When it's all said and done, passion = suffering.
I have two passions:
These are what make me suffer.
From age 5 to 18 it was only writing. There was no competition. I think I wrote more fiction when I was 10 than I do now. It's all I could think about. It's all I strived for. I had immaculate plans for my writing life. Then something snuck in. A new lover. It was then that I betrayed my first love.
It may seem silly, but I've felt like a cheater since I was 18 - since I started ballet. There's no doubt that it came at a very critical time in my life. A time when writing could not play the role of sanity keeper. It's not that I didn't want to write, but more because I mentally couldn't. Everything I wrote became my own horror story. I know, this is all very cryptic unless you know my history, but let's just focus on the fact that writing was not helping.
So yes, I started dancing, after not having an interest in it at all a year before. I was a late bloomer in the dance world, starting at 18. I was in class with people who had danced all their life. It was intimidating, but I worked extremely hard and tried to catch up as best I could. So dance became my solace. A place I knew I could be sane 4 days a week for a few hours. Nothing else rattled my brain. Mental warfare ceased because there was no room to think about anything but the technicality of ballet movement.
But a new warfare was born - the one I still struggle with today. I get angry at myself for getting angry at myself for not being better at ballet. I get angry when I spend my money to see a ballet performance and not a writer's conference. I get angry when there are characters who won't stop haunting me until I write them into existence and I don't sit down and do it.
Yes, I can love two things at once. Yes, I can do two things at once. I've been doing it for years, but why do I always feel like I'm having an affair? Maybe one night at ballet class I'm not at the top of my game and I think about it for weeks. I fail to win a writing contest and it passes through my hands like sand. That disturbs me. Writer Cassandra says, "How can you take this so lightly?"
It's always scared me to think, maybe ballet brings me just as much happiness (suffering) as writing. Totally ridiculous. Totally mellow dramatic.
Writer Cassandra is an attention whore, or maybe she just knows what's best for me and knows that if I don't (God forbid this ever happen!) write a book, I'll regret it more than not starting ballet at age 4. I do love being able to express my self in other ways besides writing. No matter what - dancing, painting, dressing like a circus act - will always have a place in my life.
TAKE THAT writer Cassandra :)