2011: The Year of Passion

A week or two before the wedding, our videographers (I want to call them cinematographers, because their stuff is so ridiculously beautiful) invited us over to film some “interviews” with us individually, to include in our highlights video (due in January!).  I sat upstairs watching Frasier for 15 minutes with a very large, very friendly cat while he was whisked down to the basement studio, where he was asked questions about me, him, us… where we’d met, what we liked to do, what our first date was (thank heavens we answered the same thing!), and which word we’d use to best describe each other. I was caught off guard when they’d asked me for my word best describing him. If you’ve been reading for a while, you know I’m far from a girl of few words. I have Lots to Say about Lots of Things, the wordcount only growing the more I care about something. (Thank you for continually putting up with me!) To sum up someone in a single word wasn’t something that came easily, and I blurted out something awful like “calm” (?!) – but had to ask him, after we were finished, what he’d chosen for me.

“Passionate”. I smiled when he’d told me, because it wasn’t the first time someone had said I do things with my entire heart. I think 2010 has been the year of growth, the year of choice, the year I’ve put on the shoes that always seemed two sizes too big and clamped my feet down hard until they fit comfortably. The year I finally realised the true power that everyone holds, to live the life you’ve always wanted. Not in the material sense, with a timeshare in Jamaica or the big fireplace in the living room, or the kitchen with shiny pots and pans hanging from the ceiling. Not the working kind, with a nameplate on your door, fancy letters following your name on your resume, or a personal assistant. Not the kind where you can take a day off to do whatever you want, whenever you want, because all those things, though nice, don’t make life life. They just occupy little corners of it, but by themselves, aren’t really the be all and end all. No, what makes the life you’ve always dreamed of living is the attitude with which you choose to face it. It’s so easy to coast through simply waiting for “one day”, when we have this or that, when we have more money, or friends, or the perfect house or job or partner. It’s so easy make excuses for life not being what you want, while sitting there doing nothing about it. I wanted to stop being afraid. I wanted to stop letting circumstance team up with the inner critic and shackle me down, away from everything the world has to offer, and everything I never believed I could offer the world. 2010 was a year of determination. 2010 was a year of growth.I don’t think the door needs to close on that determination, but I think 2011 is a time for another door to open, and the spotlight to shine on something else. I want it to shine on passion. I want to continue to try my bloody well damnedest to be better, be more to the world, have more of an impact, and I think the only way to do that is to tackle absolutely everything with absolutely everything I have. I want to read more books and take more notes, jotting down beautiful sentences and locking them away in memory for future inspiration. I want to teach more classes, speak more publicly, more confidently, and more passionately, desperately trying to make my delivery line up with the passion I feel inside. I want to love harder, not just in my relationship but in my friendships and family relationships; have my Dad over and cook him something that took absolutely hours, but that we’ll enjoy an incredible amount. I want to do more with my friends, see art exhibitions, throw more dinner parties, laugh more, and tell them more often how much I love them. I want to attempt everything on that list, even the tough stuff, and give all of it all I’ve got.  I want to learn more about psychology and science, study more Middle English, observe humanity and social interaction with fervor and keep more of a record of life, emotion, and introspection. I want to take more photographs, see more sights, spend more of my time filling it up with experience and future memory, and less time in front of a computer screen. I want to make my little cat feel like the most loved creature in all the world, even if it means spending an hour playing catch and dangling fishes on strings instead of watching EastEnders. I want to take care of myself and always choose health over convenience. I want to follow through on the dreams I’ve been keeping locked up inside my head, keeping prisoner from the possibility of soaring, for fear of failure. I want to sing whenever I want to with every fibre of my being, without hesitation or reserve. I want to see all the sights and soak up all the sunrays of faraway places. I want to make a plan and stick to it knowing that sometimes we have to go through the tough stuff to get where we were meant to be, and I want to face everything with a spirit of grace, dedication, acceptance and awareness.

2010’s been great for growth. But 2011 is going to be fuelled by passion and hope that by the end of it, I’ll be that much closer to doing what I was truly meant to be doing… and being who I was truly meant to be. What are you hoping for in 2011?


  1. I think at the end of 2011, someone should write a film called the Passion of Emily-Jane. 🙂 But really it’s true. I think I would have chosen a similar word for you, from what I have read at least. I think determination is a sub-word of Passion–seeing as ifyou are passionate–truly passionate you probably have the determination and will to make it turn out exactly the way it should turn out, you have the determination and will to get your point across and make people listen. And that’s what you do. You are so passionate about everything you write about it and everything you want people to read that it makes it that much more enticing to come to your blog each time. I am glad to see you want to continue with that passion and continue creating messages for people to take in and live out in their own way. Happy 2011!

