They say that if you’ve done something once, you can do it again. If you can remember how it felt, you can recapture the state you were in. Every time I go to a job interview I remember how great it feels to walk into that room and just nail it. Yes, it can be nerve-racking, but I’ve succeeded at this before and I know I can do it again. In other words, I was passionate once, I can be passionate again.
For me, my passion for writing first set my world aflame when I was 14. It started with a trip to New York where I saw Les Mis for the first time and was utterly enraptured by Enjolras. My biggest fictional love (again, only 14) and the first time I fell in love with a Frenchman. I dove into the French Revolution, Enlightenment Philosophy, the Romantics, and I was utterly lost in my most passionate dreamworld. Fast forward to age 15 and enter a real live Frenchman. By the next year my passion was gone.
I felt like myself again for a while when I was 31 and fell in love with another Frenchmen, but the feeling didn’t last long enough.
Fast forward to last autumn, age 39, when my son introduced me to Hamilton. No more Frenchmen, but back to musicals and the outcome of the Enlightenment.
So I can tell from this that I have to either:
a) Fall in love with a Frenchman
b) Listen to musicals – preferably taking place in the 18/19th century.
Now, I don’t think I have much chance of Option A. It rather puts a dampener on a potential relationship if you have to ask, ‘Are you French? No? Move along. You’re not the one I’m looking for.’
But Option B is something I can do every day. Sometimes on the sidelines, sometimes taking centre stage, but it’s what I need to put myself back in super-passionate-my-life-is-on-fire mode.
You need to think about what puts you into that passionate state. What are you thinking, listening to, telling yourself? If you can crack that formula, you should be able to put yourself right back in that state.
Yes, something is lost, but if you can remember what used to put you right into the zone, you can find it again. If diving into cookbooks ignites you, then do that. If running through woods gives you that feeling, lace up your shoes and go. If cleaning, organising, building LEGO does it for you, then go and do it.
Something sparked that passion once. Something can spark it again.
For me, I’m going to listen to Les Mis and do some editing.