Hobby the hobbit was a wee man, a patient man, a kind man. Wherever he hobbled he brought with him his many hobbit friends, seeking adventure or small tables for mealtime: hobbits eat many meals in a day. No, none of this is true; I just thought that if we could transform the concept of hobby into a creative and encapsulating tale, people might be more inclined to read it and dig deep to truly recognize the potential of their favorite pastimes or yet-to-be-unearthed passions: hobbies. Once we uncover our ideal hobby, one thats components and facets match our interests, and of course, align with our talents, we can comprehend the weight these hobbies can have on our lives, for they may just help shape who we may turn out to be in the future.
In between spaghetti slurps one night over dinner (I was 9) my dad said, “kids do you want to learn some Polish?” Having grown up in New York meant having Yiddish and Italian and Chinese constantly around you- hearing these languages was second nature. Polish was new and exciting and different to an already different nine-year old girl; I jumped at the opportunity. It was a stream of events: my dad taught us 3 basic phrases and the next day marked the beginning of my obsession with memorizing the countries listed on maps, and then I began obsessively inquiring which last names “go with” which nationalities. My culture and travel and language hobby was spawned from one little conversation and has served as the backbone of so much of what I love to do in my free time today.
An acquaintance of mine was recently going through a crossroads and opted to leave her job in favor of transforming her love of photography into a full-blown career. A decision such as this can be a tricky one, and it can go a few ways: turning hobbies into careers may mean we find our true calling, or, it may mean we lose the love for our hobby when it becomes such an integral part of our lives, and not just a way of clearing our minds. As well, this transformation may leave us frustrated and at ground zero if we do not succeed or do not make it, eventually resenting this hobby and abandoning it for good if we have to start over yet again. A step deeper, differentiating between an unearthed talent and an interesting way to pass our time is a great way to creatively determine the outcome of our career futures and just passionate weekend futures.
About six years ago, I decided to turn my love of travel, languages, maps and people skills into a job, and I began working for a well-known boutique travel agency planning trips for celebrities and wealthy families. I was gravely underpaid, severely overworked, and felt that the culmination of these two sucked the love for travel out of me, making me regret wanting to turn this into a career in the first place. Despite being lucky that planning trips was actually a talent, and something I could have actually had a career in, I felt lost and immediately left this job, keeping it close to my heart as a passion, and nothing more.
They say if you love what you do, you never work a day in your life. It’s crucial to differentiate if what you love can actually be something that aligns with your innate talents and abilities, so you can sustain this hobby as a career. And, it’s critical to understand if this passion is just a fun way to spend your Sunday mornings, leaving it at that. I realized that although travel is something I dream about nightly, I do not want to wake up and do it for others, day in and day out. My aforementioned friend realized that photography is something she may need to continue fine-tuning and refining before it can become her career. The takeaway: self awareness, honesty, talent and time are the factors we must consider and utilize when deciding if a hobby can be a career, of if brunching and photo-ing should remain just a great Saturday morning activity.