Rediscovering a Lost Love

Fall in love all over again with something that inspires you.

Everyone has a passion, things that excite us. There are things in life that bring us so much joy that we lose track of time. The expression “time flies when you’re having fun” very much applies to the kind or activities I am talking about.

I have recently rediscovered a lost love of mine. I lost touch with my love of reading and writing in my twenties. I hadn’t realised I had been depriving myself of something I loved but I had also subconsciously been keeping my passion writing around without even realising it.

When I attended, I read and I wrote every day, I studied sociology and gender studies so I often spent my days soaking up sociological ideas and feminist theory. By the end of the day my boyfriend would pick me and I would bombard him with my enthusiastic ramblings, the whole journey home, I felt passionate, inspired and excited.

When I left university, I signed up to receive a few sociological journals, considered writing for a feminist website. I wanted to keep this stuff in my life. without noticing it, other priorities got in the way; I was working full time and focusing on a new career, writing fell off my radar.

Once my son was born, being busy took on a whole new meaning. I had a crime novel that sat on my bedside table for a year, only half read. I just stopped reading anything that wasn’t consumable in 5 minutes. When I did attempt a novel, it took me ages to get through it. I decided to quit trying to read for pleasure. I was so busy being a grown-up, I believed that I didn’t have the time to read for pleasure.

Ironically, I continued to struggle to walk past a bookshop without going inside. I always felt excitement at looking over the shelves of books. I also hoarded stationary, mounds of paper, pens, pencils, highlighters, and post-its. I don’t think my passion ever left me entirely, it simply lay dormant waiting for me to remember how much I enjoyed it and make some time.

I kept the books from my time at university like a badge of honour. They sat on the shelves, full of bookmarks and folded corners. I told my children were leftovers from a time when mummy was clever. This isn’t really accurate on reflection, I was neglecting my creativity and my time at university was a time in my life where I felt enthused and creative and inspired, intelligence doesn’t really come into it.

My husband and I took a trip to New York and while we were there, a friend recommended we visit Strand bookstore. Visiting that bookshop was magical, they had thousands of books. I stumbled upon the gender studies section and felt the spark of inspiration from all those ideas in front of me. There were many that I had read at university and even more, I had never heard of. I looked from the sociology section to personal development then hovered a while looking through the fiction, with the feeling of excitement growing all the time.

I would have taken the entire shop home with me if it had been possible. I don’t know why that particular shop and that particular visit reminded me of the passion that had been forgotten; maybe it was seeing all the books from my university days. I left the shop with a few things that included a pencil case with “a well-read woman is a dangerous creature” written on it.

Once I got home from my trip, I started reading again, joined a book club, downloaded novels to my tablet. I moved my university books into my office and set up a blog, so that I have somewhere I can write about what inspires me and share ideas. I have started to use those reams of paper and stationary. I am a reader and a writer once more and I’m talking excitedly about what I am learning again, the boyfriend who used to pick me up from university…he is still listening to my enthusiastic rambling as he is now my husband.

Maybe, you have art supplies sitting in a cupboard somewhere, were you a martial arts fanatic as a child but stopped going to training? If you have a long-lost love, then my guess is that it is still hanging around in the background of your life. If you have a passion, nurture and protect it. Do not become so busy that you forget something that fascinates you and makes you feel alive.