“Are some people destined for great fate, or to do great things? Or is it that they’re born somehow with great passion — and if they find themselves in the right circumstances, then things happen?”
– Voyager, Diana Gabaldon
I’m currently reading the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon after having read stellar reviews of the series, so I was dying to see what all the hype was about. I read the first two books. They were all right. They weren’t bad by any definition, and Diana is undoubtedly talented. Still, I had a hard time getting into the first book. I think it took me a while to warm up to Diana’s writing style, as it often does when I’m reading a new author.
Three books later, I can confidently say I have a good handle on Diana’s style, and I’ve grown to love it. I’m more than half way through Voyager, and I can freely say it’s my favorite in the series so far. I enjoyed parts of Dragonfly in Amber, particularly the genealogy exchange between Roger, Brianna, and Claire. I’ve recently researched my own Scottish ancestors, so that aspect was particularly fascinating for me.
The quote I point above from Voyage resonates with me. It’s spoken by Frank, Claire’s first husband.
Frank and Claire are discussing how some people just seem to know what they’re meant to become in life. Claire knows she’s supposed to be a healer, a doctor, whereas Frank is a historian and nothing is definite in history.
I think it’s true that some people know exactly who they’re going to become at an early age. They’re driven and determined to become that person, and they set out to become the person they want to be. Others discover their true calling in life much later. Of course, some people never find their true calling.
Contrary to Frank’s inquiry in the quote above, I don’t think it’s about being born with passion. We’re all born with a blank slate, with the hunger to discover and explore. We’re all capable of passion and being passionate, we just need to discover that one thing that makes us drive faster than all the rest; the thing that makes us our hungriest, and we can’t stay away. It’s just easier to find for some than others. It’s like a scavenger hunt. Some people find the hidden items sooner than others, and some never find them at all.
We don’t find ourselves in the right circumstances; the right circumstances find us.