Well, shit. Here we all were just trying to have an unobtrusive start to the new year, but that didn’t exactly pan out. I’m not going to get into what happened at the U.S. Capitol this week, because you’ve heard enough about it already. And, if you want to hear more? Don’t worry, the media’s on it.
My initial plan for this post was to focus on this week’s episode of Love Your Enthusiasm as I thought all of you that follow my blog would really dig this one.
I kicked off the year with something totally different—a host takeover, where my longtime friend and fabulous author Victoria Dougherty hosted my podcast and interviewed me about being a life enthusiast. Being that so many of you are writers, what’s better than two authors yapping about creativity and zeal for an hour?
Once again, the timing of sharing this particular episode about life enthusiasm wasn’t great…story of my life with my entire podcast. The episode released right before the U.S. Capitol riot/siege/attack happened. (No idea what to even call this.)
As expected, many listened to the show then downloads swiftly dropped off after the news hit. Since I started Love Your Enthusiasm last June, don’t think I haven’t considered the absurdity of feeling enthusiastic while riding this never-ending rollercoaster of WTF.
Victoria and I recorded this week’s episode pre-U.S. Capitol news, which isn’t to say there wasn’t a whole other bag of issues we were dealing with in November. And, back when I interviewed Victoria for Love Your Enthusiasm in early June 2020, the riots were happening all over the U.S. after George Floyd’s death.
Even still, during both of our interviews, we weren’t hearing such strong rumblings about a civil war in our country.
This is the first time I’ve typed “civil war” beyond my college essays I wrote nearly twenty years ago. I haven’t typed the word “war” outside my fiction. Typing it now makes me feel cold and empty.
My knee-jerk response to that is…all the more reason to do what makes us feel the opposite of cold and empty. Whatever that means for us.
For me, it’s loving my enthusiasm and helping others do the same—whether I am writing a blog, recording a podcast, or sharing ridiculous dancing videos on social like this one.
Putting myself in the guest hot seat on my podcast was a great experience for about a thousand reasons. It’s always good to do things that make us uncomfortable and to see the other side of a situation.
By being interviewed, I was able to understand what it’s like to be a guest. And, perhaps the most challenging exercise of this whole process was trying to figure out what the hell my enthusiasm was.
For each episode of Love Your Enthusiasm, I ask my guests what their enthusiasm is so I can create questions based on their responses to a pre-interview questionnaire. When I asked myself: What’s your enthusiasm, Britt? I was stumped for at least a month.
- Storytelling? No…overused term and that’s not quite it.
- Observing and sharing the human experience? Sort of, but all writers do that.
- What about yoga? Dance? Holy shit…who am I and what am I doing?
After that identity crisis was over, I landed on the answer. Being a life enthusiast.
I started using the term “life enthusiast” to describe myself on this blog about five or so years ago. For people coming to your blog, they might be wondering….what’s this all about? After I had been blogging for a couple of years, I knew I needed to fine-tune my tagline and theme.
It was really difficult to label myself as just one thing—an author, a dancer, a yogi, a blogger, a content marketer, and an entrepreneur. How do you pick just one? But also how do you describe my stream of consciousness blog, so it doesn’t seem like a hot mess?
Life enthusiast became my catch-all phrase, since it already encompassed my approach to life. Because I’m enthusiastic about so many beautiful things, I can’t choose just one thing. I also don’t think I should have to choose. Life is too beautiful and complex and full of adventures to settle on just one thing.
So yep…still choosing to be a life enthusiast.
Asking ourselves what our enthusiasm is…damn, that’s a good exercise, isn’t it? If you don’t know what it is, I highly recommend exploring the idea.
If you are at all interested in hearing my conversation with Victoria, here are the episode details…
In this episode, I talk about holding onto your life enthusiasm and understanding the power of taking a step back to revitalize your spirit. I discuss how words and movement are interlinked, managing expectations and perfectionism, and the realities of paying your dues with new endeavors. I also talk about the double-edged sword of being a life enthusiast.
You’ll also hear some Britt backstories I’ve never told before.
Like my go-to college term paper topic circa 1999-2001—how computers are evil and the internet is going to destroy all of us (not relevant at all today, is it?).
And the dictionary game I masterminded as a kid, where I used to make my dad give me a word to look up and I would find it as quickly as possible. Perhaps “being a big nerd” is actually my enthusiasm. 🙂
Last but not least, special thanks to Victoria for taking the time to come back on Love Your Enthusiasm to host the show.