There's no such thing as a failed hobby

A girl surrounded by different displays of hobbies.
Design: Fatima Jahan Ena

Hobbies. How much time do you dedicate to your hobbies? It's probably not as long as you'd want. As we become older, we stop understanding the importance of having interests. As a result, one of the first things to leave us when life gets busy is our hobbies. Our whole health and well-being can be improved by engaging in hobbies, hobbies that you can't monetise, hobbies that you're probably not very good at.

You know how they say that no love, no matter how fleeting, is ever wasted, and joy is never pointless? There is no such thing as a failing hobby either, in my opinion. Even if your hobby was not "successful", I am sure you had some contentment with it, however brief it was. You most likely learnt something from it, or at the very least discovered some limitations in your talents. If you don't recognise your own strengths and limits, you might set lofty aspirations and dreams yet end up falling short. This might lead to a bitter sense of failure.

When I was 11 years old and dealing with my father's death, I channelled my anxious energy into baking. Making delectable sweet treats provided my younger self with the comfort she required. The transition from slimy eggs to soft white foam in the process of making meringue was my escape from reality.

I realised how much I enjoyed baking when I noticed how often it worked to put smiles on people's faces. At that point, I fell in love with this much-appreciated hobby of mine; baking became my mode of release and catharsis. Nonetheless, due to mental health concerns, I've been finding it tough to find the motivation to bake, but I don't consider baking a failed hobby because I recognised a talent I know I'm pretty good at.

While hobbies are meant to make us feel great, sometimes they don't or we just feel like they're out of our reach. Yet, this just encourages us to try everything we haven't. We quit trying to be good at things because we'd rather never try than fail. We don't want to be assessed or seem like we are in need of help. However, doing new things, learning from others, having fun, and perhaps even seeming a little silly are all great ways to grow. Hobbies make us happy because they strengthen our sense of identity, and a strong sense of identity leads to greater happiness. Allow yourself to develop your self-awareness so that you may learn what interests you in a variety of fields that are not only confined to relationships, employment, or education.

I prefer to think of leisure in its most basic form, which is time spent doing something other than working. It's important to note that many people have structural barriers to enjoying hobbies and free time. Taking leisure time or picking up a new activity, like any other habit, must be actively cultivated. Indeed, they can help you relax and clear your thoughts. The most significant advantage, though, is that you eventually let yourself dive into the beautiful pleasure of being alive.

Sumaiya is in the midst of her researching untold topics era; send her leads at


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