I doubt the phrase “some of us have never had one hobby we’re entirely dedicated to” will apply universally to all people who read this, but I know it applies to a fair share of them.
I’m one of those people. I’ve had numerous hobbies throughout my life — varying anywhere from watching anime (guilty as charged) and playing video games, to trying to learn the piano. While I’ve greatly enjoyed most things I’ve done with my life — because why else would I have done them, right? — I couldn’t find the one thing I wanted to dedicate myself fully to.
That’s when I decided: I need to find something. Something that would enthrall and excite me enough to grab my attention for a long time, to make me feel like this is something I truly want to grow in, and want to tie my life to, be it just for the sake of hobbies and having fun, or for the sake of developing my career in.
I struggled with that, but I managed. So now I’m here to offer some things that help me.
Talk to your friends that have hobbies
I know a lot of people who are very dedicated to the one thing they love. I know traditional painters, I know fashion designers, photographers, IT fanatics, people who really want to get into game development or people who collect keychains.
Hobbies are incredibly varied and can come in any shape or form. Talking to the people who have hobbies, and who found them naturally really helps — you find out what they feel, how they got around to doing the things they love, and what you should be on the lookout for.
In addition, it is generally incredibly uplifting and inspiring to listen to others talk about the things and the people they truly, deeply love.
Change up your routine
As I’d mentioned above, hobbies come in all shapes and forms. Do you work at an office, and generally lead a sedentary lifestyle? Make a goal — try to explore all the parks in your city, or to go to the swimming pool every Saturday.
Do you, on the contrary, lead a very hectic, physically active lifestyle? Try to unwind and, for once, sit down with a book. Doing something you’re not that used to can open you up to a number of possibilities and interests you didn’t know existed.
Make a list of the things you love
Listen, I know this sounds a bit ridiculous and totally generic, because this is the type of advice you’ll see on all inspo-Instagrams or life-improvement books.
The fact that this advice is so popular doesn’t mean it’s useless. On the contrary — it is so popular because it’s useful.
Sometimes, hobbies come from the unexplored areas of our own personalities and mentalities, but sometimes, on the contrary, they come from combining the things you already know about yourself.
Do you follow a number of Instagram accounts that specialise in photography because they just make you feel something? Do you like flowers? Hey — that’s a path to nature photography.
Do you like makeup? Do you follow fashion devotedly? Being a makeup artist is fun and creative (and, hey, could bring you a lot of money if you were to make it into a carreer).
There’s a lot of ways to turn the things you love already into hobbies — you just need to mindmap them, and think about it a little.
Drop the self-deprecation
Are there things you’ve always wanted to do, but were too afraid of doing? Ask yourself why.
Are there things you feel you would look dumb doing? Ask yourself: dumb in front of whom, exactly.
The ones impeding us and our development are usually us, ourselves. The constant insecurity, the fear that it’s too late to start out on something, the dreadful sensation of having to put yourself out there for others to see — those usually come from deep within.
I know it’s hard to just drop the insecurities, believe me. I really do. But just like anything in life, it’s a process. Believe me when I tell you that the people who love you would encourage you in your creative beginnings, and that’s a good start.
You don’t even have to put everything out for others to see at first. Wanna try drawing or creative writing? Start by drawing/writing something incredibly self-indulgent, just for yourself. Or do it for your best friend who really loves something very particular.
This is how a lot of hobbies start.
Treat it as an outlet
Like sports? Get frustrated at work easily? Try boxing classes.
Had a shitty week, but don’t want to talk about it too openly to others? Draw something relaxing.
Saw a beautiful dress, but there was this one detail that completely ruined it? Try designing something in the same direction.
A lot of hobbies start as creative, physical, emotional and other outlets of our own problems, dreams, frustrations, aspirations… anything, really. And that’s why a lot of them stick.
Remember — it’s okay not to find the one
I know this advice is probably not the reason why you opened this article in the first place, but I still feel the need to share it.
A lot of people don’t have the one hobby they turn into their life’s work. A lot of people do.
A lot of people just do a whole bunch of things they find enjoyable. A lot of people switch hobbies every month. Some people stick to the one thing from early teen years, up until retirement — and they’re, actually, the minority.
It doesn’t make you any less valid or important for both society as a whole, or for just your group of friends if you don’t have the one thing that you dedicate yourself to. A lot of us are Jacks/Jills of all trades, and that’s perfectly fine.
Actually, to quote my wonderful best friend: “It’s so much fun when people try to get into things you love because they’re just easily into everything, instead of being single-mindedly dedicated to the one and only thing. They’re pleasant to show things to, and it’s wonderful when they try to figure out what it is you love, and why you love it so much.”
So yeah. Look for hobbies if that’s what you want, and I truly support you. But don’t worry — you’re not any less special if you don’t have one.