chitchat

The thing about hobbies

“I NEED A HOBBY!”

I remember flopping down on my bed a few years ago, wracking my brain trying to think of ways to occupy my time other than eating, drinking and taking bubble baths. When you’re in your late 20’s and don’t have anything to do with your time outside of work other than think about work or think about how depressing it is that you’re thinking about work, you know it’s time to make some sort of lifestyle change. At the above-mentioned moment, I decided that my new hobby was going to be…dun dun DUN…fitness.

I followed all the right Instagram accounts, downloaded meal prep plans and spent far more money than I would like to admit here on a personal trainer. A few months and thousands of dollars later (yeah, I’m not kidding, I said thousands…), I was no more fit or happy than I had been that day on my bed. Lifting heavy was just making me more hungry and, although the meal plan was pretty delicious, I would come home from a workout and carbo-load like it was nobody’s business. Also, for two weeks straight I couldn’t lift my arms past shoulder-height. I decided that the personal trainer was hurting me more than he was helping me (physically and monetarily). This wasn’t the soulmate fitness regimen that I was looking for.

OK, so maybe that attempt at a hobby was a bust, I told myself. But the world was my freaking oyster and I was determined to find more activities and interests that made me happy.

Over the years, other obsessions have come and gone. There was that one time I tried to learn how to read Tarot cards, or that other time I went on a month-long hot yoga binge (I still love you, hot yoga, just not everyday), and then there was that time I thought that one-stroke painting was going to be “MY THING!”. All of those things were fun for the moment, but not something I felt any passion to stick with long-term. I learned little bits here and there that I keep in my back pocket, but I’m pretty sure that I haven’t picked up a paintbrush or done a Celtic Cross spread in years.

And that’s something I’m realizing about hobbies.They’re not always just these things we can decide on a whim we want to do and automatically be good at. They’re skills and activities that we have true, vested interest in that we need to take time to hone. To really put our all into and not worry about how good or bad we are at it. Hobbies are things that we do because we love them, not because they’re what we excel at. If that were the case, then my only hobbies would be shopping on Amazon, eating cheese and blowing out my hair (#noshame).

Instead, a lot of my hobbies now are things that I have really grown to love over the years and don’t truly get tired of. I mean, of course working out everyday can be a drag, and sometimes I find it difficult to come up with a topic to write about, or other times the soap I make crumbles to bits and I have to start over again, but that’s OK. Because at the core of it, a hobby should be something that fulfills you and makes you feel like a more well-rounded version of yourself.

I look around at the people in my life and am in awe of some of their hobbies. Those amazing chefs and those musical souls are what make me strive to follow my dreams. I know it may sound cheesy, but without seeing how devoted my boyfriend is to music and getting some encouragement from him, I probably wouldn’t be writing this right now.

So, here are some things about hobbies.

  1. They come in all shapes and sizes, so don’t be ashamed of what your hobby may look like. (YES, binge-watching Netflix can definitely count as a hobby!)
  2. They bring you happiness and fulfill a little piece of you that you may not have even known needed fulfilling.
  3. They’re there for you when you need them and give you a sense of purpose. If not purpose, then they at least give you a sense of life beyond the four walls of your workplace or home.
  4. Whatever it is, you have to keep at it because when you do more of what makes you happy, you get *surprise surprise* happier!

So get out there, or stay in if that’s where your hobby lives, and have FUN. I know that I’m going to spend this snow day getting some much-needed soap making time in. ‘Til next time!

XOXO
Amanda

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