What sets my heart on fire.

First, what is passion for a simple girl like me?

I’d simply put it as what you love. It’s what you, at the deepest and most honest part of yourself, love.

Passion for me is essentially what drives us further in a particular pursuit. It is the energy that keeps us going, that keeps us filled with meaning and happiness and excitement and anticipation. It is what motivates us to persist amid difficulty, and what pushes us to go beyond amid thinking that we’ve done enough.

But since we are nothing but mere human beings, we do get tired, we burn out, and even if it is our passion, a point will come where in we will get tired of doing it, but we will never give up on doing so. Why? Because deep down in our hearts we believe in its power —power to change, power to give life, and power to start a big fire.

Personally, I am a very passionate person. I am a girl with an over flowing passion and love with everything that I do. I do everything that I do in the best way that I can. And I am a firm believer that one of the greatest supports to a person’s happiness is their passion.

I remember back when I was still a little child, around 7 years old, I guess, my cousins and I along with our neighbors would play doll houses, lego blocks and clay dough; we would also color different books and draw a lot. We also used to play pretend and we would act as if we were in school, and they’d want me to be the teacher all the time.  I’d teach them how to color properly — no stray lines when coloring, using of only one stroke of the pen so that it would look better, and the like. As I grew older and also gain more cousins through time, I’d teach them almost everything that I learn in school: different words, how to spell these words properly, different science facts, the story of creation, how to use okra and other vegetables as artwork stamps and everything else under the sun.

I also loved not just teaching but also taking care of little kids in particular. My aunts would always leave their kids with me whenever they had something to do. These little signs showed me what one of my greatest passion is —my love for kids. I have that great desire in my heart to reach to the next generation and I believe that through them, I could somehow, leave an impact in this world.

I would save up my own money to visit foundations and charities, my favorite high school activity was our annual visit to different public schools so that we would teach them for at least a month. I applied to be a regular teacher at our kid’s church when I was 15 years old and up until now, I still try my best to go home every weekend to be able to actively participate in teaching kids in our kid’s church.

I have the great desire in my heart to help people. It may sound cliché and cheesy but it’s all true. It is what makes me move forward. Every single time that I feel weary and drained, I’d go back to the reason why I’m striving so hard to graduate— to be able to help more people. To be able to be a pediatrician someday and cure kids, alleviate malnutrition, and the like. To be able to serve our fellowmen in need. These thoughts are what makes me going.

Besides from my love for kids, I have a plethora of things that I am passionate about. The most mundane of which would be creative writing, drawing, cooking, traveling, taking photos, dancing, and talking, I guess. I pour my heart out with every poetry, artwork, cake, and dish that I make. I am also a very passionate daughter. I do my best to continuously make my parents proud.

I’m sure everyone of you has a passion, just like me. What are your passions? What are the things that you are passionate about and that you truly believe in and pour your heart out? I am sure by now, every one has something in mind. Why do we do these things?

Is it for the acceptance of the society, is it for your friends or for your family? Are these reasons enough? Why is it truly important to have a passion?

It is important not for other people, but for yourself.

Passion makes us live, and not merely exist.

Passion is king, for like what I said earlier, it is what makes you stay despite of fatigue or difficulty. Despite of all the hardships we’ve been facing. To cite an instance, going back to my story earlier, teaching kids isn’t that easy at all. It is a lot more time and energy consuming than what many may think. With every teaching session comes practices, preparations, visual aid making, and a lot more. You have to device a way to get those kids listening to you about various topics. Not all kids are those cutie cute and sweet little kids that would follow you right away. Some kids are honestly, brats and hard headed, and I swear, sometimes, it gets exhausting.

Thinking about it; all the time, money, and energy consumed, while thinking about my academics makes me want to run on hiatus and not do anything at all, but I didn’t. Given my passion for it, and knowing that all my efforts, regardless of how small, would be beneficial to others, I always choose it. I go back to it over and over again. Seeing the smiles of the little kids, hearing their laughter, and feeling their hug as they scream “thank you”, would be so much enough of a payment.

Without even fully noticing it, my passion makes me happy. Our passions make us happy. It makes us complete.

It is essential to be passionate about something because it becomes your fuel and your fire at the same time. Fuel because it reminds you that there is still good and worth believing for in this world. And fire because it consumes you in a way it doesn’t empty your soul.

So go on and find your passion, and once you do or if you already have one, have the courage to live it, own it. Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.

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Catherine is a 20-something BS Nutrition student of the University of the Philippines, but her heart screams for the art. She is a freelance creative and model, an artist and a writer, and an advocate of human rights and the environment.

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