During Thanksgiving it’s a time for food, family, and watching copious amounts of TV and movies. This year those movies included “Somm” which is a movie about 4 guys trying to take the Master Sommelier test. Which apparently only about 12% pass each year. Not a super low amount, but also not an easy exam in any way shape or form. It got me thinking about if I could become a Somm (as they are called in the business according to the movie). I think that I do have the right kind of mind for the job, remember flavors of wines the history of region of wine and all of that is right up my alley. I know that, because that’s what I used to do with beer. I used to be able to rattle of several types of beers that if you liked one kind or style that might push your boundaries and give some of the reasoning behind it. I was able to explain why a beer tasted the way it did, etc… That was something I loved and was really passionate about. However, wine just doesn’t hold the same level of interest to me. I don’t know if it’s because beer feels much more close to home, my friends drank beer and avoided wine or what it is. Even now that I cannot drink beer I still haven’t really replaced it with a beverage I’m passionate about. I drink both wine and cider, but I don’t feel a deep down passion for them. Likewise I don’t think I could do that with whiskey, even though I really enjoy drinking whiskey, it just hasn’t captured my imagination as a GREAT drink that I want to learn everything about.

More broadly, the movie has had me thinking about what I’m truly passionate about. I know that a great deal of my interests are reflections of what my friends are interested in. If I’m surrounded by people that love watching football, I’ll watch a lot more football, similarly for college basketball or hockey. I enjoy the games when I watch them, but I rarely will seek them out on my own. I think this is something that is driving my wife crazy, I simply don’t have a lot of things that I’m passionate about that I’ll invest a huge amount of time into. It’s frustrating for me too. I think that is probably the hardest thing about me being Gluten Free I’ve really lost a great passion of mine.

I think many people will agree that I’m passionate about certain things in our political system. I’m all about free speech, investing in science and technology to grow and enable our economy. But I’m also not 100% all in. I’ve been thinking about how to get involved and in what way I’d do this. Ideally, I’d work at a think tank, but there aren’t many around Portland and many of them are either left wing or right wing. I think on many topics I’m a moderate, so neither party truly inspires much confidence.

I’m also passionate about making people’s lives better at work, but I’m not really getting much support at my organization and I’m getting beaten down. It’s one of the most frustrating things you can deal with on a daily basis, knowing there’s a better way to do things, walking your leaders to the kool-aid, but seeing them spit it out and start drinking from the mud instead.

So this leaves in an odd position. The things I’m passionate for I can’t really follow through, which makes me ask What do I have passion for, what should I try to be doing to find things I could become passionate about, how should I act on the topics I do have passion for? I know that there’s something more out there that I could or should be doing, but i have no idea how to get there.

I’ve become my parents when it comes to music

Not in terms of enjoying the same music, but I realized today, that I’m exactly like them in terms of knowing what band is playing what. My wife is way better at knowing what band is what, who is playing what song. I’ve almost completely lost it. It’s not from lack of listening to music. I listen to music all the time. There’s a ton of songs that I truly love and listen to on a regular basis, but I hardly remember any of the bands names or the name of the songs.

I think some of it has to do with the fact, that unlike a lot of my friends, I never was particularly interested in the specifics of a band. For example, I only know the members of Metallica because I’ve liked them for so long (their old stuff) and had many friends that were all about the history of the band. However, I have no idea nor do I care, who makes up the group Black Mill, or even if it’s just a single person. Not interested. I love the music, willing to pay for it. But I don’t care so much who it is.

This is definitely something that’s evolved over time. I think it has to do with the fact that a lot of my friends, and I mean A LOT, growing up were super in to music. Back home I have a ton of musicians friends and even more than are audiophiles. People obsessed with the ins and out of bands and listening to music. As I’ve moved around over the course of the past 13 years since HS, I’ve met less people with that deep rooted passion. I think that because of that continual influence of music lovers in my life, I’ve just gradually become even less interested in knowing anything about the band that I’m listening to.

I’m kind of disappointed in this, but I think that this is reflective of a general lack of interest I have for a lot of things over time. For instance, I love playing video games. For about a month. Then I gradually become less and less interested in that and try to find something else that can consume my time. I basically quit cold turkey from a point where I essentially only thought about the game, played it day and night, and couldn’t wait to get more. Then a switch will hit and I’m suddenly not interested any more and just kind of move on.

I love music, but I don’t think I’ll ever know all the bands playing on the radio at a given time like I did when I was in High school. I’m glad that there are people out there like that, because they continually feed me new music to listen to. Which is really awesome, cause I’d almost never find new music on my own.