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Published: February 15th 2012
"There are years that ask questions and there are years that answer." -Zora Neal Hurston
I had thought this would be the latter kind, but I'm discovering that clarity is elusive and doubt sets in like a fungus: always beneath the surface, ready with new tendrils.
I can't say what exactly has me locked in this self-reflection mode but it's a difficult trap to spring. Maybe it's the fact that what my trip is and what I had expected it to be do not coincide; that change comes so unexpectedly that any reaction feels dreadfully belated; or that what I had hoped to find here, knowing in my heart I wouldn't, is indeed absent or fleeting.
This is not a post about a place I've been to see. This is catharsis.
I recently met someone on my travels who made me doubt everything about my "plan" and my "goal" on this trip. I use quotes because in reality I had no fixed mark in my mind, but rather hoped to find it along the way or, even better, find myself. But somehow, in the course of a 30 minute conversation, I was forced to examine myself as a person and a traveler and was found wanting. That, my friends, is a bad stinkin moment.
What this person said or even what the conversation was about isn't important in terms of my mental pre-breakdown. What matters is that I discovered (or more accurately I RE-discovered) that I have no passion. I am aware that my statement is dramatic but it isn't meant to be; it's a basic fact.
I see passion as a driving force, pushing people towards a desired end or higher goal. It is the reason WHY we do the things we love. The reward is the satisfaction, the thrill of achieving something out of reach, of having dared to go just a little bit further than before.
And when I examine my heart, I find nothing like the fire I see in others. I know that I "do things" and take chances, but suddenly those choices pale in comparison to what I could have done if I'd taken the leap. It isn't a heartening discovery to make when you find that you haven't been living your life, but rather have been running away from it.
I don't know what I hope to accomplish by posting this, and neither is it some ditch effort to receive affirmation on my "passion-ness". I think I just needed to get it out of my own head. Circuarguing with yourself can only get you so far.
I apologize, faithful readers, if you suffered through this entire rant. I thank you for doing so, and if you have any suggestions for my most fragile current state of mind, please feel free to share. And I promise next posting will be back on the France topic, so have no fear.
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