I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard someone ask: “what is your passion?” It always feels like a loaded question. If you answer nothing, you’re a loser, if you answer too precisely you’re a snob, and if your answer is not long enough, people think you made it up on the spot. Which is usually what happens, in my opinion. Because we’re all so afraid to be caught with our passion pants down that we often make shit up as we go, just so we don’t seem like weirdos, roaming through life without a passion.
The trouble with passion is that it’s hard to detect. Sometimes is lays dormant for years inside your soul, only to wake you up from your sleep one day, and shake you out of your miserable existence. Other times, a passion reveals itself after a traumatic experience and reassures you.
But there is not just one passion. Thinking that we should all have just one passion and focus on that til death do us part is not only unrealistic, it’s fucking torture. Your passion can change. Maybe today you’re passionate about feeding the hungry, and tomorrow you want to be a makeup artist. It’s the DOING that matters, not the passion alone.
What use is it to me to be passionate about writing, if I never do it? Oh shit, we’re talking about me now… right. As I was saying, What good is it to me to be passionate about story-telling and sharing ideas with the world, if all I do is complain about how I don’t have time to write anymore.
If you haven’t noticed, it’s been almost a year since my last blog post. How did I go from blogging weekly, to monthly to… never?
I lost my passion to perfection.
Somewhere along the way, I came up with the ridiculous idea that what I was writing no longer mattered. I had an existential crisis because I started NotTheCoolGirl.com as a dating blog, and then suddenly I was in love, then engaged, and then POOF! My ideas were all gone. I had no more dating experiments to run, no more bitching to do about dating, no more funny stories to share because I was… HAPPY?
So I decided to focus on work and wedding planning and then one day woke up feeling miserable and I couldn’t figure out why. I cried, I got mad, I blamed my job, my anxiety, my need for perfection and even Netflix, for my lack of passion. I sunk so deep in my self-doubt, that one day I decided I no longer knew what I was good at. So I paid for the Myers Briggs test to tell me.
The results told me that my personality aligns with creative roles, such as: producing, writing, directing. According to the Myers Briggs results, I would also be happy in roles where I can help enhance people’s lives, such as: coaching, being a chef or creating anything that makes people’s lives better.
“So everything you’ve already done, or are doing?” asked my fiancé, Doug. That’s right. I paid to find out that I should be doing what I have already been doing or have been meaning to get to… So what was stopping me? I realized after reading several thought-provoking books like Big Magic and You are a Bad Ass, that I wasn’t missing my passion, I was missing the action.
I’ve feared for so long to do the wrong thing, or say the wrong thing, that I stopped writing and stopped creating. Instead, I got stuck in this awful stupid place, I like to call “the perfecting stage”, where I ran my ideas by people, wrote down parargraphs, started projects, only to rip them up before I could finish. “But what goes on the internet lives on forever. I have to be careful about what I post. It has to be perfect otherwise…” And on , and on, the wheel of crazy passion killing thoughts turned in my head.
Until one day, after the the presidential election was over, and I had cried the salt out of my body, I had an epiphany. If a candidate can get elected after a very long period of verbal diarrhea on twitter, what the hell am I afraid of? Who am I trying to impress? I’ve been so afraid of making mistakes that I have stopped creating, and I’ve essentially stopped living as my authentic self.
This is why I’ve decided to write a series on perfection. How it’s affected my passions, my career, my life, and even my wedding planning. Leave perfection to God. Down here, we have to learn as we go. Not by living perfectly, but by doing, falling, and getting up again. Then Repeat.