Growing up, I was that child. You know, the one who was out every night after school at clubs. Ballet lessons, French lessons, recorder lessons, piano lessons, flute lessons, tap lessons, the school netball team, chess club (don’t laugh) and choir. Right up until I went to university, I still took ballet and contemporary dance lessons each week. But there’s something about getting older that makes you slowly dissolve your hobby list, and recently it’s been getting me down. Where are my hobbies now?
The first hobby I gave up on was tap lessons. I took these lessons for about a year and I hated them. Not because I didn’t love dancing, but my beginners tap class had a huge age range. I was 7, the youngest in the group. The eldest group of girls were 14. Can you really expect people with such an age gap to pick up the steps at the same time? Absolutely not! But instead of helping out those falling behind, the teacher (when she bothered to show up, and didn’t leave her 17 year old student helpers teaching the class), she kept making the classes more advanced for the older girls. After a year of being pushed to the side, enough was enough and I quit. It does break my heart just a little bit that I didn’t continue with tap lessons because watching it just fills me with joy. But tap was just the beginning.
After giving up one class, I gave up so many more. Chess club was first, but that really only lasted a few months (lack of interest if I remember). Then went recorder lessons in favour of flute lessons, which didn’t last long at all. I stopped French lessons when I picked it up at school. When I was thirteen I realised that piano was not my forte and I gave up music all together, with the exception of choir at school. Netball only stayed with me until I was 14, and even my choir attendance dwindled as I approached sixth form. I did pick up contemporary dance lessons alongside my ballet lessons, but I went from spending around 10 hours in the dance studio a week to just three. And when I went to university I stopped going completely.
It breaks my heart a little that I spent so many hours on these hobbies to leave very little evidence of them in my life. All I have left from my dance years are photos of pantomimes I was in, DVD and VHS evidence that I was once a little graceful and the odd medal. My figure definitely isn’t that of a girl who spent 15 years in a dance studo! I’m not someone who easily gives up on hobbies, and that’s why Essential Twenty has lasted me so long. I’ve blogged for years (the good ol’ tumblr days) but this is the first blog that I’ve really invested in. Both time and money.
And I’m going to be 100% honest here: it’s getting harder to find the positives in blogging these days, with the cattiness in the community and issues that lie around follower count. But I’m glad it’s a hobby that I still have in my twenties. Sure, I also go to the gym, do jigsaws and go to the theatre, but I don’t know if I class these as hobbies (especially the gym as I’m pretty rubbish at going). This blog is my everything, and it’s brought me incredible things.
I really hope it continues to bring me such enjoyment in 2018. I love going to events, I love the friends I’ve made through blogging (and even gone away with some of them) and I love writing. So I may have given up on countless hobbies over my life, but I can definitely see Essential Twenty being around for a while.