Many start out as actors but lose their focus along the way, for various reasons. Most of those who drift away never return. For some however, the years and decades pass, but somewhere later in life they re-connect with the craft, they long to practice once again – for them, the flame did not die, it merely quieted.
Losing focus on doing the work that is important to you (for any length of time, not just decades) is the consequence of allowing yourself to blow with the wind – making decisions in order to placate how you feel in the moment, or making decisions in order to meet what you think are other people’s expectations of you.
The way forward is to remain focused and committed to the work that is important to you, regardless of how you feel, regardless of other people, regardless of the complexities of your situation. The flame may not die, but never allow it to even be quieted.