Real-talk time: Something that exasperates me is the notion that we should all have one singular passion that propels us forward. One thing—job or hobby—that interests us so much, it should serve as the primary driver that motivates us each morning. You know, that one special obsession that has found itself so deeply rooted in our hearts that we can’t stop telling other people about it… The one damn thing we are so engrossed in, that we yammer on and on and on about it to anyone who will listen (or at least to the entire planet, via our social media handles).
Isn’t that a bit of a bummer, though?
Taking that wee solo interest, and backing oneself into a corner with it—and only it? Or am I crazy for thinking so? (Don’t answer that.) But I have so many interests! So many skill sets and brainchilds and notions that intrigue me. I love to research; I love to learn. And here in my 30s, there are still underlying fascinations I’m eager to learn about! Gimme that knowledge!
So… Why should we get just one passion to focus on?
I always say that if I won the lottery, I’d donate a bunch, pay some bills, and then go to school for the rest of my life. That’s how much I love to learn. But until that happens, I’ll still be a boring ol’ corporate business writer by day—a job I wouldn’t quantify as a passion, by any means, though it’s been a good career to me—but by night and on the weekends? That’s where the “fun” stuff comes in. Here’s what I love to think about and do:
- Write fiction
- Read books
- Write book reviews
- Watch movies
- Write movie reviews
- Thrift shop for vintage clothes
- Sell clothes on Poshmark (holla, side hustle!)
- Stand-up comedy
- Public speaking
- The elderly
- Home decor
- Everyday humorous observations
And the current list of ADDITIONAL things I want to learn about is unending. Today it’s knitting, veganism, and running. Tomorrow, I might add to that list. Perhaps:
- Boxing or sword-fighting or bodybuilding (hey, I just watched Kill Bill and feel the need to be badass AF)
- Curating my own set of clothing into a minimalist capsule wardrobe
So, am I a bookstagrammer? Am I a Poshmark seller? Am I super-duper into a million other things?
YESSIREEBOB. Yes. Yep. To all of the above, I absotootalutely am.
The truth is, when I started talking a lot more about Poshmark on my Instagram, a couple of my friends/followers asked, “What’s going on with your Insta? I thought you were a bookstagrammer?” And you know what? I am a bookstagrammer. I’m also an avid Poshmark Ambassador; I have been for a few years, but haven’t talked about it a whole lot outside of the house. For no real reason other than it’s just a fun hobby I can do on my own—that I’m also able to make some money with.
But then I started connecting with other Poshmark friends (or PFFs… hey, ladies ‘n gents!), and realized what a sensational community I’ve been missing out on. I’m also obsessed with various TV series, and I write movie reviews for another blog, too… But I haven’t written about those on my blog or on my Instagram, either.
And quite frankly, it’s for a dumb reason. But it’s also totally legit, and I dare say highly relatable. I simply haven’t written about any of these other interests or hobbies here because I’ve feared people who are interested in my other avenues (i.e., books and writing) may not care about those things.
And that’s sad. It made me feel pretty lame. But it also made me think, “Umm, Mandi? If you have a thousand interests, maybe everyone else does too—and maybe they’re also just keeping them to themselves.” But man, you guys! What a bummer that would be.
Then, just like that one time on spring break in Myrtle Beach when I ran face-first (completely sober, as a straight-edge teen) into a sliding glass door and got a bloody nose, it hit me: BAM.
Who the hell cares? These are all my interests. So I’ll write about them here. And I’ll post about them there. And I hope my blog readers and Instagram followers find what fascinates me fascinating, in return. After all, we could all stand to study up on new things. Learning about another person’s passions helps to sharpen the edges of an otherwise dull daily frame of reference.
But if not? If my bookish friends don’t find my vintage clothing posts cool, and if my writing friends don’t like my movie reviews: That’s OK, too!
And for the haters and Instagram Influencers who say you should carve out an audience by posting primarily about your niche? Meh. Let ’em.
Don’t confuse curiosity with being noncommittal.
You are allowed to be interested in more than one thing at any given time. Allow yourself that freedom to grow.
Luckily when it comes to everything that tickles my fancy—both old and fresh with excitement—my husband is my rock. He supports me in all my newfound endeavors. He encourages me to continue the ones that I sink my feet into—and conversely, he never makes me feel bad if a newly exciting hobby falls flat (here’s lookin’ at you, bread baking).
Curiosity should be embraced. Make room in your soul for your mainstays, your current compulsions, and potential new interests. Carving out time to cultivate a new hobby doesn’t mean you have to cut out your current [insert career or passion or pastime here]. It just means your brain and your heart get to explore a little more.
So, tell me: Which of your interests do you put out there in the world? And what other passions are lurking within?