There are a lot of not directly work-related things that are involved in starting a new job, and one of the biggest of those things is getting to know all your new coworkers. Earlier this week, I was out to lunch doing just that when someone asked “So what are your hobbies?”
Hobbies are a strange thing. They’re supposed to be what you enjoy doing in your free time, but it seems like “wasting time on the internet” or “hanging out with my friends” – my most frequent uses of free time – aren’t really what people are looking for when it comes to answering that question. Furthermore, having only recently graduated college, my first thought about hobbies is that I haven’t had time for them in years! But then again, who does?
I ended up coming up with a few based on how I’d spent my time the last few months: “running, I suppose, maybe cooking, I’ve been doing a lot of research into general nutrition and exercise science, and I have two cats?” But are those really things that I’m passionate about? I certainly love my cats, but I don’t think they qualify as a hobby any more than my friends would. And while I do like cooking, I do it because I have to eat. Running might be the closest, but even that is iffy since I don’t really feel like a real “runner.”
When I think about things that I really love doing, that I would say I’m passionate about, I haven’t dedicated much time to any of them in recent years. I love learning languages, but I haven’t made any effort to do so since I quit Arabic my sophomore year of college. I really enjoy interior design (informally), but aside from decorating my apartment I haven’t done any of that either. I like organizing things and making them pretty, but I don’t go out of my way to find opportunities to do so outside of my day-to-day life.
Why is it that the things I enjoy doing are not the things I end up actually… doing?
To be honest, I don’t know the answer to that question. But I hope that, with all the free time I’ll have now that I no longer have to do homework, I’ll have some time to explore the things I already enjoy and discover some new passions as well.
Or maybe I’ll end up deciding that running and cooking really are my hobbies. Who knows.