Sometimes, as I’m drifting off to sleep, I think of what would happen if I stopped breathing. It’s a terrifying thought and one that has jolted me awake on more than one occasion.
I spiral into a panic, thinking about how I would have no future if I couldn’t breath. Or even worse, if I kept living, but was constantly restricted from breathing. If there was something that made it so difficult for me to breath, so impossible to keep doing what I take for granted now, that it just wasn’t worth living.
And sometimes this thought jumps into my mind when I’m just going about my day. That’s when it’s really scary, because I’m awake and I understand the implications of not being able to breath. And then my eyes are watering and my hands are shaking, and I’m having a panic attack because what happens when I stop breathing? I stop exsiting.
I feel the same way about writing.
It’s easy to tell people I love writing. They smile and tell me how someday when they’re retired, they might write too- just for fun. But it’s not the same. Because you don’t understand the absolutely necessity that writing is to me. You don’t understand that a life without writing is one that I don’t want to live.
You don’t understand that these panic attacks about not being able to breath, are really about not being able to write, and it’s essentially the same thing for me.
Just when I start to feel confident in my future, this thought plagues my mind and dares me to ask the question- what if I can’t write? What if I lose the ability? What if I just forget how? Or, god forbid, what if someone stops me from writing? Or the struggle of having bills to pay and hours to work makes me forget to find the time to write?
After these panic attacks, I remind myself that I will always find a way to write. No matter how hard, as long as I’m still alive, I will always find a way to write. Just like I will always find a way to breath through the panic attacks in the middle of the night. One scary thought is not going to stop me.
And that, my friends, is what passion is.