There’s a lot to be said for Passion. I guess I could define it and
mention its meaning to me, but the best way perhaps is to tell it in the form
of a true story.

My father’s passion for most of his life has been his love for sailing. He built his first boat at the age of eight…and from then on the love for boats and the life of the sea flowed through his veins and never diminished. Like many of us, he too tried to push away the calling of his passion….he tried different kinds of work, but time and time again, his love for the sea kept beckoning. When he first married my mother he went to work for a semi- conductor manufacturer. Money was good, but each day he was called upon to perform tasks that went against what he considered his calling. Year by year he continued at his job, and his family grew to include four children. I remember each night him coming home exhausted, having little energy left to devote to his children. It wasn’t his fault…to him a man had to provide regardless of whether he liked what he was doing or not. Most week-ends he would rush out to his beloved boats to enjoy and recharge his batteries. We as children didn’t know what was going on, but I guess somewhere inside we knew he was hurting. Eventually that hurt caught up to him in the form of a bleeding ulcer. After half of his stomach was removed he turned to my mother and said “I’ve had enough”.

Thus began the journey to fuse his passion for sailing and providing enough income for himself and his family. He tried a few different lines of work before arriving at the ultimate answer….Selling Boats! As I look back I can see that my father found much peace when he began his own boat business. I can say that the business has become very successful, but why wouldn’t it be? True passion is not work. It’s a wonderful thing to dream, set goals, and embrace our passion….but I know we live in the real world, and bills have to be paid. Maybe somewhere within life is the possibility to combine economic stability and our blessed gifts. One thing that’s for sure is that following your passion involves taking risks….but, the greatest risk of all is not even trying. That can develop into anger, pain and bitterness, which can be inflicted internally and on others. The saddest thing of all is to look back on our lives at the end and say “If only….”. It doesn’t have to be that way.

Listen to your heart,

Jennifer Avalon
© 1998 Jennifer Avalon

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