My girlfriends say I go through ebbs and flows. Well, they don’t quite say it in that way. But laid out with our backs on the floor and calves on the seat of the living room couch, they’ll say it in so many words.
If on any given Sunday I read an article that impacts me, it probably will in some way affect everything I do for the rest of the week. One of my old journalism professors used to say that people like me explained how Nicholas Kristof could get Shonda Rhimes, the cast of Grey’s Anatomy and then the whole world talking about fistula. If it pulls at my heartstrings, it will pull me through a cycle as well.
Being impassioned is generally not a bad trait. I mean who, after shedding the faux nonchalance we succumb to in our middle school days, would really argue you can care too much? Now, does this make me an easy target for grassroots groups and their neon clad street teams? Sure. But overall, I’d like to think the good outweighed the vulnerable enough and that my sappy heart was in the end not so bad.
Living with emotions that seems glued to your skin, does often come with its own set of challenges though. After caring deeply for people, places and things, how do you know when you’ve found a passion for something that really sticks?
One of the things I often struggle with is knowing what inspiration looks like. How do you know when you’ve found something you that is truly speaking to the core of you, not just the pile of soapboxes and hormones you are on that day. One of my favorite writers, Jhumpa Lahiri addresses this question in her novel, “The Namesake.” She writes:
“They were things for which it was impossible to prepare but which one spent a lifetime looking back at, trying to accept, interpret, comprehend. Things that should never have happened, that seemed out of place and wrong, these were what prevailed, what endured, in the end.”
Caring too much can often make it hard to be sure what we’re meant to drawn to. But the truth is, it’s simpler to understand than we often think. What we are meant to do we will always want to revisit, not just in one week but for years down the line. The way to know what inspiration looks like? It’s the thing that won’t ever stop pulling you back.
Today, give in to the things you care too much for and allow yourself to be pulled in.