Random-Flavored Words

Resurrecting Old Hobbies

September 07, 2019

When I was younger, my extracurriculars were centered around three main things: piano, tennis, and writing. I took piano lessons, practiced two hours a day, and did countless exams and recitals. I played on the high school tennis team all four years and practiced diligently on the weekends. My writing hobby was more obscure, but I wrote persistently in my journal and even completed a short novel (written in pencil on binder paper)! Over the years, as I juggled with more and more aspects of growing up such as college, jobs, and relationships, those hobbies began to fade into the background. I gradually lost the skills I had when I was intensely involved in them, and at some point, they became a distant memory, something that I "used to be good at but don't have time to do anymore".

Recently though, I've taken a renewed interest in these hobbies. After a piano hiatus for a few years, where I played on and off but could never practice consistently, I've been playing regularly again, learning new pieces and revisiting old ones. I play tennis almost every weekend now, and of course, I've started this new blog and gotten back into writing again. It almost feels as if I have old friends whom I haven't seen in awhile back in my life again, familiar and comforting, yet somehow different than before. Sometimes I wonder if it's weird that I'm still "clinging" on to the same hobbies I had as a child. Shouldn't I be branching out from my comfort zone, exploring new activities, and learning new things? Am I missing out on things that are potentially even more fun or fulfilling than what I already know? After pondering these thoughts a bit, I've come to a few conclusions.

First, there is a very practical advantage of sticking with old hobbies. Taking up a new hobby takes time, energy, and resources (aka money!). As I get older, I simply no longer have the time to invest in exploring a bunch of new hobbies. As a result, even though I've dabbled in this and that, I haven't been able to stick to anything long enough to determine if it's something I want to keep pursuing. On the other hand, it is much easier to refresh my skills and knowledge on something I've already devoted a lot of time to.

Even though my hobbies haven't changed, I have. I'm different in many ways from my younger self and because of that, I experience the same activities now with a different perspective. I observe things and make connections that I previously didn't see. I am better at learning and identifying ways to improve. For example, I now appreciate more fully the beauty and nuances of classical music and play those pieces with a deeper interpretation and more expression than before. I am more aware of my movements when playing tennis and have become much better at correcting myself on the spot when I make a mistake. I have more topics to write about now as I continue to experience more aspects of life.

Finally, there is the fact that I simply enjoy these activities! Why do anything different if you already enjoy what you are doing? I'm not saying that you should always stick with what you know and never try new things. If there's something you're curious to try or you just want to get out of the norm, then by all means, go for it. But at the same time, don't overlook the things you already know. It's possible that sometimes, the most meaningful and fulfilling activities are right under your nose. And I guess that is the key. No matter if it's an old or a new hobby, if it makes you happy, that is all the reason you need to keep pursuing it.