And it scares me to death. Why, you ask? Passion seems a little out of control, just a little “out there” for me. It feels risky, like I’ll be forced out of hiding. Passionate people tend to get noticed. I’m not sure I’m really comfortable with that. Passion can get people in trouble.
There were other words I was considering: focus, clarity, flow, commit (and more). They each capture a little piece of what I’m looking for in 2012—I’ve felt stuck for a long time and I want to be un-stuck. I want a smooth, vibrant flow of energy streaming through me, instead of operating in fits and starts the way I have been. I want to focus that energy on a few important areas instead of shooting off into the atmosphere every which way. And I want some clarity of purpose, so I can commit to those goals.
Specifically, I’ve been struggling with that clarity and commitment to my writing for several years now. I believe it’s mainly been fear that has held me back from making a commitment, from really going for it. I’ve been afraid to feel passion for my writing, afraid I won’t have anything to say, afraid no one will read my work and that they’ll hate it if they do. What if people read my work and it makes no impression at all? Or maybe, just maybe, I’ll become successful and that will bring a whole new set of expectations and anxieties.
Passion can override all of this. I’ve seen it happen before, most notably with my horse. I was a 40-year-old beginner rider with limited experience with horses and a distaste for getting dirty and sweaty when I found Tank. My passion for horses, and more specifically for him, swept away my fears and my reluctance to get dirty. (Like Rose in Titanic, I’m usually more of an indoor girl.) I still get scared (and I still hate being sweaty) but my passion for playing with Tank makes up for it. I’m looking to unleash some of that same passion in other areas of my life.
|Totally worth all the sweat and dirt|
In all areas of life, I hope living with passion will fill me with energy, with enthusiasm, with strength to carry on in the face of setbacks and obstacles. I’ve already noticed that I go through each day with a little more interest and curiosity because I’m looking for things to be passionate about. It’s so early yet, but I feel optimistic about a passion-filled 2012.
What are your expectations for 2012? Did you choose a word of the year, and if so, does it scare you a little bit?
**By the way, what first gave me the idea of passion as a word of the year was seeing The Million Dollar Quartet at my local performing arts center. The passion of the original performers, as well as the actors/musicians who did the show the night I saw it, woke me up to the fact that I’ve been going through life lately in a rather ho-hum manner. “Quartet” is a fantastic show and if it comes to your town, go see it if you can.