Hobbies for the idle mind

Houston McLaury-

Something that I’ve often taken for granted in these twenty-one years of life is how wonde rful hobbies can truly be. With our hands, we can do just about anything. Climb to tall peaks we never thought we could climb to, make sweet sounds we could never make with our voice, and write sweet honeyed words on paper to express an inner self we rarely let others see. Through all that we do in our everyday lives, a new hobby can come from it. And through these hobbies, we can find others through these new hobbies, better express ourselves, and occupy ourselves in the free time we have. Honestly, now more than ever I find myself in need of hobbies, ways to distract my mind from coursework, the future, and all that it entails.

Now, how do I mean that hobbies help us find other people? Well, for one, hobbies establish a commonality between two people. It offers conversations based on the knowledge both people have on said subject, building relationships through this sharing of knowledge, and experience both people have. This is a skill you need to have if you have not already built it in college. Beyond college, there are clubs you can register for, and some you can join, but beyond this, you will need to create meaningful relationships with your coworkers, your neighbors, and even people you see regularly while doing your intended hobby. Without exposing yourself to this early on, without putting yourself out there, the next stage of life will become extremely hard.

It would be pretty dumb to just write that and say that the only use of making relationships is to get better at making relationships. Through the relationships you build, you can become more absorbed in the hobby you have. Say you have a hobby of drawing or sculpting. By showing your work to other people in that same hobby, they can help you get better at the hobby, critiquing you in useful ways on how to improve your craft. Not only that, but you get to share and have so many wonderful experiences with so many different people through digging into their hobbies, and learning more about what they love.

For example, I’ve run a Dungeons and Dragons campaign with some friends from high school for about two years now, and through running this game, I have learned so much about my friends through the things we talk about on Saturday night. I would never trade away those nights for anything. And without these memories, these moments of familiarity, learning, and laughter, the world would feel a whole lot emptier.

Through our hobbies, we can often express ourselves in ways we rarely allow in our public life. Take journaling, where the events of the day, and our thoughts on the day, are all written out and laid bare for us to look back to. We not only gain an outlet to express what we’ve felt, but we can look back on that journal and remember who we were during that time. This isn’t just true for journaling, but for any number of hobbies one can do like sculpting, woodworking, painting, drawing, playing an instrument, and singing. And even with hobbies that aren’t specifically about expression, we can often find ourselves able to show ourselves through the accessories needed for that hobby.

I was young when my parents tried to instill the sanctity of expression, and the ways of expression when they tried to make me learn the piano. It didn’t work all that well, as I’ve forgotten a lot of it, but it was not for naught. My hours spent over the piano helped me to occupy myself and be okay with occupying myself. I was young, and I was rambunctious, but sitting at the piano with the sharp keys for every note helped me to find ways to occupy my time. I was able to use my hands to make something, to create something that I could hear and play with, so I went with it for as long as I could. And, even though I did forget a majority of how to play the piano, I still remember the time I spent practicing, playing, and hoping to improve on my hobby.

Although it may be easy to neglect our hobbies, thanks to so many professional hobbyists, never stop trying! Continue to improve, to be better, and one day you’ll look back at where you started and be amazed at how far you’ve come. Never let the world take who you are, and what your hobbies mean to you, away from you. Go out into the world, and be wholly and wonderfully you with minds and hands hungry for hobbies.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *