Amy Young has made her home in China for more than 15 years and has not let the distance impede her passion for the Denver Broncos or the Kansas Jayhawks. She’s a consultant, trainer and writer and currently teaches junior school students on Friday mornings in Beijing. She blogs at The Messy Middle and tweets as @amyinbj.
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Taste My Enthusiam
In high school I worked at Wendy’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers. Oh the thrill at age 16 of learning to use the fryers and put the topping in the right order (white, red, green, white, red, green, yellow. I still remember after all these years). Discovering the mysteries of stocking the salad bar, running the cash register, and cleaning the whole place after we closed.
I’d come home and gush about this aspect of working at Wendy’s or that particular customer, or my co-workers, or the walk-in fridge or the break room. The topics were endless. How could I not share with my parents and sisters? Yes, as my sisters pointed out, I smelled like fast food when I came home, but even that was a badge of honor from the magical land.
Over dinner as I waxed poetic, my sisters – age 14 and 15 at the time—rolled their eyes and mocked my enthusiasm. While I didn’t shut down completely, I certainly learned to curb my enthusiasm. Part of maturing is reading situations, so toning down wasn’t all bad. But I also got the message that me being me was a bit much, and I needed to kick it down a notch or seven.
Jumping to the present, I have a friend who encouraged me (her words)/badgered me (my take) to start a blog. Last October I was ready to take the plunge and after she helped me set up The Messy Middle, I was off and running.
It turns out blogging is the perfect combo of three of my great loves: words, ideas and numbers. Posting, commenting and tracking stats – to quote one of the most enthusiastic people I know: OH. MY. COW.
The friend who got me started down this path has more than once shaken her head and muttered, “I didn’t know what I was unleashing.” When I told my sister that my friend was experiencing the enthusiasm of Wendy’s, she chuckled a laugh of solidarity. She knows the taste of my enthusiasm.
Enthusiasm is precious. It is to be safeguarded, even fed. People will have a variety of responses to your enthusiasm, but if you look to others to maintain your enthusiasm, it most likely will die. It is yours to guard, protect and nurture.
Fads come and go, but true enthusiasm can be the glue that helps us stick things out for the long haul. Even though there will be occasional rolling of eyes, sighing and humoring head-tilts from those in relationship with me, I can’t help but bring you along for the ride!
What are you enthusiastic about these days?