Ever feel like Ross from "Friends" when he starts talking about science? That feeling you get when everybody in the room is either literally telling you to stop talking or you can just feel the annoyance radiate around the room.
Let me explain, there are people in this world who will inspire the absolute f**k out of you. And once you find them, once you find your tribe, it's an incredibly freeing experience.
It's as if your lungs are just being introduced to air and that tension that you've created as a protective layer to shield the real you from the world melts away.
These are people you can bounce ideas off of, disagree with, laugh with and the best part? There's this warm circle of respect that surrounds you.
With that in mind, in life, it's likely that at least on a few occasions you've found yourself surrounded by toxicity instead. And instead of relief you feel closed off. You find yourself around people who discourage you and hurt you with systematically belittling and shrinking you.
Often, it's not something these people are conscious of but knowing that doesn't make the alienation less painful. Over time, those types of relationships weigh on you, corrode you.
Unfortunately, the latter of these two types of people seem to be the most common. Those people who make you feel extra when you're actually just passionate.
So, my question is: when and why the heck did it become uncool to be passionate, to have passion? I mean, it should be a crime to squash someone's enthusiasm.
I'll give you a personal example from my sophomore year of college. I studied abroad in Florence, Italy for a semester followed by a month long trip around Europe. I lived with a host family and studied Italian, architecture and art history. I had my breath taken away on the daily...walking across the Ponte Vecchio to get to class.
This experience changed my life, I'd even go as far as to say it gave me life. But coming home wasn't an easy adjustment. First of all, I didn't want to leave, and second, I found out that most people don't want to hear about it.
I could hear myself talking about my experience with every other sentence that left my lips, but I couldn't stop. I was bitten hard by the travel bug, and I wanted to keep my trip alive.
I could hear people start to ignore it when I talked about Europe or places I wanted to travel next. And when their annoyance turned to frustration, people actually started to make fun of how often I spoke about it.
My response was to stop sharing my passion for travel with others. Until I found the study abroad club on my campus.
The club became my way of connecting with others who loved to hear about my experience and felt comfortable sharing their own. It was a haven for me. A place I felt safe expressing that side of myself.
If you can relate to this feeling at all, I have some advice for you: you may feel like a salmon swimming upstream, but don't let generation apathy rob you of your passion.
Truth is, those people who roll their eyes at your excitement are probably just jealous, which is an insecurity that they're projecting on you.
So, f**k 'em. You do you. Be extra. Be fearless.
Be beautifully and relentlessly you because your people will find you. Your tribe will be drawn to the real you, I promise.