A year ago, if you were to ask me what I'd like to do on a cold, damp, windy November night, I'd say curl up by my fireplace and order cheese fries on GrubHub while watching a murderous episode of Dateline. That's a dream Sunday night if you ask me.
Last night, was a night like that: chilly, soggy, and blustery. But instead of reveling in the comfort of my highly-functioning HVAC system, I spent several hours of my night outside. Voluntarily.
See, I was cheering on the North Park Vikings, a collegiate soccer team that has advanced to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen for the first time in their history. I have no further sport-related commentary to offer about this monumental event so don't even ask, but my boyfriend is an alumni and assistant coach for the team. This is an incredible time for them and for some reason, I felt the excitement, too.
There's no part of me that screams "soccer mom." But sure as shit, last night I found myself dressing in layers and packing a bag of blankets, hand warmers, snacks, and towels (you know, to wipe the bleachers down). And at the main event, I even jumped out of my seat at least six times (final score: 6-1, good guys).
Once the game ended, it took me three hours to thaw and just as long for my hat-hair to come back to life. What has gotten into me? Why did I brave the elements to watch some kids kick a soccer ball?
I realized then that when someone is genuinely passionate about something, it is contagious. There comes a moment when the sparkle in someone's eye about something is so compelling, that a person from an unrelated track in life picks it up, too. For no other reason than...they just feel it.
Of all the amazing things the human body can do, this is one that the human spirit can do.
For example, I sometimes wonder how and why my boyfriend never misses a storytelling event of mine. Sure, it's polite to support the things your significant other is a part of, but I think it goes beyond a simple call of duty. I believe that my passion for the craft and the gusto I put behind each word might actually be some pretty exciting stuff.
Everyone has a passion like this--be it soccer, storytelling, whatever. And when you open up about the things you love to do, authentically and unapologetically, you light the world up. We need more of that. Let your life's passions ooze from every orifice of your body, and see who shows up to witness it firsthand.
You might be surprised to see what people will give up an episode of Dateline for.