What I’m passionate about vs. how I spend my energy

What if someone looked at the way you spend your life? What would they say about your passions?

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

The beginning of a New York Times article on Tom Morello shares how he’s passionate about poetry and protest, which, if you know Rage Against the Machine, you know that at least the protest part is true. And anyone involved with music and lyrics must also be at least somewhat passionate about poetry in some form or another, since lyrics are just this. 

Reading that Morello’s passion is poetry and protest got me thinking about what someone would say I am passionate about. Here’s what I’d like them to say: Crissi Langwell is passionate about her family, writing, and her health through meditation, journaling, and yoga. She loves leafy plants and is obsessed with her Maine coon cat. She thinks the world would be better if everyone slowed down and simplified their life by reducing their possessions and limiting their attention on things that steal their time and energy. 

And at surface level, this would be true. 

But what if someone looked at the way I spend my life now, took a real fly-on-the-wall look at how I spend most of my time and energy? What would they say about my passions? 

Probably this:

Crissi Langwell is passionate about her goal to support her family with her novels. She is currently shopping one of her novels to agents, which means she has contacted three agents total and then kicked back as she waits for the magic to happen. She is writing another novel, which means she’s stressing about her lack of time to write for 13 out of 14 days, and then writing for hours to make up for lost time. She also has a backlog of novels, 11 of them to be exact, and will either market them awkwardly to a lukewarm audience, or speak nothing about them at all as if they don’t exist. To support her family, she would need to sell 2500 books a month. This month, she’s sold two.

Crissi is passionate about distraction. Her writing routine consists of writing one sentence, then checking her email. 20 minutes later, she’ll write another sentence. Then her cat will do something cute. Then she’ll write another sentence, but stop when a notification pops up on her phone. Then she’ll remember something she needs to look up for the scene she’s writing, and will end up reading an article about how a walrus pregnancy lasts 15 months. 

Crissi is passionate about consuming social media and Medium articles, and thinking about how her material doesn’t live up. She ping pongs between enthusiasm for creating content and shying away because she feels no one wants to see her fluff. She’s either all in or completely invisible. There is no in-between. 

When not doom scrolling, Crissi compensates for her feelings of inadequacy by finding new and creative ways to waste her money. A new purse she doesn’t need? One-click. Equipment for her new fad exercise routine? One-click. Book recommended on TikTok? One-click. Magic rocks? One-click. 

Crissi is passionate about her mental health, waking up two hours early to ensure she starts her day with yoga, meditation, and an hour of social media scrolling. Crissi could be writing during this time, but finds that checking what she’s missed in the seven hours she’s been sleeping is a much better use of her time. 

Crissi is also passionate about saying yes, particularly if it takes time away from her writing. Volunteer position no one else wants to do? Yes. Write something for free for a grassroots publication? Yes. Build a website for pennies? Yes. If there is something that will give her the excuse of busy-ness, Crissi’s your gal.

More than writing, shopping, and consuming social media and other distractions, Crissi is passionate about reading books. It’s why she started writing in the first place, because “books are a uniquely portable magic” (Stephen King). It can be said that Crissi reads to discover new ways to tell stories, and that would be the truth. But Crissi also reads as an escape, to find authors better or worse than she is so she can gauge her worth, and to remind herself that there are authors out there who are getting their good and not-so-good books discovered while her books are collecting virtual dust. This year, Crissi has written roughly 100,000 novel words, which isn’t too bad. But she has read over 5 million of other authors’ words. For research. Yeah.

Oh, and Crissi is passionate about poetry and protest, but not as much as Tom Morello. 

What are your passions? Are they different from the passions other people would notice about you?

2 thoughts on “What I’m passionate about vs. how I spend my energy”

  1. This is so, so precious! I was thinking about the same thing the other day – how we’re portraited differently by someone who sees only the stuff we share publicly and those people closest to us who see what we do and think most of the time. I enjoyed reading this post so much. Thank you for sharing this, really resonates with me. Tt’s also super funny 🙂

    1. Aw, thank you! It’s definitely true, in this social media world, that we only see a small porthole of people’s lives, and it’s always the stuff they want people to see. Deep down, we’re all messy and imperfect (though adorably so, lol).

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