Today I want to talk about Passion

As the title says, today I want to talk about Passion… so being the person I am I turned to Google for a definition.

The first thing that comes up is, “a strong and barely controllable emotion.”

“A strong and barely controllable emotion.” Let’s think about that for a second.

When was the last time you had anything resembling a strong and barely controllable emotion? Seriously though…for me… it was anger. A rage fueled ranting of all the things I’m sick of or don’t want. And as much as its good to get out, it doesn’t fix the problem.

I went to a seminar today (I actually didn’t know it was going to be what it was)… and people tried to sell me their idea. I don’t disagree with their idea. I trust the person that invited me to this seminar. I am intrigued by the model they created, but the item they’re selling isn’t my joy. I asked another friend of mine for advice about mental clarity because lately my head has been a clusterfuck of crazy to say the least…. She asked me a simple question…

Are you passionate about this?

Okay, let me just back track for  a minute… I keep trying to get new jobs. I keep trying to fix and better my situation. I keep making progress little by little but also keep ending up in jobs that I hate, that simply chain me to a desk on someone else’s terms. I keep telling myself I need to do something else, but I have no idea what that is anymore. I’ve been asked this question twice this week alone; twice by unexpected sources…. This time I paid attention.

Like I said I get asked this question like I have a million times before, but I wasn’t calm enough to really let it sink in until now. It was then that I realized I’ve been screaming to the world that I want to live life passionately. That I want to do what sets my soul on fire. That I want to actually feel alive and be alive and not live by someone else’s rules. And what am I actually doing?! I’m driving myself crazy following someone else’s rules despite knowing I don’t want to play this game anymore. Let’s insert the definition of insanity… here…

For a while I thought teaching would be a good route for me and I really enjoyed teaching when I was in it, but it sucked the life out of me. I worked in insurance before that and that sucked the life from me without question. I then went back to school and kept trying to force a change in status quo because everything I tried wasn’t working. I’ve worked in customer service – my advice to you is don’t. I worked for a cosmetics company in creative services but there was no where for me to “grow”. I worked in real estate and that company was too bi-polar and that’s coming from me. I work in advertising for an animation company and to say the least, this job just isn’t what I thought it would be, but I took it because I had to.

In fact – All of the jobs I’ve had for the most part I never took because I wanted to…. I took them because I had to. I always jump at the first chance I get because I never believe there’s going to be another opportunity. While I know that isn’t true, being stuck somewhere is like nails on a chalk board for me. The biggest thing I’ve realized now is that stuck is something I both run from and cling to… because it’s known. Stuck in a terrible roommate situation because I don’t have the ability to pay rent alone but still having a roof over my head is still stuck. Stuck in a job I don’t like because it pays the bills is stuck. Stuck in a relationship with myself I don’t like because I’m going through the motions of survival is still stuck. I’ve said this before… you CANNOT thrive and you CANNOT truly succeed, in survival mode…you can only get by.

In the last few years, I’ve changed my entire world. I expected to be alone for a certain period of time. I expected not to thrive the minute I got here. I expected to have to pay dues of some sort before being handed the key to anything. Los Angeles is the fucking Major Leagues and I was barely ready to sit on the bench let alone play the game.

I’ve been playing the game for over 2 years and part of me still feels like I’m sitting on the bench. I’m going through the motions of my own life. I’m going through the motions of my own life with far too much stress, pain, anxiety, and trauma. And it really needs to end.

So where do I go from here?! Oh yeah Passion.

I need to find what actually excites me and chase it. I need to let myself be alive. I need to let myself be free. I need to let myself get excited. I need to listen to what my heart and head are telling me despite it making things harder financially. I’m already struggling financially and that hasn’t changed in almost a decade.

Truth is I don’t want the second job I have. Truth is, I don’t want to live in this apartment, but I only don’t want to move because it’s an expensive pain in the ass. Truth is, I’m still a work in progress with my mental state, but I can’t deny that I’ve been better than I ever have with myself in the last two years in terms of trying to cope. Truth is, I need to make up my own rules to the game that is life and I need to stop being afraid to leap despite any potential falls. Truth is I need to stop yelling about what should be and actually find out what fills the should be gap.

I moved to California to follow a dream to work in animation. I failed at the chance I first took when I got here. I then took a job because I had to. I got into companies doing what I thought I wanted to do as a fall back. They didn’t work how I wanted them to. What I’ve been saying to myself for years is that applying to jobs and trying to get by is not what I want my life to be. I have said I need to get creative before and yet I always go back to the same old insane tactics.

Message to self — stop it, damn it.

Truth is I never expected creating a life to be easy. Truth is I never expected finding my “dream job” to be easy. Truth is I never expected any of this to be easy. It was, “damn near impossible” that I didn’t expect to have at every turn. So now it’s time I get out of my own way and stop focusing on the shit and start focusing on the times I actually light up. The times I feel alive. The times I am excited at potential. The times I’m excited at reality.

What am I going to do about this now? I’m going to ask myself as many questions as I can,  in as many ways as I can, as weird as I can and as vanilla as I can in hopes that I strike a chord in myself. If I can’t answer the question what do I like to do, where do I like to go, what excites me, I think I have found the issue… survival mode on. How do I turn it off? Incorporate joy, fun, excitement, actual living into my world again. Find out what evokes the passion. That inexplicable rage, that emotional reaction that is so over the top you almost expect that it didn’t come out of your own mouth and fucking live it.

