Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Proof is in the Passion

My gratitude list towards my Countdown to Fifty continues.

#2 Passion

I recognize that I blogged about the importance of having passion for something outside of your bedroom if you wanted to bring it inside, but while in this most recent self-reflection mode, I've been able to really see how my passion for writing has impacted and informed every nook and cranny of my current life--including my thoughts and actions on sex and sensuality.

I am so lucky that I discovered my intimate connection with reading and writing early in my life. I have always loved words. Starting with Dr. Suess I devoured books of all lengths and all genres. Reading for me wasn't just a hobby but a refuge. I know this sounds cliche but books became my window on the world beyond the hedged suburbs I grew up in. They fueled my imagination, piqued my curiosity and kick-started my interest in writing. Words became my cupid and my warrior king. I complimented friends and insulted foes, seduced lovers and influenced bosses with my pen.

I went to college and majored in journalism. After I graduated I started working in the broadcast industry. Every job I held required writing. Whether writing promotional spots, press releases, sales presentations, television shows, speeches for the late Peter Jennings or now writing novels, I was/am working my passion.

Most importantly, doing something I loved kept me working to improve. And the more I improved the more confident I became not only in my writing but in myself. And as I got better my dreams got bigger and the obstacles higher. But trying to achieve my passion helped push me forward when lots of things conspired to hold me back. But passion gives you courage and boldness that you can draw on when you need to. Passion gives you the edge because it makes you give a damn. And when you are caring you are daring. You may fall but that desire picks you back up to try again. Rejection becomes a mere bump in the road instead of a journey ending roadblock.

Up until a few years ago, I would tell you that writing was my passion. But while getting comfortable with myself as a woman in her forties and working on my second novel, Hitts & Mrs., I realized a subtle shift. I recognized that my true passion was the search for truth, mainly my individual truth, but also exploring topics that blew the dust off of what I came think of as man made truths. I also learned that my passion had grown to helping women empower themselves by first introducing universal truths into my work to help guide them to their own truth. Writing is now the tool I used to realize my passion.

These two passions are all wrapped up into who I am now at fifty. The search for truth has me turning all kinds of topics and issues upside down to inspect, explore, try on and figure out. And the more I learn about myself, the more comfortable I am just being me and that has given me a fearlessness I never had in my younger days. They have fueled other passions like traveling, cruising, teaching, sensual living and hazelnut gelato, which continue to broaden my horizons and help to stretch and grow me.

My kids are nearly grown now but as children, I always encouraged them to seek out explore their passions. I drilled into them that one of the best things that could happen to them in life was to work their passions. To see the world, make money and support themselves doing what they loved. This has been one of the few lessons I've taught that I can actually see has stuck (I tried to teach them to have a passion for picking up after themselves. One look at their rooms and you'll see how that turned out!)

So, I am thoroughly grateful for having a passion that I have enjoyed and that has helped define my life and my place in this world.

It's never too late to isolate your passion. It can be anything from gardening to cooking to traveling. Find it. Work it. Love it. And watch how it changes you.

What do you think?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Everytime I read about passion I get sad. There are so many definitions for the word. What I just realized is passion is how you define it, not someone else's definition. Their definition is their's and mine must be mine. Thank you for opening up my awareness to this from reading your articles. One of the things that is most important to me is self-growth. You have given me an idea on how to use this to help others because we all have that obligation and that's when we are most satisfied. Thanx for your information.