The best lack all convictions, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.*

There is a lot I don’t write about on this blog. In particular, I don’t write about personal stuff. I’m not a guy that likes to share his feelings and the number of people I talk to about personal stuff is really, really small. In fact, it might just be zero. Moreover, when you write about personal stuff, you tend to come across as either a nutjob or an overly sensitive emo who is looking for pity and a hug. That’s not me.

However, I want to talk about something personal, because in a way its not too personal, and probably isn’t a big secret.

If I look back on my life (yeah, its one of these rants) at almost every period of my life I can look back at something I accomplished with pride. Something I can point to and say “yeah, I did that”. These things range from debate accomplishments, academic honors, becoming an Eagle Scout (yes, I am one), coaching accomplishments, business success, and even some (very) limited success in the area of personal relationships.

Much of the reason for whatever I have done comes from my personality type. I know what I am. My parents never went to college. I was the first in my family to go. I was told by my 8th grade teach that I’d never amount to anything (literally), and I remember her saying how good she was in debate. Much of my original reason to join debate had to do with giving her a big “Fuck you, I can do better than you ever did”. (And i did. I have never seen or spoken to her after the 8th grade)

When I started to work for myself, I was told by a lot of people, flat out, that I’d never make it. A big “Fuck you” to them too.

When I coached debate after college I put a lot of time into it. A LOT. I made like $6,000/year and put in more hours than a full time job. The team did well and I never once cared about the money or the time because we were winning. It was fun.

When I was in Boy Scouts, I even took that seriously. I was awarded the Vigil Honor, which is more prestigious than becoming an Eagle Scout (even though hardly anyone has heard of it).

When I was running CIS, I had a lot of fun, and I think most of the people that worked there did too.

Am I tooting my own horn? Perhaps. But the point I am trying to make is that everything I did I had a passion for. A passion almost to the exclusion of everything else. Fuck the world and damn the torpedoes type passion. Even if other people didn’t see it, I knew it and it was what drove me.

Its not just things I can point to as accomplishments either. My reading interests, the woman I’ve dated, music, almost everything has been driven by a passion for something, even if the passion is short lived.

In the last 5 years of my life, however, there isn’t much I can point to and say “yeah, I did that”. I’m living off past accomplishments, and I hate that. I really hate that. As good as my 20’s were, my 30’s have been most unimpressive. A failed business and a failed long term relationship. Nothing much else I can think of and can point to as an accomplishment. Nothing to be proud of.

Most of my problems stem from a lack of passion, or rather a lack of an outlet for passion.

I haven’t had a real date in about 5 years. The primary reason for that is I haven’t met anyone who I find interesting (and who is available. That last part always being the sticking point.). I’ve had business ideas, but so far I haven not had enough enthusiasm to pursue them. I decided to go back to school in part because science was something I had a passion for, but honestly I find much of the undergrad work that is required to be complete and total drudgery.

I am not a political person. I have my views and beliefs, but they are not held to such a passionate extent that I’m going to hit the streets or run for office. (In fact, most of my political views would prohibit me from hitting the streets).

I have no answers. I have no grand plan. I’m just throwing this out there. You could say I’m just pissing and moaning and you’d be right.

I’m in a funk, and I don’t know how to get out of it.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated.

*Proudly stolen from “The Second Coming” by William Butler Yeats.

By Gary

3 dimples. 7 continents. 130 countries.

2 replies on “The best lack all convictions, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.*”

I mean, dude, a lot of people sit around dreaming of having your life — start a company, sell it, then spend a decade or two just hanging out, doing whatever fits your fancy.

Seems like a lot of the passion you’ve had in the past is driven by the “fuck you factor” — proving to someone that you could kick their proverbial ass. Maybe you just don’t have anything left to prove? Or maybe you just need to find some new folks who you can compete with?

Have you thought about moving to a new place?

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