What am I going about this… right now I’d like to quit my job, take a couple weeks off, move into a new place, get my ankle healed and start over. But first I’m going to start with these questions and try to poke the passion chords with the hopes I play Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata instead of Chopsticks.

Wish me luck.

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Revisiting Passion: 5 years later

For those following along, or those new to the blog this is Chapter 7. To read from the beginning start with “Revisiting Perspective.”

Passion can be applied to almost anything in any form. You can for instance be a passionate lover or friend. You can be passionate about a sport, working out, or a hobby like collecting. You can be passionate about certain causes such as To Write Love on Her Arms or the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. You can be passionate about life itself. You can show passion in almost anything you do because even when you just automatically do something there is still some type of driving force behind why you are doing it in the first place. Not everything is done in the name of passion but not everything is just done because it has to be. For example I’m pretty sure no one is passionate about paying their bills, but they have to pay them if they want to keep living in that way.

Passion, like anything else is not always a good thing; it is a constant obsession with something. When thinking about passion it isn’t as black and white as good and bad. Passion can result in many good things for others or for yourself. Passion can also cause harm. Passion has the potential to make people do crazy things. It has the potential for greatness as well as the potential for mass destruction. Passion has flaws and potential. It can be energetic or dormant. It can be the driving force behind all you believe to be good and have faith in this world; faith of any kind. Faith in other humans, in family, in friends, in yourself, in an action, in a story, in a love you just don’t understand enough yourself to be able to explain. Your reason for really living or not. Your reason for doing anything, everything, or nothing. The reason you are the way you are. With passion or the lack of passion, you can understand the events, choices and decisions you’ve made in your life. Passion isn’t unintelligent nor is it pure intelligence. It can be a gut reaction or thorough planning. It can be completely thought out or left to chance.

I’ve come across a few people in my life that show passion in almost everything they do. They live, breathe and feel for others. They do things with full force and attention 100 percent of the time. They live their lives by and through their relationships with others. If something happens to you, they not only try to relate to your pain but they experience it or seem to, just as you would yourself. This may not be easy to understand, or sound as if anyone in their right mind or anyone at all would in fact act this way, but you’d be surprised. Ghandi or Mother Theresa for example would be real life people who lived this way. People that devote their lives to a cause can be people that live their lives with passion as their driving force. Firm beliefs that any little bit that they do, can and will change the world and any attempt to make the world a better place can be an instance of passion. People with firm beliefs that their way is the best way and attempt to force them on society despite anyone else’s opinions or any facts are also people that live through passion.

Passion is like happiness. It is always there in some form whether you realize it or not. Whether you accept it or not. Like mentioned before you can be passionate about anything. Whether you’re a writer, an artist, a sports fan, a model car enthusiast, the richest man alive, the poorest man on the street, anyone, there is still passion within you. Passion can be applied to the things you do and it can make you who you are. You can form your life around the passion and devotion of others or you can devote passion to yourself. Neither is wrong, for life is what you make of it. But know that, no you did not get out of bed this morning out of passion, but maybe you watched your child’s sports game or school play. Maybe you had an argument with someone where you voiced your opinion. Maybe you went to the gym to try and stay or get into shape. Maybe you painted a picture. There are millions of things you can do that include passion.

Music also can evoke passion. Music can create a passion that you feel deep in your soul. Have you ever heard a song that just strikes you to the point where you just feel something that makes you want to belt out the lyrics at the top of your lungs? Whether it’d be for the sake of a single specific person or everyone you’ve ever known (I know I have)? Have you ever heard a song that moves you to tears or laughter or such joy and emotional lightness that you experience it, every time you hear that song? Music like many things is something that is thought provoking. Music isn’t always just a bunch of witless words being sung about all the time. You may not have written the song but it can still evoke emotion. You may not know what the writer of the song meant when they wrote it but it can still make you feel a certain way. Whether it is the actual words that touch you or the melody behind it, music is a powerful force.

In these senses it doesn’t seem that passion is by itself one single entity. It seems that it can be a plethora of things to anyone. Passion can be lost for things and found again. It can be stumbled upon when you least expect it. It can drive you to do things you may have never thought possible. But can you entirely and completely define it? It is more than pure emotion and it can exist and go along with other emotions as well. Personally, dance has been something I’ve done all my life and for the first time I find myself completely without what I’ve known and learned for almost two decades. Dance when I was younger was something I liked doing. But it wasn’t until I “lost” what I had that I realized I had a passion for it. Dance makes me feel in a way that other things just don’t. The adrenaline rush of being on stage, of hearing the music and feeling the movement within yourself is unlike anything else I’ve really experienced. But when I was in the midst of my dancing years I never looked at it that way. It was just something I did, something I liked. Now that I don’t get to dance like I used to and the reasons I dance aren’t entirely the same, I can honestly say I’m passionate about it.

With passion comes many things. It’s the emotion that drives us with intensity because of our deep desire to want and achieve – something.  Anger, lust, happiness, devotion, love, the list continues. Passion is an interesting thing because like happiness, sometimes you have it and sometimes you don’t. Sometimes you find it, sometimes you lose it, sometimes you didn’t know it was there. Sometimes it drives you and sometimes it propels you in another direction. I’m sure that at some point of your life you’ve felt this way about something. You probably had something in mind the entire time you read this chapter. Something or maybe someone. Where does your passion start and end? Where do you find yours?