I need a hobby.
I mean, I already have a couple of hobbies like reading and writing. You know, things that don’t actually count because you’re not actively doing something.
I’ve long felt that reading and writing are the red haired step children of hobbies. They don’t really count. When someone asks what your hobbies are, they want something exciting and cool like bungee jumping, 4 wheeling, snake wrangling, naked selfie taking. They don’t want to hear that you read and write. Because everyone already does that. Shame on you for not being a little more original. Geez. Idiot.
I think my husband always secretly resented me for having those hobbies. Because, like everyone else, he thought they weren’t “real” hobbies. “Real” hobbies were hobbies you could show something for. Like, carpentry or restoring old cars. At the very least “real” hobbies were things that could result in interesting Facebook posts that got a lot of likes. Reading and writing did not fit into those categories. Therefore, they were not real hobbies and that in turn made me boring and dull.
I remember feeling all this pressure to be more interesting and exciting. But I wasn’t sure how to do that, so I tried a variety of things. I started to do some gardening, which I ended up loving, even though it was still stupid because people who wasted their time on things that would just die were dumb. (He didn’t actually say that, but that’s the impression he gave.) I wanted to get into cooking and baking, but once I started teaching I was too exhausted to actually cook and anything at Subway became the default dinner menu. It probably didn’t help my case when I was finally able to admit how much I enjoyed watching TV and movies. I mean, what better way is there to spend a Friday night than curled up on the couch with a bowl of popcorn and the latest comedy? I mean, besides taking a nap, which is just a given. There IS no better way. None! But I think my husband thought it was lame. I’m not sure what else we should have been doing. Sharpshooting? Cow tipping? Robbing banks? I don’t know. But when I think back at how I tried to change myself to fit what he thought I “should” be when he already knew what was part of the package when he married me… well, it just makes me sad. It was stupid. I shouldn’t have had to change myself and my interests to fit some ideal that he thought women should be. What did he know about women anyway?
It seems I’ve always struggled with being secure in how I am. I’ve never felt completely justified in having the interests and hobbies I’ve had… as though I’ve needed someone else to approve of my interests and hobbies before I could enjoy them.
That needs to stop. I need to stop looking for other people’s approval and be okay with myself. Who cares if someone doesn’t like my hobbies? They’re MY hobbies. I shouldn’t have to come up with new ones so they fit someone’s idea of what a “real” hobby is. I need to learn to accept myself and like myself.
Good grief. How did I get here? Maybe my new hobby needs to be finding myself. Again.