You used to have a burning passion that lit up your every waking hour but then growing up happened and it somehow got lost along the way. Sound familiar? Here’s what happened when I rediscovered my love of writing, and why it might be worth investing in reviving your forgotten passions too.
I’ve always wanted to write a blog. Pretty much since my sister started hers a few years ago I wanted my own but I never knew what I would write about. I told myself that I wasn’t interesting or insightful enough. I didn’t know enough about anything. No one would want to read it.
Then one night as I was falling asleep, like a hypnic jerk jolting me awake, the idea for The Modern Ascent came to me. I started writing the next day.
In school, English was my favourite subject hands down. I loved my English teachers (I actually loved most of my teachers because nerd), and considered them some of the funniest and most intelligent people I’ve ever met (and still do). My all time favourite school assignment was in year 8 (or 9?) when we had to write a short story. It was a murder mystery called ‘Death at Dingo Creek’. That story, along with my original illustrations, was my proudest achievement for many years, and one of the only school assignments I’ve kept.
At some stage, though, like a lot of kids passing into adulthood, I thought to myself, this writing thing isn’t going to cut it in the real world. So I left it in high school, with my fond memories of sitting in the front row of English class, and headed off towards a career in business.
I still work in a big corporate, and love it. I spend a lot of time writing reports, but for years, corporate writing was the only writing I did. I actually do really enjoy corporate writing – it’s my favourite part of my job – but I wasn’t writing for me.
The day I started writing again was like floodgates being opened. Suddenly I found inspiration everywhere I looked. I started writing daily. Blog post ideas and inspiration went straight into a notebook I began carrying around. Thoughts and musings were jotted down nightly into my personal journal, a newly formed bedtime practice. I even found myself frantically typing into the notes section of my iPhone as I walked home from the train station or walked between office buildings in the city.
It was cathartic. I didn’t realise how much I needed it until I did. Writing, as it turns out, helps me think clearer. It helps me organise my mind. It helps me address my fears and anxieties. It helps me perform better at work and feel more content in life.
I’ve always been told to take three deep breaths to calm down and centre when I feel a rising wave of anxiety or I can’t clear my head for all the work that is mounting on my desk. It never worked for me. When I rediscovered writing, I started to write down what I was feeling when I felt that panic rising. Seeing the words there on the page helps me to refocus like no amount of deep breathing can.
It seems so obvious now but I never took the time to see what was missing. I never realised the value of pursuing writing as both a creative and emotional outlet. These days I’m not sure how I went days without writing more than a few texts or emails.
It may not be writing or blogging for you. It might be hiking or painting or singing in the shower! Who knows?! But whatever it is, if you’ve lost or forgotten your passion somewhere along the line, don’t let it linger in your distant memory like I did for far too long! Now’s the time to stop and go find it. Don’t wait for it to find you in a dream one night in ten years time! Imagine all the fun you could miss out on in that time! Imagine all the missed opportunities. The clarity, and freedom. Go on, get looking. Dig up that forgotten passion – it’s going to kick start something in you, just like it did for me. I just know it.