Passion: necessary or stupid?

t-shirt, caution sign, "this is sparta"

(When I Googled images for this post, all the interwebz coughed up was sexytime stuff.  This post is not about sexytime.)

So.  A person is bopping along, jamming out to life, feeling passionate, doing passionate things, assuming all is well, and WHAM.  Someone pisses on your passion, full stream.  SCREEEEEECH.  Dead stop.  Then you usually have two choices: 1) Lie down and roll over, or 2) piss back.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this conundrum.  In my opinion, passion is essential to create the kind of life you want for yourself.  If you’re passionate about something, you’re more likely to do it well.  It’s also going to be more fun, and you’ll feel fulfilled by it.  But it opens you up to opposition, and when someone opposes your passion just as passionately, it’s gonna hurt.  Maybe a lot.  Maybe like a sit-down-and-cry hurt.  And then you have to decide what’s next.

It’s happened to me twice in the last 10 days, in really big ways—once in my school life, and once in my writing life.  I have sat down and cried, more than I will admit to.  But I have had to decide what comes next.  I don’t like pissing back, because I can understand the opposition’s points in each case—I would be a shitty critical thinking teacher if I couldn’t.  And they might be right.  I’m open to that possibility.  But the passion doesn’t change.

So what’s left?  Giving up?

So far I’ve opted for my favorite state of mind, zen-like apathy.  So peaceful!  But my problem is the passion always comes back.  I can feel it, here at my beloved kitchen table, kind of a big bright blob, glowing with white flames, trailing a thought balloon that says pick me!  pick me!   You know you want to.  We’ll have fun, and we’ll kick some ass!  Um, no.  Not ready to be knocked down again.  But its arrival means it’s time to put away the Kleenex and brace myself for the next pisser.  Eventually I’ll get lost in my work again (both kinds), and more fiery craziness will ensue.  Pretty soon I’ll remember that all is well.

Is passion necessary or stupid?  It’s both. Dammit.

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