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  • Writer's pictureJustina Beth-El

I know my passion...but have I forgotten about the others?

It’s 5:15am, and I can’t sleep. Not entirely unusual - I often get home from a shift an hour or two before now, but today is a little different. I played one of my favorite concert series in the area (in the U.S. really) last night - SoFAR Sounds - and actually made it to bed by 11pm. Despite that and being a chronic over sleeper, I’m awake. I typically have difficulty falling asleep or sleeping past 4:30am during major transitions in my life - this happens to be one of those transitions. Among other things, I turned 30 a few months ago, I just re-relocated to the opposite side of the country after living in southern California for a few years, and I’m taking on several new endeavors. Sounds exciting, right? It is, and I’m grateful, but uncertainty (I’m sure like most people) gives me great anxiety, and, if I’m being honest, dips me in and out of depression. Top that off with getting older (as we all do) but feeling that I have nothing to show for it except a new number to identify by, and here we are: anxiety ridden and well-caffeinated at the ass crack of dawn!

...Let me interrupt myself there: this is not a fishing expedition. I’m not looking for accolades or reminders of my progress. I’m describing a sensation and experience that may not be warranted but persists nonetheless, which is often how depression and anxiety work. Basically I have good days, and I have not so good days. Fortunately, I have come to know myself well enough to know what these feelings are and where they come from. I know which ones are valid and which ones are the creation of my own insecurities. Unfortunately, knowing the source and validity of these feelings doesn’t change the fact that I feel them.

What does any of this have to do with knowing your passion or not forgetting about the others? Who and what are “the others”? Why does she have to create super vague blog topics? So glad you asked :)

I believe that knowing what really drives a person - that person’s passion - can tell you a lot about them. And I’m not talking “passion” like the cool thing you do on the weekends that you post on your tinder profile to get more right swipes. I’m talking that thing deep down that drives a person; that thing that makes a person want to wake up in the morning; that thing that a person obsesses over night and day; that thing that you would live in your car for, lose sleep over, or go hungry for; that thing that makes a person wake up at 5:00 in the morning and write a blog about it.

My passion is music - always has been, always will be for a million reasons that would take several books to contain. For the sake of keeping this blog from becoming one of those books, I’ll reserve my expansion of that statement for another post. I’m realizing, though, that obsessing over this passion has become unhealthy for me, mostly because I’m not obsessing over it in a good way. Music has begun to feel more like a business endeavor than a passion. Don’t get me wrong - business and passion can be one in the same and are for many people. In my case though, my passion is beginning to feel way more businessy and way less passiony. Obviously this is bad news, so my new obsession has been looking for ways to restore that healthy obsession by ultimately reigniting that passion, which leads me to “the others.”

While music is my passion, there are so many other things that I’m passionate about, so many other goals that I have in life that I’ve set aside to give my music an unobstructed path - writing being one of them. I’ve neglected these other passions for too long, and I feel like that neglect has extracted parts of me, parts of my character, that make me the musician that I am. I’m sure if you’re a musician and you’re reading this, you’re thinking, “No! Don’t do it! Those other things are distractions!” And maybe you’re not thinking that at all. Maybe I’m the only psycho that thinks you can’t focus on more than one thing if you have an artistic or creative pursuit. But I truly feel that reincorporating some of these other passions and interests into my life will help me fix my perspective about music. Reconnecting with myself will go a long way to revive my music’s authenticity - the writing of it in particular. Tapping into mine and others’ emotions and experiences will bring me back to the genesis of music in my life - resetting its definition and function as a language and a means of truly connecting with other humans rather than solely viewing it as a vehicle to success.

Anyway, these are my morning thoughts. If you’re on a passion driven path really, and have similar feelings or different feelings - any feelings really - and you feel like sending those *feelings my way, I’d love to know them. I certainly don’t have all the answers despite often postulating as if I do. Please help...sincerely, Justina Beth-El.

*I really just wanted to use "feel--" an excessive number of times in one sentence.

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