You don't always have to monetize that passion project
These strange times have offered a unique opportunity for us to be idle. One headline reads, “Now is not the time to obsess about productivity!” During the period of social distancing, it is a silver lining, especially with the obsessive glorification of the “hustle culture,” where every passion project becomes a source of income. After all, we are a generation of “slashers,” multifaceted individuals with multiple jobs to sustain ourselves in this era of late-stage capitalism. It is a stereotype, but a true one at that.
Juggling a full-time job and a part-time job in quarantine—a miracle, if I may add—allows me to have enough savings to put away; stability is elusive, especially with an uncertain future ahead of us. Many times, I am left exhausted and burnt-out. When I was younger, some part of me was obsessed with romanticizing the hustle; doing nothing simply made me restless. Now, I'm *trying* to balance work with hobbies for a healthy work-life integration—God knows I need it.
at some point we have to recognise that the financial anxiety young people are living through is not normal. monetising all your hobbies is not normal. hustle culture is not normal. glorifying precarious work is not normal. self-optimisation is not normal.
— Diyora Shadijanova (????? ??????????) ???? (@thediyora) March 28, 2021
Diyora on Twitter summarizes the struggle we face in this digital age, “At some point, we have to recognize that the financial anxiety young people are living through is not normal. Monetising all your hobbies is not normal. Hustle culture is not normal. Glorifying precarious work is not normal. Self-optimization is not normal.” This, of course, merits a full discussion for another article, but you get where I'm going with this.
Don't get me wrong, hobbies are a luxury for many who have disposable time and income, not something a lot in our young generations have. We're restless and guilty when we allot time for rest and recreation, because we're conditioned to romanticize the hustle. We're groomed to always be moving, incapable of rest.
Maybe in this extended time of self-isolation and quarantine, this is something we can rediscover and explore.
“The essential ingredients for creativity remain exactly the same for everybody:
courage, enchantment, permission, persistence, trust—and those elements are universally accessible.”
Hobbies need not be extravagant. You don't even have to be good at it. It's essentially setting aside time for ourselves to flourish because we need it for our mental health and well-being. If you can allot time to mindlessly scroll through your social media feed, you also have time to rediscover or learn a hobby or two.
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Bestselling author Elizabeth Gilbert argues the case for creativity and the need for hobbies in her book Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear. She writes, “The essential ingredients for creativity remain exactly the same for everybody: courage, enchantment, permission, persistence, trust—and those elements are universally accessible. Which does not mean that creative living is always easy; it merely means that creative living is always possible.” It need not have a tangible result, sometimes you just need a form of release after a long day's work. It's just purposely creating without hoping for or fearing consequence.
I'm on my way to reading 50 title this year, as tracked on my Goodreads account. I'm trying not to feel guilty when I spend time away from my laptop to rest. I'm in my fourth month of working out, having already lost 15 pounds.
Everybody needs a hobby, whether it's something as simple as exploring TikTok, being a Plant Mom, learning how to embroider or listening to podcasts. Make room for hobbies and give it space to grow; maybe, you'll end up finding a part yourself.
Art Matthew Ian Fetalver