I was thinking about old school America Online the other day and how much I cared about my profile at the time. I remembered there was a “Hobbies” section and that it was filled with things that I actually did. Like, real hobbies.
Somewhere along the way, I feel like my hobbies became “interests” – things I enjoyed, but didn’t actually do. I don’t act anymore, but I go see shows. I don’t sing anymore, but I listen to music. I don’t perform in dance shows anymore, but I get drunk at weddings and jump around to “Shout!”
When did this change happen? I think it was a gradual thing that began when I graduated high school. First of all, I wasn’t in Rhode Island anymore and after meeting a lot of new people, I was slowly figuring out that I wasn’t as great at my hobbies as I thought I was. I started to doubt my abilities and instead of saying “screw it! I like performing! I’m going to keep doing it because it makes me happy!” I started to shy away from the things that used to make me who I was.
I also think the change happened because as you grow older, I feel like people stop asking you what your hobbies are and switch over to asking what you do for a living. I’m fine with asking people about what they do to pay the bills, but I hate how we ask it in such a way that implies our jobs should be our new hobby. I don’t think anyone has asked me about my hobbies since I was in high school (unless you count sleazy dudes ask what I do for “fun”). So, I decided to ask myself the question, “Mary, what are your hobbies?”
I don’t know.
I really don’t know anymore. I don’t really read, take any classes, create anything…my hobby seems to be sitting on my ass.
Why don’t I do anything? I’m not really sure, but I do think there is a fear of failure there. I’ve stopped letting myself mess up, which is a huge part of what makes us all so delightfully human. You can’t mess up if you’re having fun, but I haven’t figured out how to chill out yet.
I’m looking for something that’s going to make me feel alive again, but I don’t even know where to begin.
What are YOUR hobbies?