This quarantine has driven all of us crazy. For some of us the quarantine gave us time to take a mental break. For others it left them thinking about a range of anything that came to mind from food to the meaning human existence on this floating rock in an ever-expanding universe. This quarantine has definitely affected my thinking. I have become akin to existential thoughts and then somehow mustered the courage to do what I want. Even though the information is from apps like TikTok, I am learning something new every day. We humans need to learn something every day to become better ourselves and stimulate our creative minds. But catching up with news and social media every day was tiring. So, I tried hobbies.
I have always enjoyed painting and drawing. I have friends who are incredible artists. They were the reason I got into art in the first place. So I tried blending in with their group and ended up really loving it. Just blobbing paints on a paper or a canvas and calling it abstract art was good enough for me. I like abstract art. I paint whatever I am feeling at that moment, almost like journaling but with colors.
Speaking of journaling, when I was a kid, I thought journaling was “not cool” or “lame,” but its actually awesome. You sit down and write about your day or your emotions or just some funny tweets. It’s very satisfying to flip through at the end of the year. This is the same as Snapchat memory but old school and more powerful. I started journaling when the lockdown started, and it just felt so good to write down my thoughts and leave them there.
I then wanted to challenge myself, so I tried sewing.
It is incredibly fun if you should ever try it. I had no clue how to do anything remotely related to it at first. But thanks to YouTube, I learned some stitches and ended up with one piece of art. I stitched a crow on to a t-shirt I ripped because it stood for my soul animal when I took a quiz online. It took me two days, but I had fun doing it. Is not that the point. It does not matter what and how we are doing as long we are having fun and enjoying ourselves :).
After I was bored of sewing in a week, I saw my parents gardening. I grew up with plants around me at all points of my life, even in a small apartment in Hyderabad, India. I used to water the plants sometimes as a chore but never thought of it beyond that. In quarantine, my family became plant-obsessed. We do not even have that much space but we filled it up with plants. We have rose flowers, jasmine plants, tomatoes, Tulsi plants, money plants, firecracker plants ( kanambaram puvvu in Telugu), a tomato plant, and a variety of sorts.
These days, I am putting on my favorite playlist and watering the plants while singing along – very badly I might add. This brings me an unbelievable amount of joy. I do not know if it is the songs or watering the plants, but I believe everyone should try it. Is it only my family or do all desi families have a garden with at least mint or chilies or curry leaves?
I have also noticed something while browsing the internet that most of us do not have hobbies we have side hustles. Props, get that bag! I have nothing but admiration for side hustlers and one day I aspire to be one. But sometimes, we have completely monetized our hobbies and we often forget that they once used to bring us joy.
My main message is to prioritize your mental and physical health. Hobbies are there to make us feel better, cool off some steam, learn, gain experience and help time pass. It does not matter if you are good or bad or have many hobbies or none as long as you are enjoying yourself. Please do things that make YOU happy, wear a mask and live life however you want 🙂