Elias V. Mohr / Pursue Your Passion, Please… For the Sake of Your Health

photo  Anthony Tran

photo Anthony Tran

As a creative individual, I have my fair share of hobbies that relate to the creative process. It’s especially self-soothing to create music. And I, for sure, enjoy tinkering around with various technologies and devices. I have even dabbled with woodworking, sewing, braiding bracelets, etc. However, my true passion, my God-given gift (I’m not bragging, everyone has one, even you) is writing. By God, my love for the art is nearly impossible to explain in a coherent way. Hell, even if I could, I feel my surely affectionate expression would fall short of exhibiting the feeling justly. How exactly does one determine their true passion, or gift? Well, I’m sure there are a plethora of ways to pinpoint what exactly your gift is. My light-bulb moment came to me rather simply, and through years of self-refection and analyzation. I discovered, through my own introspective filters, that if I cease to write, I feel sick. Yes. I literally begin to burden both mental and physical ailments. My mind becomes both an overdriven turbine of which senseless thoughts circulate in an endless loop, and a massive swamp, so stagnant in its murky, unambitious layers. My body aches, it’s always fatigued, and saturated with lethargy, lest I write. If I refuse to write, my being exhorts the little frustrated energy it has left into conjuring another, promisingly unsuccessful outlet. How did I come to conclude these symptoms were the result of myself not satisfying what is quite honestly a need and not just, say, depression, or some weird-boy form of hypochondriasis? I’ll show you.

I fell in love with writing at fourteen. It began so suddenly, and with a beautiful aggression. I wrote anything and everything. Poems, romantic sonnets (oh yes, having a command over language is extremely beneficial… in every area), short stories, songs, even made a few attempts at a novel. I wrote quite frequently until the age of eighteen, in 2012. Then… life suddenly become a creative wedge, a thread-cutter of sorts. At the time, I was willing myself to balance both high school and college classes. I had begun my second serious romantic relationship, later, my first taxed occupation, and eventually, full-time college classes. Life was quite eventful at eighteen. Even in this midst of productivity and perceived happiness, I was frustrated and mildly depressed.  I had no moment to spare for my creative endeavors, until, eventually, I was laid-off from my job, and then dropped out of college. I had much more time for personal affairs, and thusly, my writing. Were these events discouraging in nature, did I feel as though I was failing tremendously? Of course. Yet, I was filled with the fuel of the fire that is suffering. I was able to express myself in my favorite art form, and for that, I was grateful.

Fast-forward to the Summer of 2015. I have been writing quite frequently for some time. Especially about forthcoming events I had envisioned. My romantic relationship was on the brink of destruction, I was working a meager fast food job, making little money. On top of it all, my home life was in an equal state of chaos, despair, and fear. Amidst it all, I was engaged in my art with such ferocity that I felt whatever I penned burned the paper on which it was printed. It was my way of escaping whatever conflict surrounded me. Once the conflict came to a climax, and after the dust settled, I took to action an actual act of escapism. I uprooted where I had been for nearly a decade, and decided to move in with a group of like-minded peers, to avoid the terror of facing and solving my issues. 



Shortly thereafter, I abandoned the pen for a PBR. For nearly a solid year and a half, I sought out nearly every other form of sensory pleasure possible, other than the one I knew and needed. For a great amount of time, most of that seeking was done with a stumbling gait and in a perpetuating stupor. Long after the conflict and despair of the previously mentioned events dissipated, I felt strangely physically uncomfortable and mentally unstable (and yes, even when I eventually lessened my intake of liquid bread). Finally, within the next several months, I started producing more poetry, and to my subconscious’ expectation, I felt more than content. Unfortunately, this lasted only a short while, and my expression faded with the invasion of reality and brutishness. 

Coming to recent past, this past Summer, in fact, I picked the pen up yet again. I began putting forth effort unlike any measure before into my art. I was both reading and writing with an inexplicable quenchless thirst for the activities. It brought me so much joy and ignited so much wonder that I refused to stop ever again. Yet, I did. This time, with a purpose in mind. One day, I simply stopped. Over the course of the weeks following, I began seeing and feeling the symptoms I described at the beginning of this essay. They’re extremely subtle, faint, covered by every other active ongoing in the mind and body. Suddenly, one morning, sitting at my table, drinking coffee, I had the most curious and wonderful epiphany. I asked myself how long I had been experiencing these spiritual droughts, if you will. Has this been present all along, over the course of my inactivity in my passion? As any sane person would do, I began to research as to whether this is an actual phenomenon within creatives, or if I’m just a fucking emotionally inept basket case. After some light research, sure enough, these feelings were validated. Authors such as Ray Bradbury, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Stephan King suffered the same sort of light turmoil when inactive. The creators’ desolate feelings when not creating are not limited to the scope of penman, either. 

Musicians, painters, photographers, any creator is subject to the same emotional destitution, if not working with their gift and passion. Upon discovering this, confirming my hypothesis, I understood all at once those feelings that brewed in the times where my passion wasn’t present in my daily life. As of now, I write a poem a day, and contribute to some sort of larger narrative daily. As one who has experienced all of this, I want to encourage all of you whom create and are reading this to never stop, nor give up. In doing so, you’re damaging yourself and crushing a part of you, a gift that needs to give. So, please, for the sake of your health, pursue your passion.