When I began working at my current “big girl” job, I was asked a question I had no answer to: “What are your hobbies?” I was sitting with a group of my new coworkers at a large round table in a noisy restaurant at lunch rush-hour, and as all eyes settled on me for an answer, I had nothing to say.
“Hobbies?” I mused internally, “I don’t have those…do I?” In the moment, I paused a few seconds and think I responded with a basic “Well, I like hanging out with my friends, running, eating good food…” And ultimately confessed I hadn’t ever thought about my hobbies. I was brand spankin’ new out of school and always had plenty of things that naturally filled my time: class, intramural games, sorority events, studying, Sonic. I didn’t regularly cook or bake or play city-league softball or attend a book club; my schedule seemed to pencil in itself. I simply went where it told me.
Now, one official year into this corporate life, I’ve developed what felt like such a foreign and adult concept. I have hobbies. And not only that, but I need hobbies. Hence the question posed to me upon meeting my coworkers. We all need them.
Ironic that we seek out these extra curricular activities in order to feel more like normal people. As if what we do most hours of every week does not make us people enough. And it’s those mere few hours devoted to non-work-type things that help sustain our humanity. Even if you love what you do, getting paid to do it means it’s work, and work is always that: work.
So I’m adapting. And in that, I’ve become quite reliant on the hobbies that stuck: running, this blog, time over coffee/fro yo/happy hour with those I’ve come to adore, Saturday-night church. And though some haven’t stuck–cooking, baking, blogging more than once a week–I have many left unchecked on the list: camping, more freelance writing and of course paddle boarding.