Returning to Beloved But Abandoned Old Hobbies

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I collect hobbies.

Something will catch my interest and then I’ll become completely engrossed in it. After an undefined amount of time, my interest will wane a little but a new whim will come along and then I’ll repeat the cycle. After repeating this cycle quite a few times, you can imagine this would lead to a collection of hobby related materials and an ever growing worry that the money spent on unused materials is just wasted.

For years, my collection of Japanese language study books and novels have sat more or less collecting dust. Every once in a while I would pick one up, but I couldn’t get back into the habit of studying or using the language constantly. I didn’t force it. I didn’t get rid of all my books. And I certainly did my best not to give myself a hard time over it (even though that isn’t always easy).

Life is about ebbs and flows.

I was convinced that season in my life would blossom again at some point.

And luckily, I was right.

I took a trip to Japan last year for the first time since moving back to the States and something in me reawakened. It inspired me to start studying again and aiming to use the language much more than I had been in years. And suddenly all of those books that I had been holding on to became useful again.

Beyond studying Japanese, I have a few hobbies that I float in and out of focusing on. However, this since becoming interested in studying Japanese again, I started thinking about the reasons I started my core hobbies and wondering if the reason they’ve fallen to the wayside or cycled back into rotation is because of how connected I am to my reason for starting them.

Visiting Japan renewed my connection to wanting to study Japanese again, since after leaving and the dissolution of my engagement, I didn’t have feel a strong connection to it beyond reading manga here and there. Whenever I want to feel connected to family and friends, that tends to be when I’m more likely to take up homey hobbies like baking…because who doesn’t love receiving baked goods or something handmade?

I guess the purpose of this post is to throw out the idea that maybe what we are interested in is a reflection of how connected we are to certain parts of ourselves and how we connect that part to the world around us.

Oh, and also to hang on to your materials if you have the space and the items aren’t negatively impacting your mental health because your interest in your hobby might come back around, even if it stakes some time.

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