Sustaining Momentum

enthusiasm

It seems fitting that I write about enthusiasm at this mid-way-into-the-year point, because I have nearly lost mine on several occasions and maybe I’m not alone. I tell you, listlessness caught me by surprise. Me, who began the year wishing all Happy New Momentum, why would I not want to show up in my life?

I read interviews of smiling photoshopped people, who say because they are doing what they love and are paid for it, they bounce like springs and chuckle like old couples in love. Meaning that if a square peg found a square hole, he would have discovered the centre that defies gravity. Hmmm, I want to ask them, what happens on days when they wake up but do not want to get up? Or are they from Mars?

When I meet people who have arrived at the place where I am going, my question will not be, how did you get here?  It will be, now that you are here, how do you intend to stay here?

I’ve been digging in my childhood memories for a time when I did not feel like going to school or playing. Here is one—my mother would wake me up at an ungodly hour to get ready for school and I would pull my wrapa over my head, pretending to pray. But ten annoying minutes between sleep and wakefulness was just a blip on my bright day. Of course, memories lie. Nevertheless, they are proof that I can craft stories from sketches of the lacklustre days I have endured this year.

Still, I wish that three-year old who leaps out of bed and heads for his toys, putting one Lego brick on top another, could articulate the reason for his energy. Has he learnt to expect pleasures scheduled into his day by his parents? There was that awful year in which I looked backwards for so long I turned into a pillar of salt. To the degree that salt has value, I was a valuable monument but I did not think I had anything to look forward to, rooted as I was to one spot.

Was it not the other day that an eight-year old came up to me and declared, “I’m bored,” as if I am a boredom-reliever? My first instinct was to suggest things she could do. But I caught myself.

“What can you do about it?”

“I don’t know.”

I continued reading while she shuffled her feet and then kicked at nothing.

“I’m bored,” she said, tugging my sleeve.

“What can you do about it?” I asked, softening my voice.

She began to list the things she could do, like play with her brother. She calculated the constraints she faced; he didn’t want to play. Then she examined her other options. I thought, good girl! It’s never too early to learn to take responsibility for your own enthusiasm.

If you think starting is hard, try finishing. Vision leaks and passion wanes due to disappointments and even successes. I am responsible for my enthusiasm—finding it, understanding it, jumpstarting it, feeding it, and protecting it. It’s really up to me.

©Timi Yeseibo 2015

Has your enthusiasm taken a dip? How did you recover it?
Share a quote that fires you up if you have one. Here’s one that makes me laugh and then move…

If you aren’t fired with enthusiasm, you will be fired with enthusiasm.
– Vince Lombardi

 

 

Photo Credit:  Wokandapix/ https://pixabay.com/en/run-running-sport-fitness-healthy-750466/

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The One-Night Stand Conversation

conversations

 

Emma introduced us, but fate made us exchange phone numbers. Although I liked you and felt drawn to you—tenderness accompanied my memories of you—I did not expect to hear from you soon. When my phone rang at 10:33 p.m. and I saw your name, warmth tickled my face into a smile. To my “hello,” you responded with sobs and to “what is it?” with, “I’m leaving him.”

I knew who him was.

Two weeks prior to your call, you and I chatted that evening, as we stood near the balcony sliding doors. Bunched-up voile curtains escaped their brass holders, lilting whenever the breeze beckoned. Behind us, opinions on politics and football clamoured for superiority. If I had to pick a winner, it would have been the music, a persistent fusion of hip-hop and jazz. Fear of losing our voices propelled us outside.

It was as if we knew time was short. We dispensed with pleasantries and raced to your heart. The story you told had many holes and so I averted my eyes so you would not need to avoid mine. Did you know that I had once been fragile too?

When him came to check on you, you replaced your shadow with sunshine. You introduced us, listing my credentials first, and I saw what his approval meant to you. Him was impressed, just as you had hoped, and then he whisked you away to the music we feared.

I knew who him was.

That day, your sobs unleashed mine. But, I put ice in my voice and said sensible things like, are you alone? What about the kids? Don’t make decisions while emotions are high. Should I come over? I had my hair in huge rollers under a net and two white spots on my face marked my struggle with acne.

You did not want me to come over. Instead, we sampled the height, depth, and breadth of your anxieties until 1 a.m., when exhausted from reasoning, you let me go. But not before agreeing to check in later in the day.

I did not sleep. I turned your problems over in my mind. I prayed. All day long, I waited. I debated whether to reach out. I sent a couple of texts. I called. You didn’t respond. Later never came, not that day or the next or the next month.

