Warning: naughty language ahead!
I have such a fear of being passionate about something.
Of being bowled over, deep-veined, heart thumping-in-your-mouth, energy pumping through you, passionate.
Lately, I’ve been feeling that way about writing. I’ve been feeling that way about what I’m currently doing, and the last two weeks I haven’t been writing heaps because life has happened and I’ve been struggling with it’s shit. So I’ve been writing for me, I’ve been writing for my soul and my eyes only, and for the eyes of a few close friends.
Within that—this stepping away and stepping inside myself—has been a realisation of how much I love it. How much I could do it all day and night and let it be the thing that nourishes me and lives inside of me.
But that terrifies me. I feel so nervous to throw myself into something, even though I already have thrown myself into it. The throwing I’m feeling desperate to do is a throwing that feels different. It’s got a layer of passion that’s new. A layer of passion saying, this is what I want to do.
And when I write that, I feel sick.
To want to do something creative, like this, scares the shit out of me. To want it to be something I motivate myself to do, that I allow myself to learn-the-shit-out-of, and fill myself with inspiration and learnings from outside, and from within, feels really fucking scary. It also feels overwhelming.
Because when I write, I find me. When I write, I write from me. When I write, I allow parts of me to speak that I struggle to allow in ‘real life,’ or they speak in therapy but to speak out of that feels hard. There isn’t the container.
Writing is my container.
But writing is also difficult. There’s no ‘structure’ unless I make one, make it. It takes a fuck-load of motivation to sit through the inner chatter of what I’m supposed to be doing and to sit down in front of my computer or journal instead, and give myself this time to do what?, my critic says. To write? That’s not enough. You can’t just be creative. You need to be doing something proper with your life, otherwise you’ll turn into your parents. You don’t have enough motivation and will-power to be a full-time creative.
But you know what? I don’t want to be a full-time creative. I’ve always known I don’t. I think the passion in me thinks I do and makes me feel like I do, but what I want to do is combine the two—the less creative (I don’t believe anything is non-creative—even nine to five jobs doing accounting are creative) and the creative. I want to combine my love of writing with my love of speaking. I want to talk. I want to give talks that tell my story, that educate, inspire, and inform. I want to change things. And I sort of know I will.
I feel afraid of this burning, booming, wild energy that flows—floods—through me at the moment. It’s beautiful. But I feel nervous of its presence. Of the level of passion, of the level of fear, of the level of anger, and of the level of clear.
That desire to really get to know something—to get to know writing—and to really allow myself to fall deeply in love, even more than I am already, and fall deep into a love affair. One that continues on from the love affair I’m in now, and picks up even more love along the way.
One that allows me to educate, to inform, to inspire, myself. One that allows me to give myself hours in the day when my critic says, I should be doing something else.
You see, I’ve been doing this.
The last year and a half I’ve been doing this. I’ve been writing every day, loads. But I get these little knock-backs. I get these little times and moments where Life happens and I wonder what the fuck I’m doing. I wonder where it’s all taking me. I wonder whether it really matters that I don’t know where it’s taking me, and that to do is enough. I wonder whether this is okay—to give myself this gift.
I wonder whether I can do it. I wonder whether I can continue.
My heart says, yes, and my head says, no. Or it says, maybe, and why, and how?
When I have a few weeks of not writing more than for myself, like I have been having, it’s almost like starting all over again. It’s not, because it never will be, because when I started was when I was born. But right now it’s like being born back into the life I had a few weeks ago. It’s like being born back into the routine and the process I was in—a process I didn’t step out of but a process I took deep within.
Things feel mighty complex. Like I need to know what I’m doing. Like I’m desperate for answers and I’m desperate to do it right.
I’m desperate to figure out this fear behind my passion, with all my might. But maybe I don’t need to figure it out. Maybe I can let it be here. Maybe I can notice and let it form the foundations on which I grow. Maybe I can witness the part of me who’s scared and let her speak, within it. Maybe I can witness the part of me that’s booming, and the part of me that’s bad-ass, and the part of me that’s glowing from all this growth and creative expression.
Maybe I can be here with it all. Maybe I can have it all.
The fear, the anxious chatter. The joy, the heart-filled laughter. The pain, the crushing agony. The love, the booming pleasure. The desire, the pulling heart. The fire, the raging start. And life with a sense of purpose.
Maybe I can allow myself to be completely nourished by this dream. Maybe I can allow myself to have the time in the day to do this something. This something that’s brought so much healing, so many connections, so much power, and so much time breathing.
I can let my heart say, yes, and I can let my head say, no, and ask the how’s and the why’s. Because I can do it anyway.
I can give myself this gift that my heart and soul and mind, deserves. No matter the resistance, no matter the fear, the creativity is always here and always asking to be born outwards, onto the page, onto whatever piece of paper is there.
Because to create is enough, and to create is to say, I love you.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Heiger Weber