I seem to have lost it

Recently, someone asked me what my passion was. I was about to say writing, then stopped before the words escaped my mouth. I felt I wasn’t as passionate about writing anymore. I thought I would not be at all genuine by saying that but would only be doing so for the sake of conversation. So I risked appearing boring and unfulfilled and said that I was yet to find my real passion.

I scarcely touched my phone on my journey home that evening, something very uncharacteristic of me, I might add. I stared out the window the whole way, not seeing the familiar trees, buildings and places but thinking, worrying that I didn’t have a passion, which made for a rather sad existence. I’m turning 25 soon. I should have found that by now, right? What is it about turning 25 that makes that need to have everything figured out so urgent? I worried that I had very few things figured out. I got off the matatu and walked the short distance home, deep in thought, replaying various conversations I’d had that day regarding life, in my head. I’d had interviews for two of my articles with individuals not much older than myself who oozed passion for what they did. These left me challenged to find my own passion yet rather sad about the stark realization that I lacked this fountain of seemingly everlasting zeal for life.

Enter a chicken sandwich and two episodes of Suits and all these important life questions were neatly folded and stacked in a far corner of my mind. I never cease to be amazed about how easily distracted I am. Food and hours of mindless TV are the epitome of distraction in my books.

Image from http://authorashleysanders.blogspot.com/2011/04/burning-passion-to-write.html
Image from http://authorashleysanders.blogspot.com/

These thoughts were revisited about a week later, interestingly after yet another interview. My interviewee that day was a lesson in humility, calmness, fulfilment and other great qualities I hope Future Me will possess. A very accomplished man, yet painstakingly humble, gracious, and generally unrushed by that hustle and bustle synonymous with our Nairobi. How does he do that peaceful monk thing? I kept asking myself, but I digress. The man spoke wisdom of the ages. Well-thought out sentences laden with great wisdom about life and living. No wasted words. It was one of the most illuminating interviews I’ve done to date.

It also turned out to be one of the shortest interviews I’ve done to date. I kept going over my notebook to see if I had missed any questions I intended to ask. We had covered everything in less than hour, with 10 minutes to spare, in an interview that usually took me close to two hours at times. I was enjoying myself, in the moment, hanging on his every word. Taking it all in, more for myself than for the story I was going to write. Then it dawned on me, the reason (rather, some of the reasons) I do this writing thing.

It’s these rare inspiring conversations, life lessons and experiences I get to live through, vicariously nonetheless. The frequent chance to evaluate myself triggered by these encounters, the excitement of meeting new people and making new connections. The incomparable honour of telling someone’s story.

I do have a passion after all. I had just stopped feeding it. Nurturing it. I expected it to always be there no matter what. I needed to remind myself every so often why I write. I had stopped seeking to learn as much as I could about the craft.

I’d like to tell you that I regained my zest for writing, that I’m back on track, and can’t wait for the magic that will happen once I put finger to keyboard and eye to white screen, but that would be a falsehood. I am getting there nevertheless. I’m taking steps to get that fire burning once more. More of fanning the dying embers of a fire that once was, at this point.

I’m trying to learn new things about writing, seeking to mentor others younger than me who may be interested in writing, finding new ways of writing, breaking away from the mundaneness of routine, et cetera. These are just a few examples I found after reading and researching on ‘how to regain lost passion.’ I never thought this would be a Google search I’d find myself doing one day. I suppose I thought my passion would always be there, but evidently that isn’t the case.

Now I feel like a pseudo Thought Catalog. This is what happens when you turn 25. 🙂

What are you passionate about? How do you keep your fire burning?