Fear and Passion
A common characteristic of alchoholism is stuffing
away emotions and fears. Unable to keep the plug in the jug, we instead kept our feelings
bottled up like the rankest moonshine. Never learning, we always made the same
mistakes, not fully understanding the insidious nature of the disease; it is relentless
in its consistency. Old habits and addictions die hard. Even as a recovering alcoholic
I find myself boiling from within, but silent. The emotions I'm feeling are scalding my
soul, the inability to release them is retarding my personal growth.
I have anxiety. I am afraid. I'm anxious and in fear
of the future, and for those in my inner circle. It is most likely irrational fear
steeped in the anticipation of disruptive change. My 27 year career is reaching a
turning point. The company I have worked for since college was sold last summer. The
final regulatory approvals could happen at any time. I've forced myself to stuff
this inevitability for months, all the while churning like a witch's cauldron.
Why am I afraid? The change will most likely mean
relocation; moving to a geographical place that doesn't interest me. Nothing against
the fine people who live in those communities, it isn't where I picture myself. So
turn down the new company and start over. Certainly I can, but in so doing I throw
away half a pension that is only five years short of maturing; one I've worked long
and hard to achieve. Caught between a rock and a hard place with no cushion.
But it's more than pulling up roots, I fear I've
lost my passion for the career. The challenges aren't what they used to be, the
feeling of community involvement has given way to cutthroat shareholder value. It's
no longer about doing my small bit to make the world a better place. Instead, it's
about dollars and cents, plain and simple. There is no vision.
A while back I found another outlet for my passions.
Addictive personalities, like my own, have a tendency to replace one consuming
virtuality with another. Finally able to abandon alcohol, I discovered the Internet a
number of years ago. Whether I'm addicted is irrelevant, I live in the Net. Its
community is my new passion. It inspires me and enlightens me, in fact the inspiration
for this essay came from a thread in the
about discerning passion and keeping hope alive, and from a
particular web site that demonstrates it
to the utmost.
Yet again, I am troubled. I've made my modest
appearance on the Web by teaching and helping, a nice way to return the favor to those
unselfish givers who helped me learn to live life on life's terms without alcohol. But
there are only so many nuts and bolts to offer, so my focus has evolved recently. I
want to pour myself into giving back to this Net community that has nurtured my
recovery. My new fears?
I am neither an artist nor a designer; I have no
formal training or talent. That should be immediately obvious. I am not a writer; again
no formal training. Sure, I have written many technical white papers during my career,
but they didn't require the creative spirit. So my passion may not be demonstrable. It
is an abstract passion, a love for the good will and energy exuded by the independent
content producers in this enriching medium.
My training is in information technology. I am good at
it. I've mastered a dozen operating systems and programming languages during my career.
I've passed some of that on to the youngsters at work, and to the beginners on the Web.
I believe I have succeeded. Like the apprehension of corporate change, I leap into this
new commitment to Net community with trepidation, but a passion nonetheless. My only
hope is that one of these days you will be able to tell.
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things
I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the
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