There’s an iconic fast-food joint in Atlanta called The Varsity. It’s a staple downtown and last I heard, the largest drive-in in the world. As someone who cares about my health, I cringe just thinking about the food, but greasy onion rings or not there is no forgetting walking to the counter and hearing, “What’ll ya have? What’ll ya have?!”
Everyone had their favorite item. My grandmother (who I later found out ate at The Varsity for her first meal as a married woman) always had to have a PC (think chocolate milk) or a frosted orange drink. My aunt always wanted the chili dog no dog. Your favorite was your favorite no matter how weird and no one could convince you otherwise.
I feel like that is how we start out in life. Our interests are our own many times… just because. Kids don’t feel the need to explain why their ice cream must have sprinkles only on the left side of the ice cream or why their favorite Disney character is Aladdin. It’s just what they like.
Over time though, something subtle happens. You start getting told what you should like. First it’s usually your parents, then other family, then friends at school then it usually tops off at your employer and coworkers. I know some of you would add spouse, but I’m not taking sides on that one. Throw in the roughly 2,000 media messages you are bombarded with each day and it’s a miracle we have any personal interests that are truly our own left to enjoy.
What interest have you let wither on the vine that you miss (whether you realize it or not)? One hint can be what did you love doing at about age 10? Nine times out of ten, that passion is still there just lying dormant. Mine were writing and food. As overused as the term is, dust off those interests because those are the things that make you come alive.
When you look at the option of resurrecting passion or letting the world tell you what you should enjoy… what’ll ya have?