Writing is not easy; especially the sort of writing that magically loops up unrelated words into eloquent phrases to conjure up images in the brains of readers. Id like to think I have a sophisticated lexicon. Yet, when it comes to powerful expressions, I am usually at loss for the proper vocabulary. With the presupposed inability to write in the way I would like to, I gave up and stopped writing, and let my passion dwindled off to the extent that I forgot what it was like to be passionate.
I would like to use descriptions beyond nice or cool, so I dig into my memory of SAT flash cards I once memorized. The only word I really remember is acquiesce, which was usually on top of the pile, and not much use for me right now. Therefore, writing anything beyond a blog post becomes painful. Why did I lose all the mellifluous words I once played around with? The answer presented itself unexpectedly. I watched the movie Midnight in Paris on DVD some nights ago, without even knowing that such a movie had come out. A rom-com chick flick perhaps, but what made me go lovey-dovey was not the script of romance, but rather, the artists and writers that Woody Allen directed to interweave Gils life.
The Roaring Twenties, La Belle Epoque, Renaissance, lArt Nouveau as name after name of authors, painters, poets, singers, artists popped up continuously, something in my heart reignited. I got excited for no apparent reason and must have shocked my puppy, watching the movie with me. But I could not sit still. Part of me wanted to finish watching the movie, but the other part of me wanted to run to my computer and read again about all these authors I had known so well back when I was a teenager. I couldnt wait to pick up pen and paper again and actually write not type. I wanted to dig out my copy of the The Old Man and the Sea and read it in one sitting.
I dont even know who wrote what in which era, but all these authors works I had read and wanted to buy but was never allowed to by my mother flashed before my eyes once again. DH Lawrence, TS Eliot, Pearl S Buck, Jane Austen, Joseph Conrad, Robert Frost, Robert Browning, William Blake, Louisa May Alcott, William Wordsworth, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Picasso, Edith Wharton, F Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Marcel Proust, WH Auden, Charlotte Bronte oh the endless list that pumped life to my heart.
So this is passion something that stirs an awakening to my soul, something that excites an indescribable jolt in the normal rhythm of neural firing, an irresistible urge!
Many of us ask ourselves day in day out, what are our passions?
Bogged down by responsibilities, corporate jobs, deadlines, expectations, we sacrifice that little fire we have all felt before. It could have been a hobby when we were kids like painting with our fingers, or dumping flour and water together to make a mess in hope it would turn into a cake. It could have been carpentry or flipping around with the skateboard. Or it could have been our stamp collection (I had one too by the way, and my parents decided it wasnt useful and threw it out) or BB gun exhibits.
We dismiss these activities as useless or immaterial after all, how would a book nerd like me who spent all my spare time reading novels ever be able to make money one day and put bread on the table? Perhaps it would be more educational to read The Financial Times or The Economist and learn about the ways of the world. I read my first Harvard Business Review at the age of 15, already feeling the heat to gear up for a corporate executive career.
And so, sadly, albeit realistically, that same little kid who excelled in cooking class in school did not become the next Michelin chef, and the little girl who was able to recite world famous poetry did not become the journalist / writer she dreamed of. She studied law instead, more instrumental to establishing a profession, and became a corporate executive. I had forgotten. Till now.
It is never too late to pursue what you love to do, one way or another we just need to decide go for it.
Somehow, the universe congregates its forces and reminds you to not forsake your inner zeal. Mine came with suffering from major depression, and giving up my life a few times. A necessary evil. After all, Sylvia Plath wrote her best works during her periods of despair too. Indeed, I almost feel as if I write more fluidly when in a rage of desperation and hopelessness so maybe in a weird sort of way, depression is my drug.
Anyways, Im just glad I rediscovered my passion, and Im working on it when I have some strength in my bones, and my mind. I dont know how to teach you to find your passions. Maybe other people can do a better job at coaching you. But I do hope you find yours, somehow.
More importantly, once you find your passion (again), pursue it.
To see a world in a grain of sand
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an houur.
— William Blake