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Keeping hobbies alive!

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By: Faizan Nabi

Being brought up in a society where you are supposed to follow your passion only within the ‘specified age’ bar, we know what we face if we blur the margins and step out of the imaginary borderlines. But is it the age which determines what we need to love and what not in the present moment? There are a lot many questions which gain ground in my heart about being passionate for something. Sometimes I fail to understand that whether we survive to live or we live to survive. Let me fully elucidate it all.
As we grow through our teenage years we’re encouraged to indulge in hobbies. With little responsibilities from school and society and the adults around us encourage us to stay busy. However, as the years go by, the school work increases, we start having other responsibilities towards society albeit not too significant but some nonetheless. We have less time on our hands now to do the things we love. “I would love to paint but I got a quiz this week”, “I’ll practice cardistry later, right now I got to text the cute girl from the other section”, and the story goes on in different forms. We keep in touch with some form of our hobbies still. We’ve still got time to throwback, relax, and unwind.
Then comes’ the senior high school- the time when we need to brace-up for a job or university. A lot of factors start playing in now-“would I want to pursue doing what I love or go for what is hot in the employment market?”. You’re lucky if they’re the same thing but for most people it’s not. Here people either go for what’s hot in the market, work 9–5, and realize they’re 52 and midlife crisis hits them black and blue.
Those who go for what they love, realize it doesn’t bring enough food on the table and decide to shift career with a thought that they’ll keep doing what they love in spare time. They decide so but there’s only limited time in a day and the inherent luxury of free time is not for most working-class folks; they end up the same, wondering where it all went wrong!
Finally, we’ve got folks who pursue what they love and coincidently that is hot in the market too. However, over the years the passion and love for the niche slowly changes into a need to get good at it and beat the other competitors in the market. The desire to be better for the love of it slowly changes into the need for it, and in the midst of all of this, the passion is replaced with the urgency and competency to bring food on the table and money to the bank.
No, that’d be ridiculous. We’re somehow embedded with the notion that a healthy body, mental wellbeing, and other good things are inherent to us and it’s the bad choices we make that make us unhealthy, mentally unhappy etc. It’s high time we let go of that notion. Good things do not come naturally and being happy all the time and smiling every morning as you get out of bed isn’t mental well-being. Having a back that aches without reason and constant dissatisfaction with your life is not normal too.
What I’m trying to say is that maintaining a hobby takes some efforts and conviction. We’re all seeded with the notion from our childhood that if we keep love something we’ll find the time to do it. Maybe back in those days, we could as we had a lot of time and very few responsibilities. As adults, we forget how to be happy unless something of monetary value is exchanged.
To do something you love, efforts need to be put in, responsibilities fulfilled, schedules cleared, mindset shifted and time to do something- you do it not only because it has a potential in the market, but because you enjoy doing it; because you love doing it. Of course, there are a small percentage of people who work in what they love and love every part of it, but for the vast majority of us, that isn’t true.
We have a very different notion about things associated with a monetary value. You might love painting and can paint endlessly for hours but as soon as someone offers to pay you to paint a dozen pieces for them, it changes the very nature of the activity.
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