  2. So much you want to accomplish in 2011 – I love it! I would definitely choose the same word for you. 🙂 You have taught me so much through your writing and friendship in 2010 that I just can’t wait to see how you take on 2011!

  3. Well I think it’s great that you chose calm for your husband… he’s your rock and he’s where you find solace at the end of the day. I think that’s pretty darn awesome!

    For 2011, I am hoping for peace. 2010 has been tumultuous for me. It’s kicked my butt. So for 2011, I hope it’s more full of peace.

    1. I think it will be full of peace. You’re going to have a great start to the year (Paris! Paris!) and it’ll bring so much joy to you you’ll come back ready to face the year refreshed, calm, and at peace. 🙂

  4. this is precious (i especially love the part about making your cat feel like the most loved creature! i want to do the same for mine every day!). thank you for sharing; this is inspiring. i often feel the same kind of desires, but have trouble putting them into words as you have just done. :]


  5. this is beautiful and inspiring, emily. i’m hoping to continue on the journey to finding my happy self and get healthy. i know there are tough times ahead for me so i’m looking toward 2011 anxious and with respect. at the same time i’m excited about who and how i might be a year from now so i’m ready to tackle the new year with everything it has in store for me 🙂

    1. I’m excited for you! It’s great going into a year knowing what and who you want to be… I think you’ll be able to look back on 2011 and smile, and say you accomplished your goal 🙂

  6. Wow, this is super inspirational. Growth’s a great starting place for preparing yourself for the Year of Passion. Just in reading your words over the last few months, I’ve figured out that you’re definitely passionate. I hope you don’t hold back, because you’ve got quite a few ideas floating around in that head of yours that you’re not letting grow. Don’t be afraid to do what’s in your heart. It sounds like your husband loves you exactly for that very quality.

    I have no idea what my word for 2011 would be, but I’ve got less than a week to figure it out. Any suggestions?

    1. I’m curious as to those ideas that I’m not letting grow. It’s when somebody calls me out on something like that that I feel like I need to rectify it – I know there are a couple of things I would love to do that I haven’t yet – I do hope you’re right and that I can muster up the courage to get them out into the world this year. 🙂

      I think you have so much to give the world and so much to teach, I think 2011 should be your year of inspiration – allowing yourself to get out there, do things, spread messages that will make other people feel inspired to be better 🙂

  7. I have one book to finish writing and another to start, but that’s just one of my personal goals for 2011. I feel like I’m in for a good year.

    Very excited to see what you tackle next.

  8. I love that you chose calm for him- I don’t think that’s awful at all, that’s another way of saying that he’s your rock, and after a year of ups and downs I think that’s the high praise 🙂

    I think the next year is going to be fabulous for you, from the way that you write it seems like a lot of this year was about finding out who you don’t want to be, what you don’t want in your life, and what you don’t want to be held back by – it was change that came from a place of reacting against things. It sounds like the big difference is that next year your action is coming from a place of cultivating the life you want, inside and out. Both are 110% necessary, but I think phase two is a lot more fun to be in the thick of 🙂

    1. That’s a REALLY interesting way of looking at this past year. I hadn’t thought of it like that – this year kind of was about establishing standards, not settling, and eliminating the bad things from life – this next year will be a springboard for a life less weighed down, and more full of action 🙂 Thanks!

  9. em i loooooooove this post!!! you are already hands down the most passionate person i know and you definately wear your heart on your sleeve and i love that about you. thanks for the reminder to ‘give everything everything you’ve got’ because life is way more fulfiling that way. 2010 was amazing to watch you grow and i cant wait to see you take on 2011 with passion. you continue to inspire me!

  10. I would have definitely picked the same word for you too! You ARE passionate about the things you want to be. I’m looking forward to being a better & healthier person at the end of 2011.

    1. It means SUCH a lot that you would’ve picked the same word! 🙂 Thank you! I think your 2011 is going to be fantastic, and you’ll be able to look back on 2011 and smile!

  11. that sounds awesome. i don’t think i’ve really thought about a plan for the coming year. i think that so much of my plan revolves around school and finishing school and starting school and getting in to school.

    i have spent a lot of this past year improving myself, one day at a time, one thing at a time. as i’m aware of something that needs to change, i’ve been TRYING to be diligent about changing it. of course, change takes work and dedication and unfortunately, too often i find myself great about it for a while and then it falls off as i settle back into ‘life as it was before’, so maybe 2011 will be about commitment to the things i need to change. committing to try a little harder, to not let extra effort or inconvenience get in my way and really become a better, more well rounded, healthier person.

