The Manhattan Project--2016 A to Z Theme

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Friday, December 18, 2015

Deju Vu 2015




      Once again D.L. Hammons is hosting the Deju Vu Blogfest.  This is the blogging event where participants are invited to share one of their lesser performing blog posts in order to give a wider audience one more chance to read what they may have missed.  My post comes from early January of 2015.  This post addresses the subject of passion versus obsession.



Is It Passion or Obsession?

English: On a pedestal in Another Place
 On a pedestal in Another Place (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

        When I first started Tossing It Out in late 2009 I became so excited about blogging that it became one of my main topics of conversation with anyone who might listen.  I began to research the topic of blogging and read everything I could find about it in order to become a better blogger.  My thoughts became focused on my blog most of my waking hours and sometimes even into sleep.

          There were probably those who thought my interest in blogging had become a somewhat annoying obsession.  Some supported me in helping me to grow my base of followers while others politely indulged me as I babbled incessantly about this or that aspect of social media.  After a few months I even had business cards printed so it would be easier for people to remember my blog address in order to read it later.   Few of those cards reaped new readers to my knowledge, but having them was helpful in some cases if for no other reason than to open up the conversation to the topic of blogging.

         It took me about a year and a half to temper my obsession to a point of more reasonably subdued passion.   These days I still maintain a strong interest in blogging, but I no longer see it as my big mission in life.  Now it is a tool for my platform, to use that common cliche of branding and marketing.   Blogging is fun for me, but I don't force it on anyone and only bring it up if the subject seems appropriate to introduce to a conversation.

         When I was younger I went through periods where I developed certain interests in which I invested time, thought, and money.   For example I had a passion for stamp collecting from about third grade until my early high school years.   Then there were the periods when I became very involved with model building or immersing myself in anything related to science fiction and monsters.   Like an artist who can be evaluated by his creative stages, my life has seen periods of interests, sometimes for prolonged periods and other times short-lived.

         My biggest material passion has been for music.  Once I started working in my late teens and had more money to spend, I began buying records albums on a regular basis.  This passion for music peaked in the 80's when I voraciously began to accumulate cassette tapes (that was the medium of choice at that time) until I was carrying hundreds of them in my van as I traveled about in my road show days.

        There have been many phases in my life when I have pursued interests with a fervency that might be called passion.  On the other hand, my pursuits might be more correctly considered as hobbies or interests.   I'm certainly no different than others in this respect.   If we don't have certain interests that define us to some extent then we can seem rather dimensionless and boring.

          In all of our lives we have each undoubtedly had best friends with whom we shared hours of time.  Many times those friendships can end in sweet--or sometimes bitter--parting as we move on in our lives.  We might be left with longings for their companionship and fond memories as life carries us onward into new relationships or life pursuits, but we often move on without those old friends.  This is just part of the progression of life--friends who become hazy happy memories as well as those friends with whom we might stay connected with for many years or even the rest of our lives.   It would be abnormal and uncomfortable  to obsess on a friend or acquaintance so most of us allow the space necessary to nurture the relationship or we quietly drift apart if that is the destiny of things.

          And then there is love in the sense of romance and long term bonds.  This is the love that leads to marriage and family for many of us.   We find that singular object of our affection with whom we want to share life in the deepest sense that lives can be shared.  The ideal societal goal is to find a monogamous partner with whom we can have children and build families.  This takes a strong commitment involving passion that falls short of stifling obsession of ownership yet an obsession to make the relationship work.   Things don't always turn out as planned, but most of us have that ideal to work toward.

          To love someone in a way that we idolize them in the purest sense, not in any bizarre obsessive way, should be a goal in committed relationships.   We should not burn with a possessive nature that stifles the other or desire to control another with some sense of ownership much like a stamp collector might long to possess a coveted stamp for his collection, but we should have a focus that makes that partner our one and only, the only shining star that we see in a celestial tapestry filled with stars.   If we walk into a roomful of people, our one true love is the one to whom our eyes are drawn with admiration and the deepest satisfaction in being a part of that person's life.  That is the ideal, though often not the reality.

         True love is the stuff of stories.  It's that irrational emotion that brings out the poet in many of us.  It can be fun, wonderful, and even scary. What we might define as love is the most scary when the obsession creeps within us creating the stalker mentality.   A criminal passion can make us do crazy things, but the pure beautiful passion that is true love brings us as close to heaven as any earthbound human can be.   I want a burning desire or yearning that transcends possessiveness or control and becomes more akin to personal sacrifice for the sake of love in a similar way that a believer might have toward God.  Not a replacement to loving God, but next in line to love for God.   The most reverent of feelings that two humans can have for one another.   This is a fine dream in my eyes and something for which to strive.

          When do you think a passionate love devolves into aberrant obsession?    Do you feel uncomfortable when someone admires you in the sense of placing you on a pedestal?   Do you enjoy blogging more or less now than when you first started?


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25 comments:

  1. Much like you, my blogging has definitely evolved over the years. As the craft of writing became more of a focus, the art of blogging suffered. There are only so many hours in a day. I often miss the community, and try to re-engage when I can (A-Z being one of them), but priorities dictate action and there are always casualties when that happens.

    Thank you for taking part in Deja Vu!

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    1. DL, I completely understand. Intensive blogging can take up a huge amount of time. There are so many other things in my life that I need to do as well as the things I'd like to do.

      Lee

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  2. I still enjoy blogging, especially as the A TO Z is getting closer. If I hadn't started blogging I wouldn't have had the pleasure of meeting one of the nicest men on Blogsphere, would I Lee?.
    Happy Christmas.
    Yvonne.

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  3. My expectations for blogging have been nebulous from the beginning. I woke up one morning with the desire to write a book. Then it became a screenplay when I realized they got paid better. Then, the reality that this was going to be a long road with perhaps no destination set in.

    So now, I recognize my blog for what it is. It has made me a better writer, allowed me to define myself, risk a little with sharing my ideas and surprisingly improved my writing a whole lot. Most of all, it has given me a connection to other people. In taking care of people I love, I find myself somewhat isolated and blogging gives me a chance to meet others. We are social animals.

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  4. My passionate love for making crafts has lead to an obsession with buying craft supplies. And yet I don't want to stop either. My husband had me on a pedestal too....it was a lot to live up to. Carrying feelings for over 30 years and then he actually got me...it was pressure on my part to want to be exactly as perfect as he thought or dreamed I was. As for blogging I still enjoy it. Some of my cousins and friends don't do FB so they keep up that way.

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  5. I blog less than I used to. Back when I started, I posted three times per week ... then two ... and now once a week. I try to keep up with all the blogs I follow, and occasionally I make the effort to find new blogs to follow. But it's not an obsession or a passion, really. It's just a means of communication with other like-minded people!

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    1. Dianne, I've done that downturn as well. We have to make time for the other important thing of life and not be chained to a computer day after day.

      Lee

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  6. I loved blogging when I first started. I posted three times a week, and actively sought out other blogs to read. But then my ideas for posts started running dry, writing books took up more of my time, and it seemed like the whole blogosphere started to become less invested in the whole blogging process. So I admit that when I finally have a moment to sit in front of the computer, I have to choose how to spend that time, and most often, it makes sense to write actual books instead of blog posts that get lost in the shuffle. I miss it, though.

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  7. Yes, I agree. I started blogging and it has evolved over the years. Travelling and photography have made their impact on my blog and writing style for articles and books. Now, I juggle my time between all my writing and the ever present social media.

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  8. True love wants what is best for the other person even if that's not what you yourself want.

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  9. It's a fine line between passion and obsession. Wise words, Lee.

    BTW I'd like to thank you again for the A2Z challenge - my Deja Vu post reminded me of some of the really good blogging friends I made on this year's Challenge who missed the post I reposted!

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  10. My blogging has settled into a nice rhythm, unlike when I first started. Then I wasn't quite sure what to write about. And it's become a routine for me, so I'll probably continue to do it as long as I am able.

