While Lynsey Addario, author of It’s What I Do adores photography, conflicted feelings begin emerging once she sets out on her journey through the Middle East. Back at home, she loved her passion, and strived to take her skills to the next level by embarking upon a meaningful international expedition. However, the grueling, unusual circumstances existing in the Middle East caused Addario to begin questioning whether or not she loves the photographic art enough to participate in such a trip.
While not as serious of a commitment, one can compare her feelings to declaring a major in college. For example, I decided to pursue a minor in flute performance, basing the decision on an affinity for playing my instrument in high school groups and local competitions. I practiced about an hour a day at home and improved steadily over the past several years, but receive an eye opener at the university level. The students around me are extremely hardcore and practice for hours on end. They eat, breathe, and sleep music. Suddenly an old passion has become intimidating, mundane, and time consuming, and I begin wondering if I am truly cut out for such a path of study. Can I be an engineering major and find the time for a rigorous, daunting hobby?
The 2017-2018 Penn State Flute Choir
While Addario’s conflict is not identical to mine, she makes hers relatable by following her unique remarks with the “light at the end of the tunnel.” She may have endured horrible things such as “air hot and dry as a blow dryer,” no clean water sources, and “sun that seared [her] light skin,” that I may never experience, but we both came out on the other side and realized how the journey was worth the destination. Whether pain is measured as days in a grueling hot desert or hours on end in an uninsulated practice room, having yourself as your own worst enemy, it becomes worth it when you take an exceptionally candid photo, or play a beautiful recital piece for all of Penn State’s Music majors. In Addario’s case, she reached a sign which said “Save the children.” With her recent journey in mind, she could easily relate the perfectly staged photo to what she has just conquered.
In my passion blog, I strive to show how obstacles in my life yield new discoveries. While I previously focused on relating cafes and coffee shops to my friends at home, I begin shifting towards how my struggles here bring me new places. Whether a scheduling conflict brings me to Au Bon Pain cafe and the Steidle Building study lounges, or a math review session opens my eyes to the unique Cafe Laura, my own conflicts pave the way for trying new things.