Have you ever given up your passion by choice?

We are all told to pursue our passions.

Well I sort of feel like I may have reached a dilemma. I have been travelling around the continent for the past two years learning to dance West-Coast Swing. It’s been an amazing adventure…built my confidence and helped take away my depression. I’m starting to burn out a bit. I do still love it, but it’s expensive, and I think my lifestyle might be preventing me from really settling in where I live and putting in roots. It’s been so much fun, and I love to keep learning and improving. But I feel very isolated because it’s a hobby not many people share where I live. I’d like to meet some new people again. Maybe I should just take a break.

Have you ever given up something you truly enjoy and love? Why?

I used to be very much into painting and sculpting.

But after I moved last year, the passion fell away. Part of it was due to me becoming engrossed in another thing. But now that other thing has been wrapped up, I still don’t really have a burning desire to go back to my artwork.

I feel bad because I did find it so enjoyable. I have pieces all over my house that I’m immensely proud of. People ask if I’m still selling my wares, and it reminds me that my art was once a large part of my identity. It gave me a sense of purpose. I don’t know what my identity or purpose is now, other than working and being on the internet way too much.

Yes, I stopped riding horses, dressage at the time, in 2007. At the time, I had 2 small kids, a move, and followed that up with spinal fusion surgery.

I miss it every day. Dream about riding almost nightly. I hope to re-engage sometime.

My words of advice: if it’s still fun and important to you, look for a way to do it that involves more balance in your life. Cut back, but don’t walk away. It can be a lot harder to get back into something than you realize. OTOH, if the thrill is gone, time to cut loose. There will be other joys in life.

I haven’t. But I have a friend who just became US Women’s Champion of her hobby (a sport, about the level of darts or wallyball) last year and this season has decided to quit. I was super surprised that she quit, since it seemed like 100% of her life, when not working, was about this sport. She traveled to play but played a ton locally and made a lot of friends doing it.

She said she was just burnt out, and not really challenged anymore. She is taking up chess instead now.

Just one of those people who needs a challenge, I guess. When she became the best it wasn’t fun anymore.

I used to sky dive and absolutely loved it. But one day my husband came to me and told me they would cancel our insurance if I didn’t quit. So because I had a husband and two young sons to consider, I walked away from it. I have found other activities to take its place, but none that gave me that total adrenaline-rush high.

I gave up my horse when my son was a baby. I could feel him or feed the horse, I couldn’t afford both.

I wish I had worked harder at finding a way to keep my horse.

I gave up baseball because I was too old to be any good anymore. I replaced it with softball, which I was equally passionate about but eventually gave that up, too. Now I work a lot more, which I’m not as passionate about but, you know. Bills.

I haven’t – mainly for lack of a passion to begin with – but my wife was in a similar position where she was part of a belly dance troupe, took classes, went to workshops, choreographing and performing her own work, etc including out of state. She eventually hit a point where the cost and time commitment were getting to be too much (plus a fair bit of drama in the scene itself).

She finally made the decision to quit and took up something else as a hobby: blogging for a popular television program. She’s been fairly successful with that, has been picked up for publication by a media outlet and has a new set of friends she’s gained to socialize with (including, again, trips out of state - but at least she’s making money now). So it’s possible that even if you feel you need to give this up you may find something else to take its place.

Yeah, I went to library school for archives and preservation, and I had to get a job, and that’s the first place they stopped hiring. So I went into public libraries.

Recently I was on a tour of the local rare books library and was almost in tears, thinking about how that could have been my life, but I don’t really see a pathway back there without making sacrifices I can’t really make now, with a kid and all.

Gave up acting and theatre after my first trip through the wonderland that is PTSD treatment. Although the symptoms were manageable, I lacked the confidence to continue to chase that dream.

Now, I write. Hopefully someday I will have the guts to actually finish and submit something :slight_smile:

I used to write fiction. I wrote some dorky little short stories that made me very happy, but were never going to be published anywhere but AO3. Eventually I got to the point where I was willing to try writing a novel. I succeeded, although again it wasn’t good enough to be published (which is not at all surprising). Then I spent about a year beating my head against a wall trying to write something new and failing.

Eventually I realized a couple of fundamental truths: I was not happy writing. Whatever kind of happy narcotic feeling I got from those early short stories was gone, and I couldn’t recapture it. More importantly, I wasn’t happy writing. I did not take pleasure from the act of writing itself and had come to view it as a chore. One of the key pieces of advice every writer gives novices is that they must be voracious readers, and the more I thought about it the more I came to realize that I never really enjoyed reading fiction. The vast majority of books I read are history and science books. Eventually I just reached the point where I had to admit that even though I thought I wanted to write, the unhappiness I was causing myself just wasn’t worth it.

How hard was the transition? I did music for a decade until I burn’t out. It was nice to have success with it…but it was my whole life. And I felt so un-whole…like I was missing out on other things life had to offer. Dance lead to so many good things…I took up Yoga and kettlebell fitness…and I had many good experiences on and off the floor. But Dance is still related to music (performance). I’d like to do something that’s more introverted…maybe like reading, or drawing, or even just education.

Also…if you gave something up for a partner…how did that make you feel? And is it even wise to consider that before you begin something? Dance has lit me up and given me a direction…which I think is attractive…but I feel like I will have to give up at least a portion of it for a partner.

I used to collect antique American firearms, which was always about getting one particularly gun at a particular price point (a Second Model Porter Turret Revolving Rifle if you are curious). After I got my “Holy Grail”, there was effectively no reason to keep going. There are other guns of interest that are just too expensive and there are non-American ones that don’t fit with the quirks of my hobby, so I have just…stopped.

My passions tend to last just short of a decade before a new one edges them out. My current passion has been going strong for 20 years with no sign of letting up. I build primitive bows and arrows and compete in a sport called flight shooting, how far we can shoot the arrow. I hold several world records and a chapter I wrote on the subject has been well received internationally. I have recently decided I need to give it up because I have no where else to go with it and would like to expand my horizons.

I am feeling some passion about a novel I am working on that is all about passion!