Growing up I was very enthusiastic and positive about finding a passion and running with it. I knew that if I was certain of a dream of mine, I would chase it to my heart’s content. The problem is I’m never very certain and when I’m not 100% certain about something, I’m almost paralyzed to even attempt to start something new. Once I get past that barrier however, I find myself completely dedicated to committing myself to whatever it is I embark on.
For a long time I heavily believed that my passion was writing. At a young age I would write story after story and read it to family members. I wrote short stories, novels, poems, and songs. I had several different blogs and profiles where I published a lot of my work. I worked on my school newspaper for more than three years and probably wrote more articles than anyone else on the staff. When I was fifteen I participated in the NaNoWriMo challenge and won my first year every attempting, completing the challenge of reaching a word count of 50,000 words in the span of thirty days. At my previous job just last year I had spent a couple months writing their newsletter.
Anything that was even remotely related to reading and writing, I consumed. I spent so much time researching possible careers and college degrees. I was so completely dedicated to creating a life for myself where I could spend the rest of my days doing what I knew I was born to do.
Then what happened? Depression and anxiety struck. Hard. I wanted to chase my dream and believe in myself but the fear of failure far exceeded my faith. I lost sight of the dream of writing as a career and only continued to write inconsistently, on & off.
So, in that time from when my dream had died a search had begun. I had exchanged the energy I had put into my writing into searching for something else that I could see me spending my life doing. A career that was guaranteed a paycheck.
I thought and researched many careers. Some being somewhat writing related such as technical writing or copy writing and some related to my other passion that being animals. While I searched, I found myself comparing myself to every single other person I knew who was currently chasing their own passion. I watched as my best friend worked on her passion of photography. I watched as my boyfriend dedicated himself to working on his dream of becoming a director and work in the film industry. I watched and observed as every single other person in my life who seemed to know exactly what they were born to do. It seemed like everyone had that “one thing” that made them who they were. It bothered me so much to not be able to look at myself and see one thing I was comparatively passionate about. I felt passionless, empty and worst of all worthless. I felt like I had nothing valuable to give the world.
I often questioned about if maybe returning to writing but felt blocked. Anxiety and depression made it hard for me to believe I could ever fully return as passionate as I had been in youth. I tried to write but the words refused to come. If the words did come, insecurity fed me comments such as, “it’s not good enough.”
Through anxiety and depression, I was driven to the point where I actually told myself that writing can’t be my passion because if it was I wouldn’t have ever doubted it or given it up. I had somehow pushed myself back in front of that metaphorical barrier I tend to create for myself before I commit myself to beginning something.
I went through this long period of feeling this loss sense of purpose. It was extremely exhausting and damaging to my mindset. I was stuck and paralyzed inside this fear of never finding something that I couldn’t confidently say is “me.” Depression & anxiety killed my passion and love for doing something I was good at and then fueled itself even more from the aftermath.
For a long time my mental health didn’t get worse but it also didn’t get better. For a long time I just felt as if I was floating through life. Depending on time to bring back any ambition.
I floated until I hit a very hard low. In such a short amount of time my mental health got worse, so much worse. It’s almost unjustifiable how much time my head was consumed, being attacked by such troubled thoughts. I hit rock-bottom.
Hitting rock-bottom I can’t describe as anything else but feeling heavy. When you’re there it’s as if nothing exists yet you feel the weight of the entire world on you.
It’s true what they say though, from there you can only go up and somehow, I found it within myself to do just that.
You could not believe how many lessons I learned at one time. All of sudden a lot more things made sense and I felt this surge of renewed energy. I was so petrified beyond belief but pushed myself past that barrier. Not only that barrier, but multiple barriers!
I told myself if I was going to try and do this again it was all or nothing.
Since this moment of commitment I’ve worked so much on my mental health, relationships, perspectives and my mindset. I dove back into writing declaring to myself that even if I didn’t know what I was writing, if it was right, wrong, made sense or didn’t. . . I was going to write it anyway. I was going to write because after feeling what I felt and knowing so many others are going through the same thing I wanted to help and this was the best way I knew I could personally contribute.
I’ve fallen back in love with writing and I’m declaring it my passion. I’m a writer and always have been. I can’t be ashamed or feel guilty and give up entirely just because I gave up once before. There’s no certainty in how far I will take my writing, or how long this passion will burn. All I know is that it has been helping me find me again, it’s been helping me heal and It’s been helping me help others. I’m ready this time and I’m all in. No more barriers.