This is the final entry, (can you believe it?!?), in my series on Core Desired Feelings. You can catch up on my other posts for Free, Creative, Love, and Abundant, and, if you’d like to know more about “The Desire Map” by Danielle LaPorte, you can listen to a podcast I did with Kayla Hollatz for #CreateLounge here.
So, let’s talk Ardent.
I have this habit. I’m not sure if it’s from being a writer or just being a nerd, but I tend to use words I assume people know the definitions to. I’m not snooty about it or anything. There are words that I know are uncommon, and that, unless I want to sound like a douche, I should just pick a different word. It’s the same reason I still pronounce croissant like I’m from the South, instead of the French way. But, still, I find myself occasionally confusing people, purely by accident.
For instance, the word Ardent.
When I originally wrote about my Core Desired Feelings, I didn’t think that was the word that would turn people’s heads. But not too long after my first post went up, I got a text from my sister that was a screenshot of the dictionary.com entry for “Ardent” with a caption that read something like: “How dare you make me look up words in the dictionary.”
I’ve come to realize that Ardent is not in many people’s everyday vocabulary, which makes a certain amount of sense considering how I found the word myself. As I shared last week, I had to do some digging for Abundant, looking for a word that would describe a lot of my other words. Something similar happened with Ardent.
I didn’t share this originally, but the order I have my CDF’s in is the basic order in which I settled on them, which means Ardent came last, right after Abundant.
After the success I had figuring out Abundant, I immediately decided to employ the same tactic with my last word. So I opened up a thesaurus.
I noticed that in my list of words, there were a lot that were big words: like Love, Creative, and Free. There were others that were smaller but seemed related: like generous and expansive. Then there were numerous others that didn’t fall into these categories but all seemed to focus on a theme. They weren’t necessarily whole concepts themselves, but they reflected a spirit I wanted to have with all of my CDF’s.
I found I was writing a lot of words that reminded me of fire, passion even. They felt related to Love, but they also felt related to everything else. I wanted to be passionate about my Creativity as well as my Freedom. They felt like things I ought to be passionate about. So, naturally, I thought Passion might be my word, but, like “enough’, it didn’t feel like enough.
So, I went looking for a better word, my fifth element. Something that described all the others but wasn’t fully described by any of them. Passionate, but in a way my mother wouldn’t find worrying.
And Mr. Thesaurus did not disappoint.
Ardent: passionate; zealous; having, expressive of, or characterized by intense feeling; fierce; fiery.
It felt right. Just like Abundant, just like all the others. And, like all the others, it was definitely how I wanted to feel but not how I felt all the time.
And, adding to the layers of meaning that I have been able to tease out of each of my CDF’s and, indeed, this whole series, I find Ardent is just the sort of thing to end on, because it’s the thing I need to be reminded of right in this moment.
In talking about my Core Desired Feelings, I feel I’ve been dancing around a question that I’ve never asked explicitly: how does one actually go about pursuing these? More to the point, what do you do when the decisions before you don’t feel like your Core Desired Feelings?
I don’t have an answer, but whether God or Irony, (because one of those really likes to use the other one), I’m finding it very hard right now to hold onto these concepts as guiding principles.
Last week, I wrote about Abundant, then, the very next day, life reminded me how little abundance I actually possess. And now, despite how Ardent I want to feel, how passionate I want to pursue my dreams, I’m faced with a decision that doesn’t feel passionate at all.
That’s one of the reasons it’s always been hard for me to name my desires, to set goals, or plan long-term at all. It feels like, the moment I do, that’s when I will be challenged on those things. It makes sense, of course. If it were easy, it might not be worth pursuing. If it were easy, I’d likely already have it.
But, still, I find myself wishing that everything, or even just one thing, wasn’t quite so hard to obtain.
But that’s life, I suppose. And I know that. I know that’s exactly why Ardent is one of my words; it’s there to remind me that I have to work hard for the things that matter. And I will, but in the midst of my longing for Ardent, I find myself longing for something else: Rest. I long for when I can stop being Ardent, when I can just be.
It’s not that I don’t know the truth, and it’s not that I don’t know the process is going to be painful. I just wish it wasn’t, or that all my pain was behind me, but it’s not.
Like every other CDF, this one isn’t going to come easily. Like Elle Luna says about “Choosing Must”, it’s something we have to start over with every day.
Maybe it won’t be hard forever. Things rarely are. But it is now.
Still, I can’t let that stop me.
I hope you all have enjoyed this series on my Core Desired Feelings. Perhaps, you’re even inspired enough to start identifying your own CDF’s. If so, I hope you will track down a copy of The Desire Map or any of the resources on Danielle LaPorte’s website. And drop me a line through the contact form on my About page and let me know what you come up with.
This is also probably a good time to announce my next series. If you follow me at all on social media, you’ll know I’m gearing up for National Novel Writing Month. This will be my 6th year doing NaNoWriMo and, fingers crossed, my 5th year completing.
This year, I’m partnering with CreateLounge to encourage everyone to pursue a project in November, whether it’s a novel or something else. You can check out the post about it here and see some of the Nano alternatives we’ve come up with.
We’ll be doing regular posts on social media cheering everyone on and checking in on our progress, and, on the blog, I’ll be doing weekly posts on the process, from my own experience with it, as well as handing out a lot of encouragement to all my fellow Nano’s out there. I hope you’ll tune in.