What makes us feel alive

Whenever I am asked about passion, my answer tends to revolve around three pillars which, I assumed, defined my own person and character. A smile would be drawn on my face as I mentioned reading, writing and drawing. This trilogy, although carry much simplicity in their raw form, were the reflection of who I was, including video games and movies, of course. Little did I know that the word was to define so much more.

Passion is a synonym for love, desire and intense enthusiasm. It is a strong and ever-flowing emotion that tends to draw those who may be asked of it into their deepest and safest burrows, forcing them to retreat as a tidal wave receding beyond everything in its path.

As a teenager, I wasn’t really fond of going out and used to spend countless hours on my couch, reading classical novels or more contemporary ones. I tried to capture the very essence of what drove my favorite characters into lust or destruction, what made them those shining figure that, through lines, inspired generations of readers. I felt emotions, and yet I remained blind.

As the days went by, I met what Churchill’s used to call “Black Dog” which refers to those bad days and mood swings. I found myself getting bored by almost everything, beauty started fading and colors weren’t as bright as they used to be. I let go of what I happily called my “passion” and did nothing, letting months and years go by with no productivity whatsoever.

I felt anger, sadness and despair. It was indeed a strong and barely controllable feeling. But the colors were still fading away and my hands were still worn out. And in this cold and narrow room that felt smaller each day, I continued to live.

Soon, the bland and greyness that had been surrounding me became my safe zone and home. Passion should not be expected to knock on your doorstep, nicely asking us to leave its comfort. Instead, it pushed me out of it while I terrifyingly clung and held on to what little of myself was left. Yet by being forced to leave that safe zone, a bright flame lit up within me. The cold core of my crooked body had been ignited. And as the spring chased a long, cold winter around me, nothing was warmer nor more colorful than my passion, whose ember I could feel within my stomach and core, making my heart beat and caressing my soul.

It gave me strength but also hope, as I was ready to fight for my passion and protect it at all cost. Passion offered me her heart and her soul, made me a better person and showed me beauty. I learnt how to love again, how to admire, how to feel. Behind every smile, every touch and every look, I saw the flame grow bigger and stronger and embrace all of my soul.

Passion this time, embodied a person.

It came to me preaching about love, teaching me that one’s self-acceptance and devotion could indeed be passionate, true to one’s self and be put ahead of anything else.

Passion made me reclaim what was taken away from me. Passion made me read, write and draw once more through more open and colorful eyes.

Kamélia Bourahla is a 19-year-old Business school student from Algeria. She’s an aspiring writer, having fallen in love with books & arts at a very young age.

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