Author: Emily Sheil
We all go though life wondering what our purpose is. Seeking what will make us happy and content, what will make us feel whole and complete as a person. That ‘thing’ that puts a smile on our face at random times throughout the day, the ‘thing’ that we fall asleep thinking about and wake up ready to pursue. For some people, it is family; your children, your spouses. For others it is their careers, hobbies, interests, or athletic endeavors. These are the things we do not for money or social standing, recognition or to prove something to the world. These are the things we do because they are deep inside us.
Today I find myself thinking about these things, while I sit under 3 blankets in my sweat pants watching re-runs of Greys Anatomy. My coffee is cold because it hurts to drink it, I have a half pack of Fisherman’s Friends beside me and my head and body are arguing over who is in more pain. But my mind is healthy. My mind has decided that my purpose is to find my passion and pursue it. I want nothing more than get off this couch and follow this desire, instead of think. Think about all the things I’m missing. That’s what sickness does, gives us time to think about all the things we would rather be doing. Time to think about the very thing we would conceivably trade our soul to be healed for. That thing is your purpose. Your passion.
All I want to do is fight. I want to feel my bare feet on the mats, to feel the noise of the crowd melt away into silence as time slows down almost to a halt. To let my body take over what my mind is sure of. To do what I know, what my muscles remember from thousands of hours of preparation. I want to fight, not because I have something to prove, or I’m angry, not because I want to inflict pain on someone else to mask the pain in my own heart. I want to fight because there is a fire inside me that pushes me to face my fears, to be better, to challenge all the things that strike fear and doubt inside myself.
What makes me different from you is that I’ve chosen to accept my passion, to puruse it with discipline and fever. Being a woman in combat sports is NOT easy, you don’t have to look long and hard to find people who try to belittle, cast doubt and question your motives. They don’t understand your passion, and they don’t have to. It’s yours not theirs to understand, do with it what you will. Embrace it, ignore it, put it on the back burner or dare to pursue it with everything you have. Finding your passion is not easy, often we search our whole lives for it, but if you’ve found it, don’t cast it aside because it’s different or socially unacceptable. No one said it was going to be easy.
This weekend I got the pleasure of competing against some strong and fearless women; women who put their fears and hesitations aside to step onto the mats and slap hands. To lay it all on the line and follow their passion. Some us won medals, some of us went home empty handed. But we all left proud, proud of ourselves for what we accomplished, for the courage it took to fight for our passions.
Remember, just because it’s a passion doesn’t mean you are awesome at what makes you happy, it means that you find joy and solace in it no matter how good you are. When you find your purpose and your passion, fight for it, and puruse it with everything you have. When you give it your all, you will never be disappointed and live your life with no regrets.
What’s your passion?