What ever happened to excitement? Pure, unadulterated excitement?
Perhaps the key is in the word unadulterated – not contaminated with adultness.
I was heading off to a photo shoot this evening and was feeling a bit nervous about it. I was running through my head all the things that might screw up and attempting to work out solutions in advance. This is, of course, fairly pointless, as it’s only when I’m in the situation will I be able to fully assesses what the actual problems are and devise suitable work-arounds.
It’s one thing to know this intellectually and an entirely different thing to feel it emotionally.
Part of me was definitely looking forward to the shoot. Although the set up was not ideally lit and time was much tighter than I would have liked, the person I was to photograph was a creative, intelligent writer with a fascinating cultural background, and it was likely to be an interesting experience creating a connection with her in the process of trying to produce a captivating portrait.
On the drive there I found myself mulling over my nervousness. Was it not possible to feel excitement instead of anxiety? And then I was struck by the thought, I couldn’t remember the last time I felt excited about something - really, truly excited - not infected with anxiety about what might go wrong.
And I really do wonder whether it was as far back as childhood.
As an adult I have learned to suppress feelings of excitement to try and avoid crushing disappointment if things don’t work out. I haven’t dared to allow myself to completely let go. There is always a part of me – that adult voice – which steps in to protect me from my own emotions: “What if it all falls apart? What if they fail to turn up? What if you embarrass yourself? What if it turns out to be a mistake? Then where will you be, eh?”
I can feel interest, enthusiasm, even passion – but excitement feels like a word I used to understand but no longer do.
Is it possible to hold on to pure excitement as we grow up, or even recapture it? Or is it something that requires a level of innocence – once lost, never to be regained – and as such, is left behind in childhood?