It sucks getting old. For one, your body isn’t as flexible as it used to be. Once you hit 30, your back and knees complain a lot more. There’s the gray hair. You probably have different responsibilities and obligations in contrast to when you’re 20s or even as a teenager. You could lose sight of the past times you used to love like a sport or hobby just because life gets too busy.
I found myself in the same boat this past year, especially all the crap that 2020 entailed. To combat the stressors from 2020 and things in general, I turned to rediscover hobbies that I used to enjoy. It wasn’t as simple as waking up one morning and bed, declaring, “I think I’ll start taking pictures today!” I did buy a used camera on eBay after a lot of research a couple of weeks later, but my point is I didn’t begin something impulsively. I’ve had similar thoughts along with the lines of, “I should take a creative writing class,” or, “I need to figure out what is passive income.” A lot of these urges and ideas have come from my desire to rediscover and rekindle old interests.
As a teenager, I considered myself a creative type. I was terrible with my math and science classes, however, I did really well in history and English classes. Naturally, my interest gravitated there. First, it was writing withdrawing coming into second. I knew I was no Picasso but having something to work on and work towards was a nice change of pace. But writing gave me an outlet like nothing else could.
I always felt like I have struggled with putting exactly how I felt or saw the world for others to understand. I wrote my first “real” story when I was 11, and I never felt well-spoken, I didn’t like public speaking until I worked in restaurants, and I was self-conscious about everything. Writing gave me the building blocks to start to articulate exactly how I felt and saw the world. I would venture out, learning graphic design, doodling, and sketching. When smartphones finally got a decent camera and Instagram came to life in 2012, photography became a game-changer. Writing remained my forte but having the ability to branch out and try new modes of expression.
Back to the present. Now, I’m heading towards my mid-thirties, still dealing with ongoing issues with covid and the reckoning of 2020 that is forcing me to work through some personal and larger issues. Probably like a lot of people, my anxiety and depression got worse, it was hard to find something positive or routine from the initial lockdown or keeping a limited social life.
It was hard to find the good and have something to look forward to. Cue rediscovering my childhood hobbies earlier this year. I begin to revisit the old notebooks I wrote in during high school. I found my old sketchbook from 1999. I found more notebooks and worked my way through over 20 years of creative endeavors.
I rediscovered why I used to write a poem or doodle just for the fun of it. It was because I could. The act of creation gave me a way to express whatever I was feeling at the moment and give substance to it. The ongoing act of continuing to write a little each day and learn a new graphics program on my iPad feeds my adult self with the same wonder and satisfaction I felt at 17 after working on a long poem for a month.
It doesn’t take much but taking the time to do small things, like writing 20 minutes a day or finding another creative outlet, gives me something to look forward to and helps build a daily routine. It allows me to rediscover the things that made me happy as a child and grow those same passions as an adult. Rekindling the same hobbies that excited you 20 years ago can grow and evolve 20 years later.
Also published on Medium.