There’s often this expectation that people will uphold the things they do professionally in their personal lives.
Like this morning, I met a woman who designs textile patterns and, after learning this, I immediately became more acutely aware of her dress. I felt like she would want me to – I looked almost as though I was being asked. But I also looked because I thought, as we all think, that it made sense to do so: that I should find some physical manifestation and extension of her work even in her life outside of it.
That she should be consistent.
It’s the same way we may assume film critics, in their at-home theatres, would never stoop so low as to happily watch “Bad Santa” on a Sunday night. That sommeliers never drink Bud Light and priests always practice what they preach.
We want to believe that most things can withstand the test of consistency and play their part all the time. And for the most part, this probably does hold true. (In cases of ethical questions, it definitely should.)
But there’s also something wonderfully refreshingly genuine about the passionate person who lets things slide sometimes. The authenticity afforded them by the occasional guilty pleasure. Not hypocritical, but honest.
Like the top chefs with a soft spot for McDonalds, and like actors who aren’t always camera-ready and instead run errands in sweats, and like the inventor of the typewriter who, all things considered, very likely still used pen and paper from time to time.
Like the award-winning pastry chef and bakery owner I also met this morning, who admitted that her least favorite thing to make is “chocolate chip cookies.” I immediately envisioned a moment, even if it’s only happened once, when she has torn into Chips Ahoy at home. And I mentally made space in our conversation for that.
Because I like a world where she can.
There’s room in passion for inconsistency and imperfection.