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In Pursuit of Passion (#dreemportchallenge)

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Avatar for Samantha-Smith
Written by   35
11 months ago

I am a reader and a writer, first and foremost. They are my true passions in life, aside from my husband and my children. Reading feeds my soul and writing gives me an outlet to express my inner creativity. My parents and siblings aside, I believe that reading and writing were my first true loves.

Ever since I can remember, I have liked nothing more than to devour books, figuratively of course! Just as people these days talk of kicking back on the sofa and binge-watching a box set, I used to kick back on my bed when I was younger and binge-read a series of books.

Some of my favourite books as a child were: I am DavidBridge to TerrabithiaMy Side of the MountainThe Hobbit, and Jonathan Livingston Seagull. I also used to read book series like The Chronicles of NarniaThe Famous Five, and The Adventure Series by Willard Price.

They taught me about love and friendship, tragedy and loss, adventure and magic. I am forever indebted to the authors.

I count myself exceptionally fortunate to have had an amazing loving Mom who played endless games of scrabble with me late into the night, exposing me to new words on an almost daily basis. I would sit with my dictionary, at the end of my parent's bed and look up words throughout the game, and she was incredibly patient and encouraging. I learned so much from those long evenings with her and today I still have that original scrabble set that we used to play with, even though my beautiful Mom is no longer with us, having passed away in April 2019.

I also had an incredible 3rd-grade teacher who read to our class ... a lot!!! And introduced me to tales in the diverse genres of fantasy, drama, adventure, and historic fiction. She was my favourite teacher and I loved her books. She expanded my horizons and made me eager to try a diverse range of written works.

My birthday and Christmas lists were always short and mostly consisted of guessed it...books! 😍 I loved nothing more than to escape for a few hours on Christmas morning into my bedroom with my newly unwrapped treasures and a few Christmas treats and just read. Sheer and utter bliss. This would later in the day be balanced out with fun in the sun swimming with my family in our pool and having Christmas lunch with all the aunties, uncles, and cousins.

My love of reading naturally flowed into a love for writing and I thrived in English and French at school. I loved creative essay writing and English literature, especially the Shakespearean tragedies. My love of the written word and logical argument led me to join the school debating team where I thrived once more, adding research and logical constructive argument to my repertoire of things I loved to do.

Onwards to University and in my Bachelor of Arts I majored in English Literature and Law, whilst studying Latin and Dutch alongside them. I went on to complete a Bachelor of Laws which had me researching and writing up topics and arguments for days on end. I realised that I was a born student. I just loved to learn and learning involved reading and writing, my two favourite pastimes (aside from hiking up mountains and practicing Karate!)... coincidence? I think not😁

As an adult I have found great joy reading across the divide from Auto-biography (one of my favourite genres) and Non-Fiction to Science Fiction, Young Adult and Romcoms, Period Dramas, Classics, and a sprinkling of Thrillers and Drama.

So how does this all fit into a #thoughtfuldailypost?

Well, for a long while I kind of lost my way with reading and writing. My life was so busy climbing up the career ladder, surviving the rat race, raising our young children, that I honestly believed that I didn't have the time or capacity to spend what precious little free time I had reading, let alone writing. And so both of them drifted away from me, with only a few books read each year and the occasional poem written or short story started and quickly discarded. After a good few years I was left feeling pretty empty inside, and mostly exhausted and stressed a lot of the time. I would sit and ponder on many occasions as to whether I would ever find something in life that I was passionate about; that truly brought me immeasurable joy and that could one day become my escape from the mundanity of my day job. The irony right? (I am now a Certified Chartered Accountant - It's a long story for another day! But I did warn you that I was a born student! 🤣).

Then I met the man who would become my Karate and Jiu-Jitsu Sensei here in the UK and my role model when it came to pursuing one's passions in life. Matt Jardine also happens to be a published author. His autobiographical pilgrimage novel The Hardest Path, inspired me once again to start thinking about what I wanted out of life for myself; for my own selfish fulfillment. I started to look within. Then he wrote The Buddhist Millionaire which is based on the premise of taking something that you love doing and turning it into something that earns you money so that you can end up working in a job that fulfills you in so many more ways than the regular 9-to-5 job can do. Matt himself has followed his own passions in life, as a tennis player, tennis coach, martial arts instructor with his own dojo, and now as a full-time author (his true passion in life).

With covid lockdown in 2020, I picked up my SLR camera once again and tried getting back into photography on our long walks. I got back into growing my own vegetables and dreamed of having an organic smallholding. But then I realised that although I enjoyed these pursuits, they were not the inner passions that drove me.

Lockdown also provided me with that precious resource: time, and I used a fair bit of it to read. The reading reignited a flame inside of me that had been extinguished for some time and I found myself wanting to write again! Inspiration and ideas started to flow and I started to write regularly each day. The more I wrote the happier I became and the more fulfilled I felt. I started writing a novel 😊(currently on hold due to some injuries I sustained last year and am now finally getting over after almost a year of physio). And then in May, I started blogging and in June I joined the Hive. I have not looked back. I am enjoying my life more than I have in years. I get to be creative, challenge myself and share with a wonderful community of like-minded souls. Every day I learn something new about my writing, about the diversity and creativity that lives within each and every one of us, through the many engagements that I have on this platform. I get inspired. I thrive. I have come home to my true passions in life.

So my message is this: don't sit around wasting your life away in mundanity, simply surviving and being there for others. Find that spark inside of you that fuels your biggest passions and brings you the most joy, and ignite it. It has brought so much colour into my life and is one of the best things that I have ever done. I trust that it will do the same for you 🙏

Photo credit: Source: Pixabay - The passion within

Photo credit: Source: Pixabay - Scrabble

Photo credit: Sofia Alejandro

Photo credit: Sam Smith - Coloured flames (my own photo)

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Avatar for Samantha-Smith
Written by   35
11 months ago
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It's great to know you found your way back to reading and writing too. I am quite astonished at you becoming a CA after getting your Law degree, but yes, you did say you were born a learner, still, it surprised me :)

And you are right about our passion getting 'lost' somewhere in life mostly due to responsibilities. It is just awesome that these challenging times brought back yours :)

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11 months ago

Thank you. It certainly has been an interesting trip through life so far!

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11 months ago

Enjoy the journey :)

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11 months ago