Wednesday, July 2, 2014

What's your passion?

I read somewhere once "follow your passion, find your path" and I truly have tried to figure out what my passion really is. I've always loved my job, even when I was a floral designer during college. When I started teaching 18 years ago, I thought my passion was teaching. In this summer before my 18th year in education, I think I've found the place where I'm meant to be. In August, I'll start my second year as an elementary principal and my second year without a classroom of my own. But I've really been struggling with defining my passion. How can my passion be teaching if I'm no longer a teacher?

This question has been on my mind for awhile now. What is my passion? Maybe it's teaching and learning. I do still teach other teachers about technology and writing via conferences and informally in my school. And I love it! But is teaching and learning truly what I'm passionate about? The thing that keeps me thinking all night long? I don't think so. My passion isn't presenting or technology or reading or writing even though I love all of those things.

Today I went on a hike and this question was still on my mind. As I walked along the Pacific Crest Trail near Echo Summit at 7,300 feet, marveling in the beauty of the forest, the blue sky, and the quiet sound of the wind in the trees, I finally realized my passion, all these years, has been constant.


My passion is magic.

Today, at the beginning of our hike, I was reminded of the book Wild, about a woman who hiked from Southern California to Oregon alone. She had passed through exactly the spot where I was hiking. That felt magical to me.

Continuing on the trail, I spotted tiny yellow buttercup flowers that transported me back to my childhood in Tahoe, growing up near a meadow filled with those same flowers. I haven't seen buttercups in years, but instantly my mind and heart filled with memories and feelings of being a 4 year old.


Along the trail, I took pictures and video with my phone. Large rocks, wildflowers, tall trees with the sunlight peeking through, and even a rock a porcupine had darted into when we startled him. I captured the images knowing that when I got home I could add them to this blog post that I was already writing in my mind. How magical is that? We used to have to wait for days for film to be developed and even then sharing the photos was nothing like what is possible today. Before I even arrived home, I was able to share pictures with my friends.


Even as an educator, whether at my school or at a conference with colleagues, magic finds me. The things I loved about teaching were the magical moments. A child reading, that cute red-headed first grader consumed with giggles of excitement when coding with Angry Birds for the first time, the teacher who emailed me over summer so excited to share a book she had been reading-- these are all magic. Yesterday, I saw a teacher throw his hands in the air and shout, "YES!" after he was able to insert a spinning globe into his newly created blog and it worked. That was a magical moment! That's what I love, what I'm passionate about.

Everything I love is magical.
The ocean.
Setting a goal and completing it.
Amazing colleagues from everywhere.
Even the Food Network. How can it be anything but magic when chefs take 4 crazy ingredients on Chopped and create an amazing dish?
My school.

All, totally magical to me. All these years, I have been following my passion. I just didn't know what it was.



  1. I love it! Just be where you are in that moment in time and be open to the magic.

  2. Hi Sally!
    Thank you for commenting, and thank you for the tea yesterday! You are magical to me! :) Happy summer!