Where the Air Is Rarified


One of the things I miss about being at LeTourneau University is being around all the aviation majors. Most people I know in college don't have a clue what they want to do with their lives after graduation, and some of us end up changing our majors six times in as many semesters in hope of finding something interesting and perhaps even lucrative.

Aviation majors, however, know exactly what they want from the very first day of class — they want to fly planes.

You don't become a pilot by accident or because you think it will be easy. If you plan to take a huge hunk of metal into the air, bring it back to land, and survive the experience, you have to really want to do that. You have to go through a lot of training and possibly be out of your gosh dang mind. Classes are hard and long, and attendance policies are as unforgiving as they come. (Pretty much every lecture could be titled "How to Avoid Death," so missing a class means failing the course.) Practice is equal parts exhilarating and terrifying. Really bad things happen if you aren't 100% focused.

The result of all this is that people who want to be professional pilots are some of the most driven and responsible people on the planet, and it is incredibly inspiring to listen to them talk about their passion. (One of my favorite college memories of all time was watching Top Gun with a bunch of aviation boys. For the entirety of the film, they were as giddy as twelve-year-old girls playing truth or dare at a slumber party.)

All this decluttering and prioritizing has made me wonder what my core passions really are, and when it comes right down to it, I still don't know. My online profiles would lead you to believe that I'm mostly passionate about grammar and Lord of the Rings and banning Comic Sans, but my spiel about how churches today should be using internet resources is twenty times longer than my spiel on overused fonts. And at the end of the day, none of those things would probably make the top five in my list of life passions.

What about you? What drives you and motivates you to do what you do? What are you passionate about? Who do you look to for inspiration when you're feeling apathetic and listless? Have you always known what you wanted to do with your life?

(I grew up wanting to be a secretary or a CEO. I like organizing things, and I like controlling things. Having already tried the former, I look forward to eventually trying the latter.)