Some time ago, I hung out with an old high school friend after a long time of not doing so. We text from time to time but never really get together to catch up in person. So on this day, we went to watch a movie and sat outside when it was over just talking about our lives.
If you get to know me, you’ll notice that I’m not one to talk very often. I’m more the kind of person that sits back and lets the other person talk while I listen. Listening seems to have always been what I do.
My friend, lets call him Captain, is majoring in music at the same college I’m attending. He specified for me what branch of it he was studying, but it slipped my mind. He was in our high school band and was drumline captain (see why we’re calling him Captain?), and is actually working at our old high school, helping out teaching the school band.
The reason why I’m talking about Captain is because while he was talking about music and how much he values education and especially the education of music, this spark never left his eyes. He spoke about both things as if they were the most magnificent things he’s ever encountered.
Like his life revolved around them. There was a spark that told me that those things, his love and commitment to those things are what made Captain, Captain. He had so much admiration and awe in his voice and sometimes he even became speechless, not being able to find the words to further extend the importance of music and education in his life.
I just watched him; watched Captain’s expression change, his eyebrows knit together and a smile spread across his face. I watched as he radiated in the glorious light of his passion. I listened to the fluctuations in the tones of his voice, how it broke in certain places and grew louder or softer the more he buried himself in the conversation.
I listened to his confession. This love he has for what makes his life worth living.
I didn’t speak. I was afraid to, for as much as I love writing and want to pursue a career in it, as much as I am majoring in creative writing to better myself and as much as I can’t see myself doing anything other than writing, I don’t feel that I have the passion that he has with music.
I enjoy learning about the great writers of our time and past times. I revel in writing creatively instead of just essays and knowing that yes, I do have a gift in certain areas. I dread going to other classes that aren’t my English classes. Even with all of this and always resort to writing unconsciously when I’m dozing off or just bored, I don’t have Captain’s passion for my subject of choice.
If I weren’t majoring in creative writing, I don’t know what I would major in. But not because writing is the one and only thing for me. But because I don’t think I’ve explored enough in my life to know what else I could perfect, what else I could enjoy and love.
This realization scares me a bit.