Updated: Aug 6
Here are the things that spring to mind when I think of the word:
Rose between teeth, high split dresses and perfectly oiled legs, beaming smiles whilst you tell the person at the bar what you do for a living, Drake’s anthem of summer 2017, porn star martinis. I’m going off on a passionfruit tangent now…
But is passion fruitful?
And by that I mean is it helpful or productive to have passion?
In a career sense I would argue yes, if you are passionate about your job you’re a) more likely to want to do it, b) be bloody well good at it.
And still, I can’t help thinking that passion is overrated in the ‘fulfilling your life’ purpose sense because we are always on a ‘Hedonic Treadmill’.
This is when you adjust to your usual ‘ordinary’ level of happiness despite something wonderful happening because eh, you’re a human and we always look for something to be sad about over something to be happy about.
An example of this to really get your head around it would be, say, winning the lottery. At first, the person is ecstatic to have become a millionaire overnight. After some time, the newly minted person becomes accustomed to their new lifestyle and experiences a corresponding decrease in happiness.
Why is X,Y,Z going wrong in my life now I have accomplished this???
Because you’re looking for it, fooooool.
I see passion as a surge of something.
A quick boost of serotonin, an eruption of lust, a shot of Sambuca...you catch my drift.
That begs the question, is passion healthy in a love sense?
I think it can be quite blurry and hormone-driven, sometimes even volatile, just look at Chuck and Blair for heaven’s sake. I still can’t help but want a love like that though, call me whatever you want.
I understand that the Buddha said if you meet somebody and your heart pounds and your knees shake yada yada, they’re not the one, but rather the one who makes you feel calm and safe is.
I appreciate it and am sure it’s true in a lot of cases, but can’t stop won’t stop romanticising rollercoaster emotional TV love. Oopsie.
That being said, even I can recognise that there is a difference between short term pleasure and long term contentment, and that goes beyond relationships - that’s just life as a whole.
Where’s the next fix??
I think even if you bag the job that sets your heart on fire, or win the boy/girl who you’ve been crushing on forever, you will STILL grow used to that.
And maybe that’s OK. Maybe that passion will go from boiling over to a gentle simmer, and that’s attractive to some people too. Nothing wrong with that.
Maybe the key to developing ‘passion for life’ is about falling in love with it in all its glory. ‘That's just simple Law of Attraction babes’ I hear you say...you’re correct. I know this and still don’t put it into action, I’m just going through the motions right now and feeling stressed when I could be feeling BLESSED.
I’m choosing to tap-tap-tap away at my keyboard and resent every inch of my job, and search the internet for opportunities like the world is hiding every vacancy from me. Or hopelessly swiping on dating apps and sighing at every man presented before me like there’s not one single chance in this world of finding them wonderful and charming.
I, my friends, am choosing to see the glass half empty rather than half full, and alas… you get an empty life when you do that.
What’s dangerous for my soul I’ve learnt is being in love with an idea of what my life should be. Why can’t I just be in love with what it is? Right now. Every single state.
I’m in love with my scraped back bun I make for bed every night, my saggy boobs and the crumbs that fall between them when I’m wearing a bra. I’m in love with my small town local job and my little engine in my little car that drives me there. I’m in love with my Sunday lay-ins till midday and my family who want to know every detail of my day at every dinner time. I’m in love with waking up and seeing the sky is blue and the sun has warmed my window shelf. I’m in love with eating meal deals on park benches in spring. I’m in love with watching cheesy channel 5 Christmas films and drinking hot chocolate in my fluffy dressing gown in winter.
I’m in love with the little things that make up my life.
These things aren’t shown on Instagram. These are painstakingly normal character types and roles that aren’t interesting enough to show or cast in Hollywood.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t get yourself dolled up and feel like a starlet.
If anything, the moments in your baked beans covered nighty with no friends on a Friday make those outrageously exciting moments even more sweeter when they happen! Yin and yan, baby.
Most of what I want is real and existing right now, and the other half of what I want is simply ‘make believe’. Take of that what you will... I’m not saying the dreamy stuff is fake.
I’m saying in order to thrive, it’s about making myself believe again. In life, and all the things that come with it.
Making myself believe that being unsure of where I’m headed does not make me a failure, and having to remind myself that I can be at one place today and another place tomorrow.
Oh, and reaching for the stars is what makes life a beautiful and exciting project, despite them being planted so high up.
In conclusion: passion is great for you, but don’t get drunk on it, as you’ll be too blurry-eyed to see the rest of life’s ‘ordinary’ wonders.
And they can be exceptional.