Motivated to do Nothing

I’ve been fortunate enough to meet some unashamedly enthusiastic individuals. Folks that are driven to wake up every morning and dedicate their waking life to pursuing the passions that move them. One or two aspired to guide the next generation of Latino leaders. Other’s get fired up about social and economic injustices. And do everything in the power to spread the word even though for the most part their message falls on deaf ears. Then there the many friends I have who have chosen education as their profession. I get tired just by thinking about the the amount of energy that they bring to a sometimes thankless job. There are those that dedicate every waking moment to their family. They sweat and toil at what mostly turns out to be dead end jobs with very little prospects  because they aspire to afford their children the opportunities that they themselves never had. Or how about some of my artist friends. They spend hour after hour working on their craft. Then they spend the rest of the time trying to get their art noticed so that they can make a meager living at it. And yet when they see those tiny returns, it is as if someone had handed them a convoy of trucks loaded with all of Fort Knox gold. Lastly, there are all the great blogs that I’ve come across since I started my own here. So many of you out there commit yourselves to the things that move you. Sometimes it only takes me a few minutes of browsing through WordPress or Blogger in order to feel both humbled and terribly inadequate. People place so much of themselves into these pages. I swear reading some of your stuff just makes me feel ashamed of myself because I know that I have never been one to work so tirelessly at anything ever.

Cover of "The Royal Tenenbaums (The Crite...
Cover via Amazon

I can’t bring up a single instance where I felt like I truly gave my all for something. As far back as I can remember I have always been that guy that does just enough to get me by. I’m not sure if it is a direct result of possibly having ADHD or if I’m just simply not cut out for hard work. Yes there have been plenty of things that I have dug and enjoyed greatly. Things that served as a means for some desperately needed escapism. I can enjoy a great show like Game of Thrones or genre defining films like the Dark Knight and The Royal Tenenbaums. I might even speak about them in excited tones and show an almost fan-boyish devotion. But in the end they are just someone else’s hard work that I happen to admire. Same thing with music. I listen to music every day, and spend maybe a couple of hours a week actively searching for new hidden gems. Yet music only moves me for those few minutes a track is playing. It doesn’t really linger in my head, haunting my thoughts. The same can be said for comic books, and concerts, and books, and video games, and anything else that captures my short attention span.

I’ve never felt impassioned about anything I’ve ever done. I never been dedicated to any of the jobs I have ever held. I mean I do the job I am supposed to be doing, but I never have been one to go that extra mile. To chase after that raise or promotion. And I wonder why is that? Why do some folks know exactly what they want to do with their lives from the get go. Almost as if they were born  just to serve that one purpose in life. While others just wander around trying everything but doing nothing.

My father was a great Respiratory Therapist. He may have been a rather questionable human being at times, but the man was an artist with a respirator. And I can only imagine how many life saving procedures my father was a part of.  His other passion was radio. He took a number of classes. He even recorded several audition tapes of his studio work and sent them around to a number of stations in the city. I remember accompanying my father to the broadcasting school’s studio a couple of times just to watched him work his magic. I’m not saying this because he was my father, but I honestly thought he was pretty damn good at it. He had a fantastic voice for radio. It was deep and booming, but yet smooth like Carvel ice cream.  If it hadn’t been for all the demons he was dealing with, plus the fact that he was seeking a radio announcing gig in the largest media market in the country, he might have had a future in the radio business.

My mother was also incredibly passionate about her job. Being a nurses aid for 20 years exposed her to all manners of horrors. She applied pressure on gaping wounds, washed the corpses of burnt children, she comforted deeply disturbed psychiatric patients, and she helped deliver probably hundreds of babies. And when I would sit down with my mother and ask how she could stand working in such a chaotic environment; her eyes would come alive and a smile would suddenly come across her face. Each time she would give me the same answer. She was never more alive than when she was working in the hospital making a difference in the lives of people who were probably too out of it to even notice.

Yet for some reason all that passion that my parents possessed seems to have eluded me. I can get myself motivated to do things for more few months if not less. Eventually the laws of diminishing returns kicks in and I just abandoned whatever it was that had captured my attention. Is passion something that you are born with? Or is it something that you discover within yourself as you grow as a person? If it’s the latter, then I guess I still have a whole lot more growing up to do. I just really hope I can get it together soon and figure out what I wish to do with the rest of my life. I think this whole drifting aimlessly has grown quite old if I do say so myself. Personally I hope my rediscovery for the joys of writing will be the passion I have been searching for my whole life. Guess only time will tell.

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