  Things that define me because I choose to pour myself into them. And that doesn’t make me “obsessed.”  It makes me passionate.
I’m passionate about becoming the best Zumba instructor I can. I watch videos of other great instructors at my desk at work on my lunch break often.  I’m trying to learn from the best and hone my skill, not just watch videos because I’m obsessed.
I’m passionate about becoming the healthiest me…so that means I spend a lot of free time at the gym.  I like trying new classes and pushing myself.  But when I go to the grocery store after a sweat-fest…and the clerk says “Oh you’re one of those gym goers, huh?” It feels like they are looking down on me for being at the gym all evening. Well, I’m passionate about becoming the best version of me I can.

I’m passionate about blogging. I take pictures for the blog documenting my life. I take notes on my phone of ideas to write about.  Not only am I documenting my life (so I can remember the little things) but I’m also making some amazing friends. I’m passionate about connecting with others who share my interests, and finding friends in uncommon places. 

I’m passionate about Hanson.  Their music stirs my soul, and they just make me happy.  And know what?  Through that passion I’ve found some of the best friends I’ve ever had, friends who know I’m strange and quirky and don’t care. But it isn’t a teen girl’s obsession about a cute boy AT ALL, I have found an artist I’m proud to support, and I can’t help but consume every piece I can of their work…because I love the way it makes me feel.  Why wouldn’t I chase that warm fuzzy feeling? 
All that to say…I hope you have something you are passionate about.  Whether it is gardening, or photography, or running, or whatever. Something that you can’t help but talk about all the time.  Something that instantly identifies you to people.  I’m the Hanson girl.  I’m the Zumba girl.  I’m the gym girl.  And I like being those things.  I’m not obsessed, I’m passionate…and I think there is a difference.
What are you passionate about?  Do you have passions outside of your family?  I think it’s healthy to have things that just stir your soul into a joyful oblivion. What is that for you?

Disclaimer: I also am very passionate about my family, my faith, and my job….but those are never called obsessions, so no need to rant on that.  


  1. Agree 110%. Without being passionate about things, life would just be boring.

  2. I’m so glad you said this: “I have found an artist I’m proud to support, and I can’t help but consume every piece I can of their work…because I love the way it makes me feel.”

    Last week when I was talking about Hanson my mother in law rolled her eyes and she said “Taylor, that’s just teeny bopper stuff”. I got really frustrated at her statement but I just couldn’t put my feelings into words and you have. Thank you!

  3. I love this post! I think it’s great that you know what your passions are and that you can find fun, healthy ways to build on them! The way I see it, unless our passions get in the way with our ultimate passion for the Lord, I see no harm in pursuing them.

    I’m passionate about many small things… but probably THE biggest passion of mine is sharing about Israel and educating others on WHY we should love, support and pray for God’s chosen people and the holy land HE chose for Himself and gave to His children. If God is so passionate about Israel… then I want to be as well.

    I’m not sure other people identify that passion in me or not… but it is buried deeply in my heart, and I try to share it as often as possible when opportunities present themselves. <3

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