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I’m not a groupie!

Was that eye-catching enough?

Been thinking lately about passion.

My son and I had a chat about this.  His plan for after graduation was to pursue higher education in the culinary field.  I know he has an interest in food (for sure I know this lol) and also in cooking – but not in the way that he’s constantly in the kitchen, or watching cooking shows, or looking up chefs and restaurants on the internet.

I pointed this out to him and have previously pointed out that you don’t just suddenly become a Chef – master of your own kitchen and restaurant.  There’s hard work involved and you start from the bottom and work your way up.

You have to LOVE what you’re doing.  You’re going to be cooking the same dishes over and over and over, in a hot, busy, noisy kitchen.

He wasn’t sure what else he had a talent for or an interest in, until I pointed out the fact that there is one constant in his life lately that he seems to also enjoy.  Photography.

We’ll see where that goes, but I had already been thinking about passion and this only served to bring on more pondering.

What is my passion?

I’m not sure.  I know what I like to do.

I know I’m pretty good at a few things, but by no means do I excel in anything that I’m aware of.

I like to write.  I like to draw.  I like to paint.  I like to sing. I like to take photographs. But I’m really not GREAT at any of those things.

If someone came to me and said ‘Debauch,’ (ok, we’ve established my name is Amanda in my first post, I suppose it’s alright to use it).

Rewind, they start over and come to me and say, ‘Amanda, you no longer have to worry about earning money.  Your rent, food, utilities and car are covered.  Go and pursue your passion!’

I would have no clue what I would do!

I titled this post ‘I’m not a groupie’ for a reason.  I have a few – OK, several ex’s that were in bands.

Yes, it’s exciting to be at a show, yes, it is kind of cool to be the singer/drummer/bass players girlfriend.  BUT!  That wasn’t what drew me to any of them.

Other than my passion for music, I’m drawn to people who pursue their dreams.

Drive, ambition, hard work and gratitude for whatever fruit is born from that.  Yup.

For me, there’s nothing sexier than someone who not only shows an interest in something, but has the tenacity to develop their talent and then not only work hard to chase their dream but to MAKE IT HAPPEN?  Holy cow.  THAT is a turn on.

It says a lot about a person who knows who they are, what they want and has the courage and drive to achieve it.

Whatever ‘it’ is.  Doesn’t have to be music.

I’m not a groupie, I’m a ‘dream chaser connoisseur’.

I had a great opportunity this Summer to meet the Gin Blossoms singer Robin Wilson.

Watch any live video of him on YouTube and you’ll see a man who loves what he does and loves interacting with his fans.

I told him this.  I mentioned how amazing it was to see him enjoying his show.

He told me that he really does love what he does and still has fun doing it.

He went on to share some of his inspirations with me.  Some were other frontmen who enjoy what they do as much as he does.  It really comes through in the performance you know.

No matter what you do – enthusiasm for it, comes through in the performance.

I think right now in my life, my passion may be learning? Growing spiritually and making connections.  If I didn’t have to work – if I had an all access pass to pursue a passion … I think I’d grab my son and hit the road.

I’d show him  some of the countries I’ve had the honor of visiting.

I would want to return to India – show him how happy some of the poorest communities are because they are grateful.

I would want to return to France and Italy and Greece and show him art and architecture.

I would want to return to Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran and show him what it’s like to live in surrounded by unrest and fear.

I would do those things, and take photographs and write about it here.

I think I found it.

My passion is all of the things I don’t do perfectly, but love doing. 

Being a mom, a student, a teacher – immersing myself in other cultures and beliefs – and sharing that.

And, if we hit a few concerts on the way?  Just remember – I’m not a groupie!

Happy and I know it (still clapping my little blog hands)

I am happy.  I am off the hedonic treadmill and go to lengths to be sure I don’t visit that apparatus again!

I wondered today, if I asked everyone to take a week to come up with 3 things that make them happy, what would they be?

That in mind, I thought I should do the exercise first and found there was no way in heck there were just going to be three things!

This will be part 1 of ‘Happy and I know it’ because there’s just so much to say!

I brainstormed and these things came flowing out first:

The unexpected, scents, laughter, LOVE, giving, harmony, nature, imagination, innocence, music, animals, simplicity, synergy, absence of ego, rhythm, anticipation.   I added: Faith, sparrows, having ‘enough’, beautiful actions, learning, kindness, compassion, gratitude.

In no particular order – a little on a some of the big ones for me.

Laughter.  I’m talking the real deal – eyes closed, authentic, almost no sound coming out laugher. Side splitting, tears in my eyes, can barely breathe laughter.  And if you’re laughing, I’m laughing.  SO contagious.  My son makes me laugh at least once every single day.

Imagination. From reading to movies, dreams and writing – expressing myself creatively or losing myself in someone elses creativity – that’s a big one for me.

Love.  Love for a child, love for friends – loving complete strangers and ok, that first kiss and having butterflies in the tummy.  This has to be my number one.  Love is absolutely, I believe,  what ‘it’ is all about.  I’ll never forget J.K. Rowling telling Oprah how she thought of the passengers on one of the 9/11 flights – how they KNEW they were going to die, and the last thing they wanted to do was reach their loved one and just get to tell them “I love you”.  Powerful.  Truly powerful.  They weren’t thinking about work, or their cars or their jewelry.  It all came down to love.

Gratitude.  Oh am I ever grateful!  For everything I have, for everything I don’t have.  I’m grateful to have ‘enough’.  I don’t want more than that.  I’m grateful for every breath, every moment, everything.  I say ‘thank you’ every night.  I get down on my knees, squeeze my eyes tight and bow my head and say ‘THANK YOU!!!’.

Compassion and kindness.  I love seeing these in others and strive to practice them myself.  Being of service to each other is so important.  Forgetting ourselves, getting lost in bringing joy to others results in absence of ego.

Scents.  Wow.  We have the obvious – rain, fresh-cut grass – puppy breath, bacon cooking (or is that just me?).  Some of my favorite scents though are attached to memories.  I keep a bottle of mint sauce (that reminds me of tea time and a blue checkered table-cloth) in the fridge, just for an occasional sniff.

My Nannie’s green house where she grew tomato plants.  I had recurring dreams of that smell … the plants mixed with the warm wooden planked floor and the soil.  I could sit in there and just breathe that in all day long.

I love the soap she uses too – and the smell of her bed sheets after they were hand washed and line dried.  Dreamy. ^_^

Anticipation. I LOVE being ‘next’ in line.  I love Christmas Eve.  I love that feeling BEFORE an upcoming event.  I think this is because there’s still that delicious excitement buzzing in the air.  It hasn’t happened yet – it’s not over.  I love, love, love looking forward to something.

Music.  Opera, classical symphonies, every decade, every genre, music makes me so very happy.  Andrea Bocelli brings me to tears, Freddie Mercury’s voice elicits goosebumps.  Music makes my heart and soul leap! And Theres nothing like a live performance, love that throb you can feel in your chest from the speakers!

Being deliciously tired is another thing that makes me happy, and I’m feeling that now.  So I’ll wrap this up with a couple of quotes that I didn’t come up with.

“Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions.”
Dalai Lama XIV

“By not seeking your own happiness, you find it”.

— Unknown (to me at this moment … I’m seriously tired lol)

Tired, but HAPPY!