 

I am watching you and him in the supermarket. He leans so you can whisper in his ear. His eyes light up and you both laugh at your secret. I choose this moment to bump into you and him, and I wear my surprise well. The three of us make small talk but you overcompensate for lull with details. Your voice is on display, bouncing off the shelves and rolling down the aisle. When him leaves us girls to catch up, awkwardness settles over us and silences you.

“How are you?” I ask.

“Everything is fine, very fine, and you?”

I believe you because you radiate sunshine. I wait for your explanation so I can stop editing your manuscript in my head, no in my heart. I have been reading it since that night. Question marks and ellipsis muddle its chapters.

Nothing.

Him bursts in and whisks you to even greater sunshine and I am left with the music I fear, strains of bewildered happiness.

Perhaps I was to escort you around your shadow and no further. Did I assume a role that wasn’t mine? Was shame the unintended consequence of our sudden intimacy? Or did you need to find your way yourself? No matter, every book deserves an ending, and you cheated me of my slice of the sun.

I should not have left things unsaid.

 

 

©Timi Yeseibo 2015

 

Photo credit: longleanna/ http://pixabay.com/en/talking-phone-mobile-telephone-560318/

 

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Timi Yeseibo and livelytwist.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Fire. Passion. Desire.

Fire Passion Desire

“It’s midnight.”

“I know.”

“I thought you said you were tired.”

“I am.”

“Come to bed.”

“Not yet. I have to finish this.”

When I finally stagger into bed at 4 a.m., I have a new definition for passion: the thing that keeps you awake while others sleep.

Is this passion?

I used to go to bed at midnight and then wake up at 3 a.m., to watch The Australian Open, while everyone else slept. I love loved tennis. I kept abreast of rankings; I rearranged players’ bios in my head. I tracked live scores on my iPhone during sermons on Sundays.

I put my definition to the test. I ask friends, “Does this mean I was passionate about tennis?”

“Nah, you are were passionate about Rafa Nadal’s biceps!”

Never mind my friends they are goofy like that.

 

I attended a meeting, where the speaker’s call rang true: we should be passionate about life. He didn’t tell us where to find passion, but I have a thought or two, and maybe you do too.

Passion- Origin

Middle English: from Old French, from late Latin passio(n-) (chiefly a term in Christian theology), from Latin pati ‘suffer’1.

Pati, to suffer. How true in the sense that we willingly suffer pain to gain the thing we love. But the word has evolved.

passion

Is passion duty?

I think of the nights in secondary school, when I read a small book called Calculations in Modern Chemistry—the bane of my fourteen-year-old existence. I couldn’t tell an atom from a molecule, those minuscule things unseen by the naked eye. Forged on I did, cramming formulas, until I decided I’d make my parents proud some other way.

“You want to drop chemistry from your electives? You won’t be able to study aeronautical engineering?” my teacher queried.

“Mmmm,” I replied, grateful that I would never speak of covalent bonds again.

Can Passion die?

“What happened to you?”

“I gave birth to the most beautiful boy in the world.”

“But . . . I don’t understand. You were going to go to LSE, you wanted to work for the World Bank—”

“When I cradled him in my arms; I can’t explain the feeling . . .”

“And now that you don’t anymore?”

“I don’t know, I mean, I have no desire . . .”

“Your degree?”

“Yeah, so what?”

Where does passion come from? Is it innate?

I stumbled on my love for writing, drawing, and music before I was eight. I experimented, my parents indulged. Books, art lessons, cassettes, and karaoke, kept me indoors and out of trouble, but I learnt they were not the path to wealth and security. So I chose another path, an acceptable one.

I remember watching planes land and take-off at the airport and the exhilaration that filled my young heart. Giant birds, what makes them fly, I wondered. Watching planes gives me a rush to this day. I know a little about lift and the law of motion. I know also that this thrill is not passion to study engineering. It is desire to fly and be free.

Passion is not the romantic word I once imagined it was. For me, it is natural ability honed by attention, repetition, focus, discipline, excellence, tenacity, and commitment. It grows, it dies, it resurrects, and it changes, as I evolve.

The desire to be a good mother, a loyal friend, a mentor, coach, teacher, the desire to tell stories, to influence lives, and to blaze trails have stayed. The how changes and control of the when slips from my hands when I clench my fist, but these desires, they are like liquid fire in my bones.

 

P.S. Aha! You thought this was some witty post about sex romance, so you kept reading waiting for the twist—gotcha! Maybe I like Rafa Nadal’s biceps, but that is a part-time obsession passion. What keeps you awake when the world sleeps?

 

©Timi Yeseibo 2014

 

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Timi Yeseibo and livelytwist.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

1. Definition of passion at Oxford Dictionaries.com.  http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/passion