    1. I think that’s the key – realising that something does need to change and seeing the discrepancy between where you are and where you want to be – and just continually trying to close the gap. I wish you all the best of luck in 2011! 🙂

  12. Hi Emily,

    I can’t wait to see what your cinematographers have in store for us in your highlights video! 😀

    Oh don’t worry about your growing wordcount, I enjoy reading what you write and the way you write so I don’t really realize you are saying a lot. 🙂

    I agree with you that attitude is very important when it comes to living life. With the right attitude we can face challenges boldly and create the lives we want. We are after all ultimately responsible for our own lives, this means that it is up to us to shape it according to our vision. This means it is up to us to live as passionately as we should.

    I love your passion for 2011. Just reading all the things you hope to do and give your all for tells me you will have a very exciting year ahead.

    Haha, well you already know that I want to improve my foresight for 2011. That to me is the most important skill I could hope to have at this point in time.

    Thank you for sharing this post! I hope 2011 will be a fantastic year for you! I can’t wait to follow your year of passion through your blog! 🙂

    Irving the Vizier

  13. Oooooo…I LOVE that Albert Einstein quote!

    This is great, Em. I agree whole-heartedly with what you have to say about life because it’s basically my outlook too 🙂 You rock!

  14. I love this line:

    “what makes the life you’ve always dreamed of living is the attitude with which you choose to face it. ”

    When I read it, it made me stop in my tracks and really think about that statement. You’re right — it really is all about our attitude and how we approach things in life. And I really want to work on my attitude in 2011 and believe in myself more.

    This post is simply beautiful, much like you!


    1. Oh, thank you! I know that 2011 is going to be amazing for you – you dream so big and have such passion, and I know your year is going to be full of adventure, growth, great experiences and deep connections – I can’t wait to read all about it 🙂

  15. If you try to tackle everything, you’ll end up wearing yourself out. What I’ve learned from life and blogging is that you can’t please everyone and you could find fulfillment through a calmness. Simplicity is made through abadonment. Cutting things out of your life that wear you down, can help make you happy.

    I’m happy that you are motivated about life. You’re really cool and you have an energetic spirit. Love and hope for the new year!

    1. I think there’s a giant difference between being a people-pleaser solely to please others and being the best person you can be so you can be more to other people, but be more to yourself and give and get more out of life in the process. 🙂 Happy new year!

  16. Oh this is so good! I love the contrast between growth and passion. It’s like…you’ve been through the really hard part, and now it can only get better. You truly inspire me, Emily. You remind me that grabbing life by the cajones is the only way to go! 😉 I’m truly looking forward to everything 2011 has to offer! (Oh! And I’m officially blogging here now: http://www.lifeismyfavorite.com) Yay! 😛

  17. Hello Emily and Happy New Year!
    I’m a little late to this party, I have not had much time for the net lately, but that will change in 2011, though possibly not right away.
    Passion is I believe key to everything. What could we accomplish if we were all so passionate? As a very passionate person myself I hear every word that you write here.
    So, thank you for the inspiration! Finding you and others since I started blogging will be one of the things I reflect on with passionate gratitude as I usher in the New Year.
    Wishing you all the best!

    1. I look forward to seeing you back in 2011, and I hope this year is a wonderful one, full of passion and reasons for appreciation, for you 🙂 Happy new year!

  18. I am so in awe of your goals and desires for 2011. You really inspire me so much Em, and make me feel like I should sit down and really ask myself what I want out of this year as well.. It sure as heck is a lot of passion.

    1. Love, you have passion by the bucketload and the way you go out there and spread it around everywhere you go is the true inspiration here. I am lucky to know such an incredible spirit 🙂

  19. I’m sure you’ve gotten this a ton of times, but you’re an amazing writer! Good luck on your goal for 2011, from the posts I’ve read it seems like your passion is a natural thing for you 🙂

  20. Simply put–I love this!
    You are so full of light and passion, I feel like it races at me with every word I read. I wish you nothing but the most passion-filled 2011 your little heart can hold!
    Aaaand, I think this year for me, is what 2010 was for you! Maybe I will need a little encouragement along the way. I know you’re busy living this full life, but expect an email now and again from me requesting encouragement. I hope that’s OK. 🙂

    1. I am SO happy to see your face again around here!! 🙂 I am so so excited for this year for you, and of COURSE, I would love to exchange more than a few emails with you along the way!

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