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  11. It's hard to know where love will cross the line into obsession. If it was easy to know, there wouldn't be so many stories about it. My daughter gets deeply involved in her interests. Possibly a mite obsessed. Right now that's harmless, and it makes her happy to be so involved in the things she loves.

    As far as blogging, I go up and down with that. I try to at least consistently do two posts a week, but I've considered going down to one. Balancing everything can be so hard.

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  12. My blogging has definitely evolved since I first started. But I always try to blog at least once a week.
    I think I find it difficult to tell the difference between a passion and and obsession, at least on a personal level. To me it seems like I have a reasonable amount of crafting supplies... and books (but you can never have too many books, right?) but to someone else it might seem like an obsessive amount.

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  13. A once a week post sounds good, but every time I try to convince myself that it's a great idea, someone posts a flash fiction challenge. :)
    Obsession is what I write about - sometimes they just won't let get go. The bigger the ego the harder it is to take no for an answer! Great writing material.

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  14. Good things to ponder. I guess I see the boundary between passion and obsession as something along the lines of mental health: is your interest negatively impacting the rest of your life? are those who love you expressing concern? Then it might be time to reel it in a bit, to take a step back.

    It's tricky though. Like new romance, new love can be very consuming for a while, and it doesn't necessarily mean that's unhealthy. I guess I rely on those around me to tell me when I've gotten too weird. Luckily, I have children. They don't hesitate to shoot straight.

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  15. Fantastic post! I am so happy you picked this one for this blogfest!

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  16. I read on someone else's blog recently who voiced the opinion she thought "blogging was dead"! Well, she ought to read your article. "Blogging is fun for me" sums it up exactly in my eyes. Some people take themselves far too seriously!

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  17. When I started blogging, I found a new community. I connected with other writers and people in pursuit of a satisfying creative life. It was wonderful. I still have that, but I'm not so crazy about making the rounds, reading and writing posts. It is too time consuming. But, I still love it and it has opened doors for me in other writing pursuits, especially as a theatre reviewer.

    Great post.

    Play off the Page

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  18. Well, I'll skip that discussion of passion and obsession. It's too deep for my Monday morning brain. On blogging, however, my enthusiasm comes and goes, depending on what I want to say. I'm working on my blog this holiday season, though, to hopefully finally make some of the apps work right. I was more enthusiastic at first, although never really obsessed, but now the site is more like a personalized website that needs TLC but not constant posting. It's more relaxed that way.

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  19. Nice post :-)
    I am at the beginning of my blogging life as a reader (I am not a writer) and still finding my feet. So far blogging has been a great way to keep myself busy and challenging myself instead of giving in to depression; it is also a great way to keep up and improve a wide range of skills, from writing, to editing, to web development and social media, as well as allowing me to discover a plethora of books and writers.

    Passion or obsession? Well, like you I have gone through phases, and I suppose as you come across something new that piques your interest it is easy to end up spending a lot of time and energy to find out as much as you can about it. As you are catching up with all there is to know, it is easy to border on what may be classified as an obsession, and natural for it to then peter out, and settle into a passion. When it comes to relationships, as Andrew Leon said above, "true love wants what is best for the other person even if that's not what you yourself want".

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  20. Your passion for blogging still resonates, Lee. And you've made a huge impact on blogging with the A to Z Challenge! So happy to be part of the hosting team again!

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  21. Since I'm currently at a bit of an internet limitation I'll leaving on all-encompassing thank you to all who commented. I appreciate everything you added to this discussion.

    Lee

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  22. There can be a fine line between passion and obsession. I always think of Dante's love/obsession for Beatrice, particularly as reflected in La Vita Nuova. While he never crosses the line into being a creepy stalker or even reveals his true feelings to Beatrice, there's a definite sense this is more than just a crush on an inappropriate partner. The reader would never even guess Dante was married during this time he pined so hard for Beatrice, since he never even mentions his wife!

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  23. I tell any fool who puts me on a pedestal to toss some pillows down, because I'm guaranteed to fall. But passion for pursuits is always good. If not for a passion for writing, I wouldn't be here right now. (Not just here commenting on your blog post -- a bit later than intended-- but here alive in this body.)

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Lee