“Passion has little to do with euphoria and everything to do with patience. It is not about feeling good. It is about endurance. Like patience, passion comes from the same Latin root: pati. It does not mean to flow with exuberance. It means to suffer.” ― Mark Z. Danielewski
Odds are that during your lonely nights, when you felt heartbroken and tired and defeated, you created this romantic myth of a “soulmate.” Someone you’d be in love forever and ever and ever. Your happily ever after. It seems like an innocent thing. Harmless. But the truth is that no one is ever going to make you feel like your heart is constantly skipping beats. No one is going to take your breath away each and every morning you see their face.
It’s the truth.
Lasting relationships have less to do with being in love, and more to do with respect, with admiration, with being able to overcome obstacles, to accept someone else’s faults, flaws, and shortcomings. Lasting relationships are all about compromises, about being able to defy the urge to jump ship when things get tough, to talk it out, to be honest with yourself and the other person…
The same way, when we hate our jobs, when we hate our boss, when we feel like we’re not being paid enough, or we’re feeling underappreciated, that’s when we create this myth of one’s passion.
Do what you love. Love what you do.
Do what you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life. Find this one thing that sets your soul on fire and do it over and over again, with this stupid, ecstatic grin glued to your face.
It does not work like that. It never did.
First of all, if you do something long enough, you’ll lose your creative juice. Not for the rest of your life, but it will happen. You will hate your passion. Yes. There will be days when you’ll hate this dream of yours so much that you can’t even get out of bed.
Secondly, the more effort you put into something, the more you enjoy it.
The idea is that feeling satisfied with whatever it is you’re doing takes time. You can’t rush it. Sorry. This is a tragic thing when we’re addicted to instant gratification, but it’s the truth.
The same way a lasting relationship has to be built, teared down, and rebuilt over and over again, your passion has to be defined, redefined, and refined over and over again. Until the day you die. That’s it.
Do I love writing? Yes. Do I have moments when I hate it? Of course. Do I have moments when I feel uninspired? Yes. Do I feel like doing anything else? More often than I’ll ever admit.
So much of life is about discipline. About doing what you know is right even when you don’t feel like it. This is what makes the difference. It’s not the kind of passion we’re so keen on dreaming about when we hate our 9-5 jobs, but it’s the only kind of passion there is.
You do it and do it and do it, and sometimes you want to roll over and die, and you do it some more, and sometimes you get lucky and it feels like magic. And you fall in and out of love with it, over and over again. And some days you hate it, some days you hate yourself. Some days, when the going gets tough, you’ll feel like quitting. Others, it will feel as if the gods themselves have created you to just do this one thing.
This is how it goes. On and on like this…