In December, I started dabbling with electronics. When my dad heard about it, he handed me a pile of books I “might want to have a look at”. It was a huge pile, and I was somewhat hesitant to take them all with me, so, while skimming through them I said: “You know, this might be just another one of my 3-months-hobbies.”
It sounded as if it was a bad habit of mine, and when I realized what I had said, it got me thinking.
Why did I make it sound like a bad thing? What’s wrong about really getting into the stuff that sparks your interest, soaking up all the information you can get your hands on – and dropping it when you lose interest, your priorities change, or there’s a new thing on your “list of awesome things to learn about”?
Well, the answer is there’s nothing wrong with it. But it seems that’s what I’ve learnt when I was a kid.
I know, I know – it makes sense for parents. To use their words:
“What do you mean, you’re not interested in playing the Hurdy Gurdy anymore?! What about the music lessons we already paid? And all the noise we had to put up with …?” “You were all enthusiastic about it, but now that expensive robot construction kit you HAD TO HAVE is gathering dust in a corner.”
And, probably the saddest example: The pet rabbit they got you. Polly, with her fluffy white tail and her black ears.
If you were one of those kids who took up an instrument when you were young and abandoned it later, do you think you’ve failed?
Well, I was one of those kids and I used to think I failed. My attitude changed when I started to learn the accordeon last year.
I had been pondering whether to try it or not for some weeks. Only when I told my flatmates about it, did I realize this was a big deal for me. I was buzzing with enthusiasm for this instrument, but at the same time there was all this doubt and fear of failure. My flatmates frowned (and rightly so): This was just about trying something that was supposed to be fun, right? And if it wouldn’t work out, I’d just try something different, right? So what’s the drama?
Well, the drama was somewhere between my ears, and, to make a long story short, I finally got rid of it. I played the accordeon for about three months and it was awesome. Then I realized studying, learning Spanish, working part-time and learning the accordeon didn’t all fit into my schedule, so I postponed the accordeon. I’m really looking forward to learning it someday. It’s gonna be awesome, the thought makes me smile.
Some people think they are a failure, and they will always find reasons to reconfirm this self-concept. And true, I was that kind of person for some time. I’m not anymore – or at least I’m trying hard not to be :).
So that’s why I invented Three Month Hobbies (TM). You don’t have to stick with them, you’re not allowed to feel guilty when you give them up. You don’t have to become a renowned, world-class hurdy gurdist – just have some fun.
P.S.: And no, I’ve never played a Hurdy Gurdy. But it’s a pretty awesome instrument. I had the neglected pet rabbit, though. :(
P.P.S.: My Three Month Hobbies of 2012 also include Origami and model railways. I’m curious what this year’s will be.