A Bad Hobbyist

I like to do a lot of things. But I’m not good at almost any of them.

This is how it usually goes: I try something, with the borrowed or the cheapest equipment (salsa dancing in sandals, playing other people’s ukulele, drawing with colourful pencils for children, playing badminton with other people’s brackets…) Because I don’t want to invest in something I’m just trying out. And then, I will have so much fun that I want to “be serious” about doing it. So gears are bought (light-weight, cat-heels dancing shoes, a brand-new ukulele, a professional set of drawing pencils, my own pair of badminton brackets with a badminton ball…) “I’m going to do this as often as I can! Better once a week!”

And I never do it again. Mostly because something else comes up and I just forget about it. Then I might do it again half year or a year later. Something you do twice a year is not your hobby.

My husband said that his hobby is to play computer games about once to twice a month. When I said “it’s not a good hobby” he said “you don’t even have a hobby.”

I guess I really don’t have one.

Hobby is what you do for fun. It seems that no matter whatever fun I have doing stuff stops right after I consider doing it more often.

Commitment issue? I don’t know.

But most things are like skiing. You try it once. The first time is usually fun, but the real fun comes after you get somewhat good at it.

I can consider myself to be a bad hobbyist. Or maybe my hobby is just to discover new, fun things, and then move on to something else.

Maybe I should stop wanting to have a hobby because clearly too many things are interesting to me and I’m bad at keeping one.

Maybe trying different things is my hobby. The “feeling like a bad hobbyist” part not included. Because that’s not fun.

Dig deeper and/or let it go

Feeling stuck because of overthinking? You might think you have two options. Dig deeper or let it go. But there might be another way.

What I find important for me is that I’m not able to let go of things I’m overthinking about easily. The best strategy is in fact to let it go for a while and wait for whether it comes back. If it does, it means it’s really important; if it doesn’t, well, it’s been let go.

And when it comes back, with the time distance, it doesn’t come back exactly as how it was. The new aspect of it might just be the crack of the shell that I was looking for to solve the problem. Or it might be the crack through which I can see a new world.

How to make it work?

I don’t have the answer. That’s why there’s a question mark in the title.

But I know how it won’t work.

It won’t work if the idea remains a thought, a dream, or even turning into a nightmare. (Because… you know, unfulfilled things might hunt you.)

It won’t work if you take one step forward and stops when it gets a little bit harder.

It won’t work if you get a bit sweetness out of a short period of hard work and then call it a day — and you are doing it not because you are satisfied, but because you are afraid of failing.

It won’t work if you think it’s too much to ask for life to give you what you really want. “I have this so it’s not fair to ask for that.” Who are you taking it from?

It won’t work if you don’t have a structure — any structure — when you have more than one thought in your head, more than one thing you need to do a day.

It won’t work if you put (imagined) others in the spotlight of your life.

It won’t work if you are a closed person.

It won’t work if you are too careless.

It won’t work if you can too much.

It won’t work if you take yourself and life too seriously.

It won’t work if you don’t have a brake.

It won’t work if you pulling the brake the whole time.

So how can you make it work?

I’m really asking.

A double life of a wanna-be artist

You are working on your dream project. You are finally writing that poetry collection, that novella, learning how to play guitar, how to do oil painting, you are taking singing lessons…

… in secret.

Oh you are more than ok to share what you are doing with strangers, though. Actually, you are desperate for more attention from “an audience” — the bigger the audience, the better! As long as none of them know you from work, school, or… reality.

It’s like you are living two different lives. It’d be ideal if they don’t have any overlap with the other. Until… in your secret life, you’ve made it. Then you will be ok with the people in your “real life” finding out about your success.

But not before that.

You probably don’t want to admit it. But you are hiding. This is something new in the age of Internet. You can hide what you are doing from the world around you, by just not telling your family and friends.

You feel like a superhero, living the double life. “Peter Parker didn’t want his aunt and MJ find out that he was Spiderman for a reason.”

A good reason.

“What would they think of me? They will judge me because I’m putting myself out there and making myself look bad and they will laugh at me or think I’m a poser and loser…”

Yeah, right. Hello, ego.

The truth is, they will not be thinking or talking about you, much.

And you think you are reaching for the stars and actually wanting to become something, while in reality you are the boring person who’s doing nothing but staying within the lines.

The time you are busy trying to hide your talent and effort and artistic endeavours from the others is wasted. Because they don’t have time to care about you, for they are probably busy with hiding what they really want from you.

So you can tell your ego to stop making your life harder than it already is. You might feel like a superhero living a double life, but you are not really Spiderman. By telling the people you know and coming out of hiding, not so much is at stake but your own ego.

I don’t have time for you. I have work to do.

You come to visit again. My old foe.

You make me feel that I’m not good enough to do what I’m doing. I’m not capable. I’m not worthy.

You make me feel everything doesn’t make sense, that everything I do is to fool myself.

“I’m kidding myself.”

“I’m heading nowhere.”

“I’m wasting my time because it’s just the wrong thing for me to do.”

You are the creator of my creative funk.


You always come back when I’m standing alone. You feed on loneliness.

You return to me when I’m impatient to achieve my goals, when I’m obsessed with utilitarianism. You are hungry for the urge and greed for gratification.

You visit when I lack practice, when my streaks are broken for too long. When the skills are unfamiliar and the hands are stiff.

You grow strong and vigorous in time gaps.


But I don’t have time for you.

I know that I will eventually get over you and know you are merely a shadow of my own mind.

