I woke up feeling lost. It’s a feeling I have from time to time. Even in my late thirties it sometimes feels like I have never found myself. What makes me, well, me? I have hobbies but there isn’t anything that I feel super passionate about. I have always envied those that are completely obsessed with something. That thing that they think about all day long and yearn to go do. They day dream about it and spend every waking moment mentally preparing to go do it. I have never had that thing. I love the outdoors, reading books, sports, but I’m not great at any one thing. That feeling has always made me feel a little lost. I want to wake up and feel inspired about something to the point that it is my driving force for getting out of bed in the morning. As I laid there that particular morning, I realized I didn’t really have one.
I have a great life but, in my mind, I had no passion. Passion is the spice of life, right? It’s the reason you breathe, the reason you go to work so that you can earn money, to pursue that passion. I go to work and I enjoy it most days. On the weekends we go out and explore but still, no obsession. That morning my wife and I were talking in the kitchen. Just normal talk but she asked me what was wrong. She always knows when something is off, when I am just not right. I decided to tell her.
I let her know how I felt. I told her that I was in my thirties and I have yet to find a passion in life. Sometimes I feel as though I am just floating through the world with no real direction. I thought by this point I would be an expert in something, that I would be at the top of my game. Whatever game that is. I don’t even know what game I’m in. I had always imagined that I would be traveling the world, seeing new things, and meeting interesting people. Now, I have traveled some and gone on a few adventures but in my mind it wasn’t enough.
She listened as I explained why some days, I just seemed distant and not full of my normal energy. I told her exactly what was going on inside of me and why at some level I was disappointed with myself. Why had I not become the man I had imagined I would be?
This is the moment that I will never forget. She looked at me with her crooked smile and said, “Nathan, you are great at something. You are an amazing father. That is what you pour your time into and that is what you are good at. You sacrifice your personal time to spend it with your kids. Remember, all your friends and people that you know that earn more money, that travel for work, that have hobbies that they constantly pursue, many times that comes at the price of their family. We can do all those things but we do it as a family and that comes with a sacrifice.
It was at that moment I knew that she was right. All my energies, all my efforts went into raising my children and what more important passion is there in the world? Why was I chasing titles when I already had the greatest title in the world. Papa. It was right then that I knew what my goal was in life. It was to raise amazing well-rounded children who would look up to me as their hero. Why should they look up to an athlete or a movie star when I could be that guy. Someone that they would strive to be and someone that they could always remember as a great man. My mission had started and it was no small task.
How was I going to accomplish being the world’s greatest Papa? Remember, I had no great talents to pass down, no great athletic ability to instill in my children, but what I did have was a love for them that could buckle my knees. A love that runs deeper than anything in the entire world and that would be enough.