A couple of weeks ago, I was bullshitting with someone at the gym about life in these crazy times, and I blurted out something without even thinking.
The only two places I’m happy anymore are here (at the gym) and cooking in my kitchen.
I was taken aback by my own statement.
Without pause or pondering, I pinpointed the two places where I feel most relaxed and in the moment. I’m able to “shut off my brain,” so to speak, relax and enjoy what I’m doing. I started to ponder why these two activities, in particular, give me this type of joy, and I came up with a few reasons.
1. I’m Pursuing a Passion
Not only pursuing it, but I am actively trying to excel at these things. I want to get stronger, and I want to be a better cook. I know I’m strong now and can cook, but I want to be better. I find pleasure in seeing if I can actually get better, and I enjoy the process, the journey of it.
This pursuit is sort of new for me. I did not play sports as a kid or have the discipline to learn an instrument. My hobbies always included passive things like watching movies or listening to music. Fun stuff, sure, but not something you get better at with time, practice, and patience.
Frankly, I think blogging back in the day helped me get to where I am now, which leads me to my second reason.
2. I Actively Connect
When I’m at the gym, everyone there also wants to get stronger. We are in pursuit of similar goals, and we support each other to achieve those goals. When I see other people kicking ass and hitting a PR (personal record), I am inspired to push myself even more.
Same with cooking. I share my adventures in the kitchen because I can connect with other people who also enjoy being creative with their food. I have friends I cook for and get feedback. I’m always learning, pushing myself out of my comfort zone, and trying new things with them.
I am ever appreciative of social media for this reason as well. It gives me an outlet to share these passions and connect with others who also enjoy them.
These hobbies have been a way to connect, and I need that type of connection in my life. It feeds my soul.
3. They’re Mine
This last reason is probably the hardest to explain, but I’m going to try.
I’ve always been one of those people to kind of absorb other people’s interests. Do you know what I mean? If a friend was into, say, theater, then I’d join them to see shows. I’d take a class if they asked. I’d adopt the interest because it was my way to foster our friendship and show my support.
I’m still like this. I love to learn what other people are into, but you tend to lose yourself when you have that personality trait.
My current passions are mine and mine alone. I didn’t start doing them because I was trying to support a friend. I didn’t join the gym with someone else and start lifting. I don’t cook and develop menus because someone else wants to. I do these things purely because I love to, and through pursuing these interests, I have found friends who share the same passions instead of the other way around.
Does that make sense?
Anyway, I was just doing a little soul searching and figured I get these thoughts out of the old noggin like I used to because writing like this is also one of those things that help me feel fulfilled. Although, I think it may be the sharing part that I enjoy more than the writing part. When others relate to my thoughts and experiences, it makes me happy, and I feel less alone.