Many years ago, on my first day of highschool, I had coincidentally sat next to an old friend who I had not seen or spoken to for more than five years. After we both realized that we had known each other from a long time ago, we quickly became friends.
After a few days of classes, he had asked me a question that I thought was very strange: he wanted all the empty and broken pens from my pencil case. I thought this was a strange request, but I was going to throw those pens out anyways, so I gave them all to him. He was surprisingly ecstatic.
The next day, he came to class and was excited to show me something. To my amazement, he took out a long pen, and started doing pen tricks with it. He had taken all the pens that I had given him the day before, and made a Franken-pen. He used a lighter to melt together two pens, and added weights from other pens to both ends to balance the pen.
I was impressed at how excited and resourceful he was about something that I considered to be trash. Apparently, the pens that I gave him were sought after in the “pen spinning community”. He was perfectly happy with the empty and broken pens, and made them into something new.
Since that day, pen spinning became a hobby of mine. I enjoyed finding certain types of pens that were sought after for pen modification, making my own Franken-pens, and doing tricks with them.
This made me realize how important hobbies are in life. You see things that other people don’t see, and nuances that make your world bigger. Your life becomes more interesting.
Throughout highschool, I took some of those initial lessons and channeled them into other areas. The following are some of the big lessons that I learned about the importance of hobbies, and how they have changed my life.
During my early teens, my confidence was never very high. Although I had good grades in school, I always felt like it was not something that I truly earned myself, and that there wasn’t really anything else that I was good at, except maybe skateboarding.
One of the best things that I have ever done in my life, especially at that time, was learn how to play the guitar. I started the summer before high school, and taught myself how to play the guitar throughout high school.
At first, I was terrible, just like any beginner. It was hard. Nothing that I played sounded good, and my fingers would hurt and ache. Eventually, after months of practice, the things that I was playing on the guitar started to actually sound like music. I got better with practice, which motivated me to practice even more. I was hooked on the guitar.
When you are good at something because you put in effort to become good, you feel good. It helps you build confidence. You trust your abilities to be put in a situation where you are not able to do something, but through practice and hard work, you are able to do it.
During the time that I was teaching myself how to play the guitar, I was obsessed with music. I thought about music almost every moment of the day. It was something that I was very passionate about, and it became a big part of my identity.
When you feel this strongly about something, you cultivate passion. When you find something that you truly enjoy, and you truly love, it helps you become a more passionate person. You have more energy, and more things to look forward to. Passion is important in your life.
As a result of my guitar ability, I was able to play with a few bands, and do a few live performances at local venues by the end of high school, and during my years in university. It was a really fun time in my life, and I have many stories to tell from it.
Hobbies make your life more interesting, and gives you something to look forward to in your life outside of school and work. As evident with pen spinning, you see things that other people don’t see. These nuances make your world bigger and more exciting.
Whenever I feel like I am in a rut in my life, I try and focus on my hobbies. Most of the time, I find that I am in a rut because I have stopped practicing my hobbies. It could be because of how busy life can get, or because of laziness, that I begin to neglect my hobbies.
Whatever the reason, as soon as I catch myself, I try my best to get back on track. Whether it be reading books, going to the gym, or playing a musical instrument - just spending some time working on my hobbies is enough to get me out of a rut.
With many people these days so focused on school or on their careers, it can be hard to find time for hobbies - which are often seen as something done only for leisure. People might rather do something else for leisure on the little free time that they have.
However, I believe that hobbies have an important place in our lives, and that we should not neglect them.