So why not now?

Why do I always go through the cycle of letting you mess with my thoughts, waste my time to live and to create, and then get myself out of your mind game only after you’ve had your fun troubling me?

So pack your bag and leave. I’ve got work to do.

How burnout feels like

Burnout. Terrifying?

The danger of burnout is that you are likely not aware that you have it.

That’s when burnout gets you.

I felt down. Physically and emotionally. Every second of every day. Losing sleep, losing interest in other things, feeling like a walking corpse.

There was only one thing on my mind: you’ve gotta keep going. There’s no other way.

Burnout feels like a layer on your skin. It’s almost inside of your cells but your body knows it’s strange.

Or is it a curse? Something possible to get rid of, but you can’t if you are enchanted by it and don’t know that you have it, until it’s too late.

I needed someone else to tell me that what I was feeling — feeling exhausted from what I was doing and thinking about all day and never felt well again — was the result of having burnout for a long time.

I can’t believe I didn’t know. Because for such a long time, food and drinks didn’t have taste, my body didn’t feel like moving, and I was emotionally on the edge of losing it every day.

Should have known earlier. Life is short.

Don’t bother going back (because you can’t)

Ok, in this post I’m going to sound like a really old person:

I don’t want to say “my best time has passed” (even though by saying so I’m actually saying it). But I do miss how I used to feel when I was younger.

By younger, I mean, when I was in junior high, primary school, even kindergarten.

Not even high school. I already got too “grownup” when I was in high school. I was scared of how other people might think of me. I was timid; I hid so that people wouldn’t know how awesome I could be so that I could judge or admire those who didn’t hide.

I wouldn’t say I was fearless when I was young. 16 years old was a curse to me in that sense. What I want to find back is the version of me that was not yet ruined by the growing-up hormones.

I didn’t care what others thought of me. The less I care, the better results I got.

But I was a believer until I got disappointed.

Things were easier to accomplish when I was a believer.

Writing was easier to enjoy if it’s just about writing and building up stories in my head. No consequences. No time being wasted.

It’s a luxury to enjoy things as how it is. As doing, no thinking. As being, no trying to be.

My point being…

Is there anything I can do, anything at all, to get back those qualities of mine when I was a kid, but still be an adult, grownup woman, wife, and mother?


“Wanting to go back is resulted from not being ok with who you are. That’s why I never want to go back.” I used to say this in my early 20s.

Now I’m in my early 30s. What changed? Why suddenly being me as how I am is not good enough, and I want to travel back to my childhood to feel something good about myself?

What changed?


If I’m not able to travel back in time, I want to be ok with who I am now.

The “peak time” I felt when I was younger was not because I was really at the peak. There’s no peak in life.

There’s only the peak of feeling. And feelings you can get back.

I don’t want to bother doing something that’s impossible to do — going back to be a kid, enjoying the luxury of not caring and not taking the weight of life on my shoulders.

I want to get back that feeling from not caring, just doing and enjoying, out of love and curiosity.

Find a job that doesn’t kill me. Or do my own thing that I enjoy and doesn’t starve me.

Life is so short. It might be even shorter than I expect. Don’t bother wanting to go back. The current me is worth loving too.

On a day that feels “wrong”

Do you have such a day some time?

Something doesn’t feel right. Either you feel tired, down, doesn’t feel like doing anything; or you just want to do something that numbs your mind.

No matter what others say. They might say “oh you can and should get out of that funk state.”

You can go out for a walk.

You can meditate.

You can take a bath.

You can do sport.

You can do anything that works for you.

But you can also just rest.

If this kind of “low state” doesn’t appear too often, like once a week or something, you can just rest.

You should allow yourself go to rest — disregard all the things that drain your energy — just have that “free” day.

If you can afford it.

Don’t be too hard on yourself. Tomorrow you are back on the road.

Take a day to let yourself breathe.

Love yourself and find your own way.

To yourself: be kind, be fair

The language we use yields much power. Especially when we use it to describe events in our lives.

I’m not talking about affirmation here. It won’t help you if you tell yourself repeatedly again and again the things with your mouth, but in your head you deny it, because for you it’s just not true?

What I mean is this: be aware of the role of yourself in your own story. Are you putting yourself in a hero’s position? Are you an active doer or a passive receiver? With what intention were you making decisions? Because intention and outcome aren’t always hand-in-hand. They should be judged separately. Too often people are judged by the outcome of their actions only. And no one’s interested in the backstory involving their intention.

What’s your backstory? What roles do you see yourself took on?

People are subjective. We all are. But at least we can try to be fair with ourselves.

For most of us, it’s easy to be kind to others, but not to ourselves.

We can’t escape who we are

We cannot escape who we are.

We spend most of our time as creatives to observe. To observe others, how they are, what they are doing, and how they have become who they are today.

We observe to be inspired.

But that’s when we fail to observe or to know who we are.

Our characters.

Our passion, not for others, but for ourselves.

Observing and learning about others, fascinated by others, by the experience of watching.

But the downside is, it’s easy to get lost in the observing. It’s easy to forget ourselves in the process.


Like the ability to love, we can love others better if we love ourselves.

We can tell stories better if we know our own stories.

Find who we are, so that we can then improve ourselves, our craft, in many ways.

Just mind that there is no point to wanting to be someone else.

There’s no point even to trying to escape. Think about Don Draper.

Stop playing a role.

Accept and make the best out of how we really are.

Because that’s who we are. That’s how we can truly be happy as human beings.