Growing up I had many hobbies, I was taken to piano lessons from a young age, then later on guitar lessons, then came tap dancing… all of which were given up as I got older. I’ve often thought about taking up the piano again, but somehow never get around to it.
Guest blogger Momo C talks about this very subject, and how revisiting her old hobby has lead her to rediscover the enjoyment all over again…
Like the morning sunlight that awakens the flowers, it fills you with excitement and finds its way into your mind without trigger. You make plans for it and will jump through hoops and loops to get to it. When it is in your hands, you can spend hours or even days combing through all the mistakes until it becomes a masterpiece.
Others watch and don’t understand why you pour so much of your heart and time into it. But you don’t notice the hours that pass. No, the ticking hands become silent in its presence. When it is complete, the sheer sense of satisfaction and accomplishment is enough.
Merriam-Webster defines a hobby as:
a pursuit outside one’s regular occupation engaged in especially for relaxation
With obligations to studies, work, relationships and all of the above, it is easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of life. Oftentimes, to break this cycle, we are advised to try new things.
But have you thought about reconnecting with an old hobby instead?
I had an opportunity to do this a few years ago. I was fresh out of college and had secured a full-time job in data entry at a food laboratory. It wasn’t anything to boast about, but I was just glad to have my foot in someone’s door. I only hoped it was a door that would lead somewhere.
Before long, I found myself repeating a mundane cycle that was dry and unfulfilling:
One Saturday afternoon, I looked to the pile of fabrics that was collecting dust on my dark, mahogany bookcase. I used to sew on a daily basis, experimenting with new fabrics, shapes, and patterns. Each print my eyes laid on would whisper, “Spring. Summer. Autumn. Winter.” Each texture I touched would morph into a garment in my mind. Now, I walk by them everyday, but they had become just another item taking up space in my room.
As I selected a red knit fabric from the shelf and set to work that evening, my hobby snowballed into a creative space I am not sure why I left in the first place.
Here are some things you will find in the process of rediscovering an old hobby.
1. Learn again, but as though it’s the first time.
Learning is a lifelong process and doesn’t stop when you finish your studies. I’m sure you’ve seen videos and memes of teens teaching their grandparents how to use phones and laptops. Don’t be surprised if you have to learn from the beginning again.
The beauty of it is, you get to relive the moment when you first realized it was something you enjoyed. There is a period of excitement when you finally connect the dots and remember why you need to cut along the grain of the fabric. And before long, you will reclaim that familiar foot position on the pedal to control the needle speed.
2. Perfect what you previously could not.
Whenever we try anything new for the first time, everything about it is a mystery. What might seem trivial to the trained eye is a challenge for the new comer.
I remember once, I folded a fabric in half, created a simple opening for the neck, and stitched straight lines on the side to create a quick, boxy top. It hung like cool silk against my body, and I thought it was brilliant! But when I asked my sister for her opinion, she outright told me with good intention that it was a waste of fabric.
She has never touched a sewing machine. But funny enough, she was right: the soft flow of the fabric would have made for a beautiful, draped dress instead. Now when I start a project, I am more selective about the fabric I use. I guess this can also be called, experience?
3. Share it with those around you.
If you don’t have the luxury of time to yourself, share your hobby with others. Perhaps, it will also become a hobby of theirs.
I picked up sewing again at a time when my toddler niece and nephews visited every day. And it wasn’t just a visit; it was a visit to stay.
There were four of them with an endless supply of energy that never seemed to dwindle. While I worked at the sewing machine, they would marvel at how the needle moved each time I pressed down on the foot pedal. We found much laughter and humour in humming along to the high-pitched notes coming from the sewing machine. They would ask questions, and I would explain why certain colour threads or specific fabrics had to be used. Eventually, they learned not to use the orange scissor for paper so it would last longer on fabrics.
Where I was once the student, I had now become the teacher.
As the first month of this new year draws to a close, I hope you get the chance to reconnect with something that fills you with excitement! If you have already done so, what was your favourite part about it?
Guest post by Momo C
Momo C. is a self-taught sewing enthusiast and is the voice behind Her Petite Closet a new whimsical diary of the novice blogger’s journey through Blogosphere sprinkled with chic sewing tutorials.