“What are your hobbies?”
Hobbies, by definition, are activities a person does repeatedly for pleasure. When I was younger, I remember this as a question in autograph booklets passed around among my friends. Even when applying for jobs or universities, it’s one of the common questions being asked.
I’m not sure with you, but my answer before has always been the same until my 20’s. Ha! My answer would always include watching movies, listening to music and reading. They are of course all true. But then, recently, I asked myself, “Is that all?”.
I was fond of playing badminton before because it’s fun at the same time, a good way of exercising but I’m not able to play it often in Thailand.
Musical instrument? Ha! Nadda! I mean, in high school, we had guitar lessons but that’s it. I remember I learned how to play two songs just to pass the subject- Leaving On A Jet Plane & Knockin on Heavens Door. My father even bought me a guitar for that. Then, after a few weeks, as we moved on to another topic, I was also done with it.
Thereafter, I continued with my life and I don’t have any complaints about it. There were reasons why I grew up without any musical skills other than being someone who listens and sing along to good songs on the radio. The main reason was that my focus was on my academics. I was already busy studying and memorizing for other subjects- Maths, Science, English, etc.
Additionally, there was also the fact that we didn’t have extra money to pay for the classes or to even buy musical instruments. Thinking back during my primary years, I asked my mommy (grandmother) to send me to the nearest city for voice lessons. However, it means transportation, allowance and voice lessons expenses. We just couldn’t afford it at that time.
Then, one day in my college years, my siblings and I asked our mother to send us to piano or violin lessons because we wanted to learn how to play them. Besides, during summer vacation, we were only staying at home, watching tv from morning until evening. Deep into my mind though, I knew what my mother’s answer was before she even opened her mouth. Money was very tight that time so she told us we couldn’t afford it and maybe we could try again next time.
Yes, I understood all these limitations. I didn’t come from a well-off background nor had the luxury to do what I want. Despite all of these though, I still have that desire in my heart of learning something musically interesting until now that I am an adult. I’m scared the part of my brain responsible for music will just die out without being put into good use. Ha!
My First Ukulele
With that said and with the help of my musically talented colleagues, I bought my first ukulele. I was very excited learning how to play it so I practiced regularly from knowing where to put my fingers to trying different kinds of strumming patterns. I play at least 30 minutes every day after work. What’s surprising is that it didn’t only give me the satisfaction of learning something new but I found it to be actually relaxing. It makes me forget about the stress of my day because all I have to focus on is to make the sound right.
Time Used Well
Moreover, instead of me spending too much time in social media which is really a big problem for me sometimes, I now do something else which is more enjoyable. I’m sure some of you are guilty of this too. It’s like when you tell yourself that you’re only going to browse on your phone for 30 minutes but you ended up getting caught up for hours. Tsk! I truly find it unhealthy and unproductive but it’s hard telling myself to stop.
I’m sharing about my new hobby because I want to encourage whoever is reading this to find new activities that will make you happy. It can be arts-related like painting or drawing, music-related like playing the piano or guitar. There are hundreds of possible hobbies in the world. If you ask me, I still got lots of things that I want to try to see if I will like them like Muay Thai (Thai boxing), play the piano, learn French, self-defense, etc. I’m just taking one step at a time because I also have to consider my time and budget.
For now, I have the ukulele to practice every now and then and I’m training for my upcoming 10-mile marathon this month. Not to mention this blog and my new vlog channel. I’m definitely learning a lot, for now, and they occupy almost all my time for the week. =) Balancing is the key here.
Try Something Different
I encourage you to try something different. Think about what you really want. Just try and don’t quit right away if at first, it’s difficult. Remember that it’s normal for everything to be hard in the beginning. That’s why it’s called a challenge, right?
Here is a video I took with my very good friend Gv, who helped me a lot with my ukulele journey. She was there when I was only starting until I could manage to coordinate my two hands to work together.
Tell me about your hobbies, old and new. I’d love to hear from you too.