I’m writing, doing what I’ve always dreamt of doing, I’m enthusiastic, I feel revitalized. People are reading my work, liking it and giving me great suggestions that help me better my work, I feel part of a community … and then I don’t.
Sure, I’d had some bad moments recently in my life, but I kept up my writing and my photography kept on going but at a certain point, for no apparent reason, I found I hadn’t turned on my computer for months. What happened? Why did I stop?
I’ve always been a pretty creative sort of person, although not a creative genius. Since I can remember I’ve always passed hours enjoying my painting, drawing and writing. I easily pick up skills, I’m a quick study as they say, so I had no problems learning how to sew, crochet, sculpt, cook or whatever else came my way including learning anatomy and acupuncture meridians and points. But, and there’s a big but, since puberty, I periodically go into more or less long periods of ennui.
I slip into a sort of limbo, where nothing seems very important to me at all. I pass hours (days at a time) reading or watching TV series. I do get out of bed because I abhor an unmade bed. I eat whatever is at hand (usually nothing particularly healthy) just as long as it’s quick and fills me up. I don’t live in chaos, my house though not spotlessly clean is fairly orderly, I make sure of that because I hate being in a messy dirty place. I drift through life, doing the minimum necessary to get through the day. Fortunately, as I’ve grown older, self-preservation has guaranteed that I keep a life-line open to the outside world. I do have a couple of friends with whom I never lose contact with completely.
Then one day, something changes … I take a look at myself and my life and a tiny spark glitters. It may take weeks or months but I become constantly more dissatisfied with drifting. I realize that I’ve become overweight, that I haven’t done much of anything interesting for a long time, that I’m bored with my books and the TV. I start looking into diets and exercise (just looking). I get the urge to write or sew myself a new outfit or paint a picture (just the urge). I become frustrated and panicky. Then the looking around becomes watching what I eat and going for walks, joining a dance class and bicycling. The urge becomes turning on the computer, looking through models for a new outfit, and choosing a great piece of material. Usually at this point my life has started to move again.
I don’t really know why this happens to me. I’ve gone through analysis, I’ve meditated, I’ve had great mentors throughout my life who’ve stimulated me giving my life a sense of meaning … for a while anyway. But eventually, there it is, the chasm of ennui into which I slip (not fall) and the cycle begins again. The drifting isn’t painful and I don’t even feel bored. It’s when I move on, when I become aware that maybe there can be more to my life than books and TV, the awakening, which is the painful part, fraught with anxiety and impatience to move on.
Have you or anyone you’ve known gone through this sort of thing? I’d like to read about it, so please leave comments below and let me know.
passion gives way to
a never-ending cycle
my Samsara ennui