This blog was supposed to be my passion, or a part of my passion, and then I did this 10-day blogging challenge thing, and it quickly became a chore.
During this challenge, I made all these grand goals of all the work I want to put into my writing and photography, but then those too became chores.
Like every day for a week I kept thinking I really ought to post something to Instagram, and every day it kept not getting done, and I thought I’d lost my passion.
I didn’t want to work at the things I had always wished I had the time and energy to work at. This is the danger of following your passion. If you make your passion your work, then it risks becoming just that. Work.
But I didn’t really lose my passion. I just misplaced it.
It got buried in a pile of dirty laundry, tangled up with the smelly socks of obligation and expectation, suffocated by sweaty T-shirts of looming goals, and littered with a pile of underwear in faded shades of fear and doubt and a failing courage.
So I took a day off from my goals and their accompanying misgivings. I made no to-do list. I made no schedule. I only made an intention to forget about passion and just find joy, here in this moment, in this breath.
I took two bike rides. I practiced yoga. I baked chocolate muffins.
And while they were in the oven, I danced to meaningless music because its rhythm made me move and in that I found its meaning.
When I came home from checking in on a dog client of mine (did I tell you I’m a dog sitter?), I found dusk settling in the living room as it always does, and as I always do, I noticed how the golden light lit up a swath of the room, and in this corridor a large bouquet of silk flowers was dancing on the coffee table.
I notice this scene almost every day, and I always tell myself I should get my camera and photograph it. But when I tell myself “I should” I don’t. I groan and drag my feet like a teenager and make up excuses, whining in my head that my camera is all the way upstairs, tucked so neatly in its bag, and I really shouldn’t trudge up there and wake it up.
But this time I had my camera on me, and there was no excuse, and there was even desire and joy because today there had been bike rides and music and chocolate muffins.
So I turned on my camera and let myself just play, with no judgment and no obligation and no intention of doing anything with whatever crappiness I might produce. And then, in hardly any time at all, I realized I had an image I quite liked.
I ran off to post it to Instagram (and not to cross it off any to-do list), and I felt like an artist and a creator, and I danced some more because I had found the joy again, the passion buried under all that dirty laundry.
I am an artist, and I love beauty, and that is all I needed to remember.
When I woke up this morning, I found I had birthed new motivation, wrinkles of fresh, pink skin and all.
Passion was back in town.
And while I still see a need for my lists and goals and obligations (lest I spend every day baking muffins and dancing around the kitchen), at least for today I felt refreshed.
A new day, a new beginning. Because sometimes all you need to begin again is a clean day of nothing.
And maybe a chocolate muffin or two.