burnout

Bridled Passion

I am a very passionate person. And by passionate, I don’t mean someone that falls in love desperately and quickly with no regard for my own self or wellbeing.

On second thought, I actually do that, but that’s not exactly what I meant.

When I say “passionate,” I mean that I throw myself into things. When I find something that I want to do, I suddenly become obsessive and it’s the only thing I can think about. I research it like crazy, and all of the media I consume or the networking I do is about that one thing. I put all of my free time and energy towards that one thing until it is either complete or I am completely burnt out. The really fun part is that, once I’m in that burnt out state, I can’t even look at whatever I was working on for weeks until I’ve been able to fully distance myself. It doesn’t get more fun than that!

At this point, obsessing over things is simply comfortable to me. If I find something I want to buy, an event I want to attend, or an opportunity I want to apply for, I will check those websites multiple times a day. Even on the weekend, when there is very little chance that things will change, I just like to check to give myself a false sense of control and keep getting excited about it. As you all know, enthusiasm is my brand.

When we started having to stay home due to COVID-19, like many other people, my immediate reaction was, “I’ll have so much more time to get things done!” I kept thinking about all of the blog posts that I was going to write, all of the books I was going to read, and how much easier it would be to complete work for life coaching school. Without spending all of that time commuting to-and-from work, I would have so much more time, and with that extra hour of sleep, I would have so much more energy!

But there is one thing that I seem to have overlooked. While I do have plenty more time and energy now, that doesn’t mean that I have plenty of motivation. I’ve found myself diving into one project at a time and completely forgetting about my other passions. Writing used to be my escape from the world, but now, I’m completely blank every time I sit down in front of a blank document. Hell, even if I have the inspiration for a new post, I’m struggling to actually get the words out on paper. I’m either drawn to work on something for another passion or not motivated to do anything at all (except play Animal Crossing). Now that my time has been filled with work for life coaching school and networking, I will spend many hours working on those and have no energy left to crank out blog posts. 

Not only do I not have the energy or motivation to write, but I’m starting to totally avoid writing. While I usually spend my days wistfully wishing that I had more time to write, now I’m not thinking about writing at all and diving into other things during my free time. I used to seek out writing as my escape, but now, I’m using other things to escape writing. I’m avoiding even opening my computer. Just the thought of diving into yet another passion feels exhausting.

I recognize that motivation to do anything (including writing) is cyclical, but I’ve never felt so much like I was pushing my writing away. Me and writing used to be like two magnets that attracted each other, but with a barrier in between — I wanted to write, but the time and energy to do so was just out of reach. Now, we’re like repelling magnets — I am actively pushing my writing away and into the back of my mind. What’s worse, like before when I felt afraid to write, I find that the more distance there is between me and my writing, the less connected I feel with it, and I start to lose the feeling for what quality writing is. I’m certain that I’m not churning out clunkers, but I do find myself more frequently second-guessing my posts. Half of the recent drafts in my drive have a title that includes the question “is this even good?”

As someone who normally goes whole-hog into everything that I do and consider a love of writing to be part of my identity, I’ve really been struggling with the fact that I haven’t had the motivation to write. If you ask anyone who has talked to me for more than five minutes, you’d know that I can’t go without gushing about my newest writing project. Hell, my poor blog editor/podcast cohost Josh hears about my writing projects almost constantly. If I’m not bugging him to edit a post, I’m asking him if he has any new topic ideas.

This blog is my baby — it is the definition of my passion project. One of my proudest accomplishments as of late has been that I’ve been able to go from posting every Wednesday to posting both every Wednesday and every other Saturday. With everything going on in the world and my feelings about writing, I stopped blogging on Saturdays altogether during the month of June. I don’t necessarily feel guilty about that, but I do feel a bit less myself after taking some time off from writing. Unfortunately, it can be really hard to find the motivation and inspiration to write when the only thing that changes from day to day is the TV show I’m watching.

With so little going on in my life since we can’t really go anywhere, I don’t necessarily want to keep writing about personal revelations and past experiences. Now that everything is closed, I find myself gravitating more and more towards writing about middle school and the personal development that I’ve experienced during lockdown. I would like to think that you all aren’t getting tired of reading them, but I’m getting tired of writing them! I love sharing with you, but every post that I start seems to go in circles. Even though I know how therapeutic writing is for me, I just can’t seem to be able to do it with so little happening.

I’m learning that I actually do have a finite amount of passion. Unfortunately I can’t just have unbridled passion for all of my projects all of the time. While I would love to be pulled from one to another in a flurry of enthusiasm and caffeine, it’s literally impossible to keep that level of energy and excitement 24/7. I can manage it for a couple of things, but for like 10? It just doesn’t feel possible.

Don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere, but the past few months marks a different relationship with my blog than I’ve had previously. It’s like we’re moving out of the honeymoon phase, and other desires and passions are starting to become prevalent again. It’s all about striking balance. As someone who enthusiastically flits from one project to another, balance can be a challenge, but I’m realizing that I just can’t give 100% of myself 100% of the time to 100% of my endeavors. 

Jeez, even just typing that was painful…

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

11 thoughts on “Bridled Passion

  1. Girl, same. I’ve started building furniture and recently went on vacation and you’d think I could turn those things into blogging content, but it seems as though I can’t be bothered to take the time to write. I’m not about to force it though…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Right? Ugh it feels nice to have someone understand. I was inspired to write today, and I sat back and realized that I’ve fallen into the trap of thinking that writing is only fun because I’m “being productive” when I’m doing it. I keep promising myself that I’m going to make it part of my daily routine, but I just keep putting that off……

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Incredible post. You have put so much work into your passion project. I hope you’re so proud! I relate to so much of what you’re saying…it’s tough to find motivation to write when experience has become limited. Go in the direction that your heart pulls you:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! This comment is so lovely and uplifting 🥰

      While I’m sorry to hear that you relate, I’m also glad that I’m not alone. We’re all in this together! And thank you for the advice. So very needed for me, right now ❤️

      Like

  3. Awww, we all sit in front of a blank screen — more often than we will admit — and wonder, “This is it, isn’t it? I’m empty now?” When that happens to me (which is quite often, I’m afraid) I pick up my well worn and beloved “Bird By Bird” by Anne Lamott who brings me back to reality, reminds me that we all hit roadblocks, and gently helps me find words again. I recommend her book highly … it’s been my comfort when I’m feeling “worded-out.”

    Liked by 1 person

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