Balance of Passions and Skills

College is a time in which we choose our identity; or so society tells us. After all one of the first questions a student is asked is ‘what are you studying?’ The reason for this being that the answer to this question is meant to indicate what you want to do with your life. And for the longest time, this question and my answer to this question infuriated me. Because aren’t I more than my major?

The answer to this question for me is that I am an Electrical Engineering student. But I am also a musical theater lover, which doesn’t quite go along with Electrical Engineering. But alas I am a musical theater lover and have been completely enamored with Broadway since I saw my first Broadway show when I was eleven. But I have a ‘problem’ in which my skill level and passion level are completely disproportionate as shown in the figure below.


For the longest time I have been upset with God because why would he give me something that I was so passionate about but no skill. I felt like a kid being paraded through a candy or a toy story and being told to look but not touch.

I was reminded of this fact this past January when over break I went to New York City with my Mom. One of the things that we did was a tour about Broadway, walking around and learning about the theaters and their history, which I just loved! But at one point during this someone asked, “so do you study theater?” and my mom answered for me, “No, it is just a hobby.”

And although these words were 100% true and meant in no maliciousness, I kind of felt like I had just been punched in the gut. Because a hobby is something that is off to the side. It is separate and not as important as your ‘real life.’ But musical theater is my passion. So then once again I found myself asking, while smiling and nodding, “Why God Why?” (and yes that is a reference to a song from the musical Miss Saigon).

And it wasn’t until last week at Pause and reflecting since then that I realized why. A hobby isn’t a little thing, it is our passions, and what we choose to do outside of what we have to do. If anything they define us more than anything else. God gave me the mind of an engineer (after all not many people use graphs in their blogs). But God also gave me something to love, something to be passionate about, and something that gives me joy. And for that I thank him.  

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