This is the first bit of writing I’ve done in three days. By last night I began to feel the desperate, urgent need in my gut. I cannot go without it. It took 25 years to fully realize my passion. That’s when I began the first draft of my first novel. When other (beautiful) things interrupted the pursuit, it took a handful of years before I rediscovered that same passion and dove back in. Now here I am, 35 years old, a few steps away from publishing that debut novel, and craving a taste of my passion whenever I set it aside for more than a day.
If you understand what I mean, you know there are two choices available: label the required effort a burden and gradually let it slip from your grasp, or chase it down with the fervor of a lover desperate not to lose his beloved.
I came across this image from success.com. Oh, how I laughed at the memory into which it plunged my mind. How applicable that memory happened to be for this train of thought. (Train! You’ll see why that’s funny in a moment.)
Maybe ten years ago, I traveled to Philadelphia with my sister and a good friend. We took the train to New York City for a day of living it up, tourist style. Sights were seen, miles were walked, photos were taken. It was grand fun apart from mildly injuring my foot in the early afternoon and continuing to walk on it for hours afterward. At the end of the day, really it was well into the evening, we tried to squeeze in one more must-see spot before navigating our way back to the train. To summarize, we at some point realized we had misread the train schedule and needed to haul our tired asses dozens of blocks across the dark, noisy, unfamiliar city to catch our connecting train or we would miss the last possible train into Philadelphia. So, haul ass we did. None of us were in great shape. None of us were runners. All three of us were already exhausted, all of us were doubtful we knew the way to the correct train station, and one of us had a terribly sore foot. Still, we ran. We ran through busy intersections and crowded sidewalks. We ran around street corners, glancing backward and forward to see if we were still a trio. We ran through the train station, our unrelenting pace echoing off the walls. We chased down that train like our lives depended on it.
There was no question of giving up. No contemplation of whether or not we should bother. We knew what we had to do and we did it. When we reached the summit of the steps exiting the station in Philadelphia and pointed ourselves toward our hotel, we laughed again and again over the adventure of it all.
I hope I can legitimately compare my pursuit of my passion (writing) with our pursuit of that train. I hope I pursue it like a cash poor, Midwestern girl who really, really wants to sleep in her hotel bed rather than wandering the dark and scary streets of NYC until dawn. I hope I never let up, never decide it is too much. I hope I come out the other side and laugh over the incomparable adventure of it all.
Lastly, I hope you find your passion worth chasing down. If you already found it, run hard, my friend. Run hard.