June 23, 2008

Over Dose On Passion

This has a lot to do with cancer. Hold tight. I’ll get to it:

I’ve become a White Sox fan in a matter of a week. I live in Chicago and last week went to my first baseball game since I was a child rooting for the Pittsburgh Pirates in Three Rivers stadium with my grandpa. I’ve lived in Chicago for 5 years and never felt at home until I went to the Sox game last week. Is it the proximity to the plethora of polish meat products that makes me feel so at home, or just that Sox fans are nice, down to earth people, devoid of the obnoxious, frat boy aura that permeates the Cubs and Wrigley field only a few miles from my home on the north side?

I now care about the White Sox. I care that they lost a bunch of games this week to the Cubs. I am rooting passionately for my new team. I am an all or nothing kind of gal, zero to eighty in two seconds. I’ve been this way since birth. It is why I persist in careers that are competitive. It is why I got treatment even though I had no health insurance when I was diagnosed with cancer. When I care about something – get the hell out of my way because I give 350%.

This kind of mentality may be enviable to a self-helper clinging to Oprah’s-book-of-the-year, seeking a dose of motivation, commitment, and actualizing of hopes and dreams (sorry to slam ya Oprah.) But I care about enough and always have. And with cancer I care about too much: I am passionately invested in my unrealistic hope that 2 tumors on my jugular will disappear by my August 15 check up, I’m passionately invested in Pubmed articles, debating with my doctors, and looking to Israeli medicine for the what’s-next in thyroid cancer treatment.

I have room left in my life to care passionately about people and the political fate of the country. But sometimes, anything more than that feels too exhausting, like a passion overdose, like something that would fry an organ, or leave me dehydrated. Could I just tone it down, care less, be semi-invested in the White Sox? Maybe, I’ve never tired being semi-passionate about anything. It sounds so unappealing that I’d rather dip my toes in the cool stream of apathy and disregard.

I’m probably being whiney, melodramatic, and narcissistic but sometimes I just think screw it, after investing in the huge project of cancer, I don’t really want to give anymore to ANYTHING. So maybe I’ll take my new found love, the White Soxs, and squirrel them away for an era in my life when I have room for more passion on my plate. For now, my plate just might be full.

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