I have moments of finding and re-discovering passion in what I do on a daily basis. Those moments, as small as they are, are powerful. So powerful. They can only get more powerful. They will get more powerful, when I become the kind of powerful I want to feel in the room. If I can become that. Not if. when.
But sometimes I look at someone else’s life. And I think, “that’s what I wanted. That is exactly what I’ve always wanted. That. Just that. If I could have had that, I would have had everything. I’d wake up every day and feel the way I felt when I was a rock star. When I stood up in front of a room of (mostly) strangers, and lambasted the nine people I’d kissed, in writing, on a stage, with a microphone, and I thought, “I can do this” because everyone who spoke to me that night and told me I should be published, that I was amazing, that I was hilarious, had nothing to lose by telling me that. Did they? I never know.
I never tried. I never tried to make a dream come true. I haven’t tried to make that dream come true for a long time because it seems unreachable. It seems I’m just a tiny, tiny drop of water in a sea of people just like me and I’m just a drop in vast, endless, unknowably deep open waters and the miracle of someone finding just that one tiny drop is so miniscule, it is impossible. So why try? Why not go for a backup plan? Why not give up writing and stop doing something silly and frivolous and poet-sitting-on-a-Paris-rooftop-smoking-and-drinking-and-crying-by-moonlight silly and find some practical way to harness a love of words instead?
I miss it. I’m doing it right now and I still miss it. Something that’s so very much a part of you shouldn’t die the way I’ve let it die, don’t let it die! It’s not fair. It’s not right. It’s a fire that wants to keep being stoked and brandished and fanned away. And yet… and yet. There it is. Smoldering and fading into a black, blue, orange smear on a blank page. It’s a dream. It’s Langston Hughes asking, “What happens to a dream deferred?” And me providing a concrete answer.
I had a passion, and I have a passion, but the real “thing” – the real concrete “thing” I could and wanted to do with that passion is now so dead and so gone and so utterly and seemingly impossible.. and yet… it’s astounding to me, that I would let myself give up so easily. And then go into a classroom of kids and tell them to never give up. Why is it easier for someone to not give up on something that is second-best for them, than it is to give up something they were once ‘the best’ at?