Where Has the Passion Gone?
You helped inspire this post. And no, it is not about sex or even romance, though you obviously could inspire either of those things. (rawr)
It’s about those passions that keep you going through the day: the thing that keeps you happily up at night, the thing you don’t have to put on your to-do list because you won’t forget it, the thing that makes you ignore the passage of time.
I have had very few men in my life (and I’m not just saying that in case my mom is reading). I have had a lot of passions.
Music was my passion for a long time. I was a music major for a while in college, and I practiced up to eight hours a day between singing and piano. Then writing took over and music faded. I had always written, but I dove into fiction with, well, a passion, at least for another few years.
But I had also discovered philosophy, especially philosophies of language and culture. Suddenly my world was crackling with significance, and it seemed as if my infinite appetite for systems and theories—just say it, my intense nerdiness—might have a home.
And on and on it goes. Academia, vegetarianism, babies, homemaking, yoga, cooking, homeschooling, community organizing: I jumped into all of these things with an intensity that is, to people who don’t do intensity, a little hard to understand. And it is even harder to understand when that intensity just stops.
It used to bother me when it stopped, because it stops pretty cold sometimes. It’s like you said, Tabby:
All that time and energy put into a relationship, a career, a hobby, a “calling,” and then it ends—what a waste. Or at least, that is what I thought for a long time. But now I see that just like friendships, some passions aren’t meant to last, but they are wonderful while they are there.
And also just like friendships, you have to nurture them in the midst of all the crap that interferes. Otherwise you find—as I have in the last few years—that the few passions you have left are looking rather lifeless, and for some the fire has just plain gone out.
So now, friends, I’m a little stuck. I’m a person who’s always been driven by intensity, but I’ve got nowhere to put it. Maybe I’m like a midlife cougar, hoping to find an all-consuming romance when I ought to be grateful I have someone to go to Home Depot with of a weekend.
But I’m not ready to give up yet. I have high hopes that, once I let go of those old interests that aren’t doing it for me, something new and shiny is going to catch my eye. It might be the start of a beautiful relationship, or it might just be a torrid and short-lived affair, but I think passion—probably a lot of passions—is still out there for me.
Are you doing anything to keep your passions alive? Or are you, like me, a little at sea without an intense love to throw yourself into?
[By the way, if you are an intense person or are a person perplexed by living with an intense person, check out Lisa Rivero’s blog Everyday Intensity]