As I have gotten older, I realized how important it is to have a hobby - something that excites you, allows total immersion and acts as almost a vacation from every day life. When you are younger, you are encouraged to take an art class, play a sport, join a club - not to mention the summers, which usually was a free for all! As you enter adulthood, this gets harder, because not only is time less abundant, but we can often get stuck in our ways and then of course there is the fear of trying something new. You know those moments growing up when your parents or a friend urged you to try something new and you hesitated, but then once you were doing said thing you were happy that you did? I recently read the book 'Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance' by Angela Duckworth and she writes about how it can be daunting to find such a thing, rather she recommends to deepen your interests in things that pull you in, which could lead to amazing things like discovering an unawakened passion or even better yet, your life's calling. I for one struggled for years to find my passion. Here are some of the ways that I discovered mine.
Growing up I loved a lot of things on the surface - fashion, cooking, travel and gardens - I would call these all top line interests. Not until I started cultivated and deepening each of these did I realize that they could turn into. I always loved beautiful things, even since I was a young girl - I can still recall my great grandmother's silk settee and my grandmother's wrought iron garden seating with floral cushions. One day, I decided to pick up a camera so that I could try to capture the things that caught my eye. Little did I know, seven years later that it would become one of my top passions, but also hobbies and livelihood.
Cultivating a Hobby Tips & Tricks:
- Try something new - Have you always been interested in something, but never actually tried it, well I urge you to do so. Not only could you find said' thing' to be interesting, but you could have fun, meet like-minded souls and discover a new hobby. As Elizabeth Gilbert says in her book Big Magic (I seriously recommend this book!), “Do whatever brings you to life, then. Follow your own fascinations, obsessions, and compulsions. Trust them. Create whatever causes a revolution in your heart.”
- Dedicate time - We seems to live in a 'busier and busier' world, but I truly believe we make time and should make time for what we love. There are so many time suckers out there, like the vortex of social media and that impulse to always pick up your phone. My advice, leave the phone at home (unless photography is your thing) and carve out time after work or on weekends to partake in your hobby that makes you happy.
- Keep at it - Say you try something once, like knitting or painting and you deem yourself terrible, my advice is to keep at it. If I would have stopped after my first baking disaster or the first year of photographs I ever took, I never would have gotten better or where I am today. As Gilbert also says in her book, '“It’s a simple and generous rule of life that whatever you practice, you will improve at.”
'Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive'.
- Howard Thurman
Images via FMN / Quote above discovered in Brené Brown's (amazing book) The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You'r Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Really Are