The surest sign that you’re incredibly ambitious is a complete and total lack of ambition on all fronts.
One of the most life changing things I'm learning to do, which I think came from your blog, is to question my definition of passion. In culture, passion is seen as motivation and excitement for each day. But isn't there a quiet passion, a deeper, more satisfying passion, in just living a nice little life? Hanging out a lot? Being an ordinary person who wants to sluff off 95% of the time? Look at animals in the wild - they literally spend 95% of their time lying around doing nothing or wallowing about. Realizing this has been such a nice blessing (though I'm still getting used to it).
It's amazing what I happen to get done in the 5% by the way. A lion roars on occasion, not out of some deep well of passion but because, well, he's a lion. :P
This resonates with me so much: "it’s hard to find an accurate portrait of how it feels to be a sensitive person with big feelings, big ideas, and big dreams."
I think having more cultural role models in this category is a really important project, and I do find a certain density of them here on Substack, which is encouraging.
Wow, this is exactly what I needed to read right now. Thank you.
"Because anything you care about deeply is likely to kick up buried desires and frightening emotions. All of those stray judgments that you converted into harsh morals about how you’re supposed to live and who you’re supposed to become are likely to return." Hoo, boy. Had this experience last night while working on the marketing/business side of a creative project I care about deeply -- all the old stories got LOUD. Really, really loud. Thanks for the reminder that, yeah, that's normal. And to keep paying attention to how I feel.
“The most ambitious, expansive, passionate people on the face of the planet are often painted as the most troubled, the most limited, the most doomed.” I would also say they are the most feared, not physically feared, but people fear that “ambitious, expansive, passionate people” will make them look bad. I remember my first spring training, the pitchers were running “poles” in the outfield in groups of three. I was in a group with to veteran players, and I sprinted while they jogged the first two poles. Before running our third pole, one of them got in my face and told me to slow down because I was making them look bad. In other words, if you want to be part of our group then throttle your ambition and passion so we can keep up. It took several years before I figured out what they were doing. Now I run my own speed, and I won’t ask you to slow down or speed up.
I sure needed this today. Between work, childcare, health stuff probably due to stress and not paying attention to 'how I feel' and just going, going, going, I've felt utterly uninspired and totally done with my life. This gave me a different route to finding my way out of my rut. Thank you!
"Every time you check in with yourself, you help yourself. Every time you ignore an old, warped story about what your sensations and feelings mean, you improve your connection to your body." This!!
I've been struck again and again how much pain is caused not so much from hard feelings/sensations, but the endlessly looping merry-go-round from hell of trying to make up a story about what they *mean*. From struggling in a social work job and creating the story that means I'm incapable to spending a lot of the months after quitting feeling just sad/tired and creating the story that I'm not disciplined enough to recover properly - the stories tend to be what feel the most agonizing.
Trying to remember to let the stories go and just take note of how I feel.
so good! thank you polly <3 <3 <3
This is so great; I just shared it with my kids, one of whom is very "traditionally" ambitious, and the other who isn't. It's also what my therapist regularly reminds me of. How wise you are, Heather 💜