23 March 2012

Passion: Lack Thereof, Origins of Lack Thereof

Been thinking about passion, and a personal dearth of the potent stuff. I used to be passionate, intense. I'm still a bit intense, but...it's been too long since I felt passion. I guess I got the stuffing kicked out of me at some point. The how or why is not nearly as important as, How to get some more?

It seems to me that the first step should be a general de-clutterization: of the mind, the home, the body. Much easier said than done. This is where religion comes in, I suppose. The closest thing I've got is yoga. God, I used to have this deep belief in myself. Where did it go? No, the better question is, How did I let it go? Who or what did I allow to take it? Is it still there, or do I have to go build it from dust, or ashes?

I think I know what happened, what events and consequences kicked the stuffing out of me. It started in law school, but I am not blaming law school. It is the inauspicious event that accompanied my first month there: the unexpected death of my stepfather. I've always been a cool character, so to speak, so I just kept putting one foot in front of the other, as is habit, with no idea how much I was grieving...until The Nervous Breakdown of the Summer after My First Year, which was followed by The Nervous Breakdown of the Summer after My Second Year. But I kept going to school, and doing law school things, like writing for a legal journal, entering writing competitions, hanging out with friends, drinking a lot (trust me, drinking is an extracurricular activity in law school, especially in the Big Easy, where no one has a drinking problem). In hindsight, maybe the leave of absence offered by the Dean of Students should have been accepted, but at that time I didn't know how to take a leave of absence. I had never quit anything. A little bit of a tenacity problem. Quite a few situations where perseverance did NOT serve me well. Honestly, I have never understood how anyone has ever dropped out of school. To me, if there was an end point, it had to be reached, no matter how ill-advised the decision to begin may be. (Which is not to say that I regret for one second going to law school, especially when and where I did. It's one of the best parts of me.) But it made it hard to give up on relationships that weren't working, that sort of thing.

To be continued...


  1. I guess passion is something you only notice when it's not there. I so wish I could get passionate about writing, like I once was. I don't know what to do to recapture that. There was a time I couldn't wait to get started, and even when I wasn't at it, something that I had been working one would occupy my thoughts most of the day. Now, the more I try, the more it slips away.

  2. Well, if you decide to do an exploration of the question, I'd love to find out what you come up with. For me, I definitely noticed passion when it was there. It took a while for it to be gone for me to put my finger on what was wrong.

    1. Your life isn't over yet, CG. I've reached an apparent end point myself a few times, and then to my surprise discovered--months or years later--that a shift in situation, circumstance, and the atmosphere brought on something different; a new landscape to act within. And though I can't say I rediscovered the same passion as when I was younger, riskier, and more innocent, it was just as rewarding, in a quieter, more accomplished way.

  3. Life is long, and the hot runs cold and then hot again. Law is a lousy place for someone of passion - we're taught to question, ourselves and everything, professional paranoids and skeptics, and it runs contrary to passion. And we work through our tragedies. I get passion from the kids more than anything else these days. But it comes and it goes, and yes, there was a younger time when it was just something I had and could count on.

  4. What PW said above!

    How does the end of this year now look?

    Life can be lacking so much and then out of the blue something shifts, or by small steps you bravely start to make the shifts and then something comes back, or afresh or different.

  5. Just read a post further down ..... I found everything changes with a baby. And nothing is at like how the media portrays. Still, can be the most wonderful and amazing but exhausting and self-sacrificing time.