When people ask me what I like doing, I don’t really have an answer. After an awkward pause, I say something along the lines of “I like to read. That’s about it.”
Which I suppose is a lie.
I mean, I do like reading. I like reading lots of different things. I’m currently reading a book about the history of walking as well as numerous novels, blogs, poems. I like writing lots of different things too; blog posts, creative writing, journalling. Soon I’ll be writing essays, though maybe I won’t like doing that.
But I also like appreciating the small things, sitting in the sunshine, and drinking tea. And typically, that’s how I birth a blog post. I love sitting down in the sun with a cup of tea and writing about something small that’s actually not so small. Which is maybe what I’m doing now.
And there’s more. I love having a good conversation, playing guitar, applying make up, baking (if there’s no one around), going for walks, making playlists. I like learning about the environment and what I can do to help. I like waking up early and spending time with God. I like rewatching The Parent Trap – yes, the Lindsay Lohan version.
But when people ask me what I do with my time, I give a vague answer and change the topic. Why? Is it because I expect others to have ‘better’ interests than me, something that can easily fit into the ‘hobby’ category? Would it make me feel any better if I could say ‘I run marathons’ or ‘I’m learning French’ or ‘I swim with dolphins’?
And why does saying “I like to write” make me feel like a fraud?
There are so many people out there who write but are not published authors.
And they are writers.
So why don’t I see myself in the same way?
When I first decided to study English and Writing, I thought it would make it easier to tell people I spend my days with words. But then I stopped, because no; maybe my fallback will be to say I’m a student, continuing to avoid mentioning my favourite thing to do.
Doing something worthwhile doesn’t make it any easier to show others who you are.
With my whole future approaching at lightning speed, my thoughts are in double-time.
The other day I asked my brother if I should order a textbook for university yet. He said no, no you don’t need to buy a textbook eight months in advance. I asked him why not, and he just looked at me before asking how long it takes for online shopping to be delivered. The correct answer was not eight months. The correct answer was not Sarah be so prepared that you buy a textbook for a class you’ll be taking next year that you don’t even know if you’ll be taking next year.
I’m excited. That’s what this. Excitement and nerves. Anticipation. Going up, up, up on a roller coaster and knowing you’re about to fly all the way down.
For the first time in a while, I feel like the future is mine. That more is attainable and happening. That I can reach out and grab something intangible and hold it in my hands.
But just because the roller coaster is going up doesn’t mean I’m confident in saying I write. Maybe before the ride is over I will be, but for now –
– for now I’m nearly 22 and I have a keen interest in overalls and chai tea and poetry, and I think this makes me a stereotype. I’m a Christian who’s trying to love God as best I can but I’m not going to church but my prayer life is the strongest it’s ever been. I’m going to be a university student which is something I never thought I’d be and who knows how long I’ll be that for.
I may not be able to call my interests ‘proper’ hobbies, and I may not be able to call myself a ‘proper’ writer, but the future is shining.