Something strange has been happening to me over the last 1,5 year or so. I’ve lost interest and passion for things that I had been doing for a long time.
I made a huge decision in June this year. I quit playing my clarinet in an orchestra. For more than a year I barely had fun playing in the group setting and I just didn’t see any point in continuing this way. It wasn’t fair for my fellow musicians. I kept making up excuses to not attend so that was a huge red flag. I figured it was better to quit than to keep doing something I don’t enjoy. What was more strange is that I barely felt anything making this decision. A bit of relief, a bit of guilt, but that was it. Mind you, I’ve played in orchestras since I was 10 years old, so I had been doing it for 23 years. Quitting something you’ve been doing for 23 years should be something big, or shouldn’t it?
This wasn’t the only activity I stopped enjoying, though. I’ve felt the same way about going to concerts too. That was something I did since 2006, but when I visited Roadburn Festival in 2018 I just didn’t enjoy it at all. I went to one more concert that year, but this year I only went to one concert total. I just can’t get “into it” anymore and the crowds annoyed me. Strange.
Then, there’s also work related stuff. I barely write blog posts anymore, I just can’t muster the will to do it. I don’t care, somehow. Writing this is also tough. Then there’s visiting conferences. I’ve been doing it, but honestly, I don’t enjoy it so much anymore. I like giving a talk or a workshop, but the conference experience is draining for me. I remember going to conferences and enjoying reaching out to people and making new connections. Now, I often feel drained after a couple of hours of conversation. The talks themselves seem to be about the same thing over and over again, too.
It’s not all misery here. I’ve discovered powerlifting, something that I pour a lot of my free time in. I progressed a lot and it makes me feel good on a mental and physical level.
Writing all these things out, it seems like I’m a whining asshole and maybe a depressed one at that. But I don’t feel depressed at all. I just feel weirded out that I don’t enjoy the things I used to and that I don’t enjoy things many other people seem to enjoy immensely. Is it age? Is it that I need more variety or I’ll get bored? How can I lose passion for music, something I never imagined possible? Should I accept this? Fight it? What can I do? So many questions!
As is often with these things, I wonder if I’m the crazy one. I cannot possibly be the first person to experience this. In the odd chance that you’re reading this and you have advise to offer, please do so. Because I’m hella confused, I can tell you that.