Pursue your hobbies!

“I love intense people.” Zach Latta mentioned this to me while we were talking at Hackcon, and that one statement led to staying up all night and eventually watching the sunrise with Kedron and Patrick. Those 4 words have been looping in my mind on repeat since that night. To clarify, when I think of an “intense person”, I think of someone who is so passionate about something (their job, their side project, pottery— you name it) that when you ask them why they do it, they can go on for hours on end because when you love something, there shouldn’t be a formulated and rehearsed answer as to why, you just do. But the most important part is, you don’t have to choose just one thing, and that’s where I went wrong.

I’ve contemplated on keeping this writing to myself because I don’t generally publish stuff like this on my blog. I’m a big fan of coherency, which is probably why you’ll find yourself catching a slightly different version of myself on different social media platforms— I actually completely stopped posting on my Instagram account because I felt restricted by the “theme” that I chose for it 3 years ago. Thus, to prevent going down the same rabbit hole, I’ve decided that I should just post whatever I want to on here because it is after all, my blog. 3 years ago, I spent most of my free time in the ballet studio, doing aerial silks or singing with my choir, I also dabbled in writing fictional stories occasionally. 3 years later, I still love all of those things but I don’t do them as often as I would like, and I most certainly never post or talk about them.

Here’s why:
1. I found a community of people I love, who share a mutual passion as me— the tech community which I talk and blog about all the time felt like a blessing and a slight curse. I was so happy to have finally found a place within this community, that I would feel bad whenever I spend my time doing things other than personal projects, or hackathons. You see a large portion of my life within this one little website, but I have always refrain from posting about times when I jammed out at the beach with my friends recording covers of songs we loved, or that I finished writing a story that I was finally proud of for the first time in years. That was okay with me because I liked having something to myself but also because of that, I started pursuing these “side gigs” less and less. These passions became something I had to hide from the people around me just to be more distinctly known for doing and loving “my thing”. 

2. The fear of not being good enough. Sure, I loved all these things but was I good enough to talk about them? For example, I love taking pictures and recording / editing videos, mostly because I love the story they tell. But I could barely hold up a conversation about the focal length, or ISO of a camera. So was I really into photography? The same thing expands into something as simple as longboarding or baking.

I felt this problem long before I was cognizant of it, which probably explains why I get so defensive when someone asks me why I’m minoring in Creative Writing when it has nothing to do with Computer Science, and realistically probably wouldn’t “add” that much to my degree. But I do it because I want to acknowledge and give credit to the creative side of myself, and if getting a minor can drill into my head that it is okay to pursue more than one thing at a time, even if I don’t have 10 years of prior exposure to it, then so be it.

At the end of the day, I feel privileged to be able to do all of these things in the first place. But I guess my goal now is to more actually pursue those hobbies more actively, old or new. I’ll start talking about them more publicly so maybe I can even start being a part of active communities beyond just the one. At the very least, I’m hyperaware of what’s holding me back, so hopefully it’s onwards and upwards from here.

I’d love to hear about what you’re into, or if you too, are going through something similar. DM me!

p.s. If you want to know why I suddenly sat down and decided to piece all these things together, it’s because I saw Owl City perform live in SF and his passion for creating music really made me feel something. I guess you can say he’s “intense”.