Life has been nothing short of easy. Once you learn that it is not one steady gradual rise it will become easier to bear. The past two years of my life have been full of trials and tribulations, lessons learned, tears cried, pain and growth. The ultimate transcending of shedding the old and inviting the new. I held a lot of resentment in my heart. I've been closed off, reserved. I couldn't bear another heartbreak, another lesson. This attitude was shown in my work, and how I interacted with others. I was frustrated, I felt stuck. It was a never-ending cycle and I didn't know how to get out. I prayed. I cried. I buried myself in work. I knew I wanted to go up, but I lacked the tools. Turns out, I was the one holding myself back. I refused to let go of the pain I harbored through those trails. I refused to see the lessons that I was being given and rather chose to resent the space I was in.
I would go to work and be miserable. This isn't where I wanted to be, but somehow where I ended up. I hated it. Everyone could see how much I hated it. So they told me to leave, told me they didn't want me there. Trust me yall, I tried to leave; too many times I tried to leave, but something beyond me kept me there. So I talked to my superior. I explained to them how frustrated I was, and how I needed a way out, a release. I was stressed out and I hated the space I was in. I don’t like to be complacent, so I wanted to find my way out. Do you know what he told me? “Find a hobby.'' I scoffed. "A hobby? That is your advice for my frustrations? A hobby? That has nothing to do with my work ethic, my career path, and my future goals, how is that going to help me?" I left that office feeling the same as before, frustrated and full of resentment. “Pshh, I had plenty of hobbies, I was fine.” Clearly, I had to figure out how to get off my hamster wheel on my own.
I woke up one morning yearning to get on my bike. It was in the back of my mind for a few weeks, but this specific morning I felt like I needed to get on a bike. Problem was, my childhood bike was gone with the wind. I took it to college with me and let it rot outside of my old dusty apartment. It was moving day and I was not about to lug that thing through the hilly campus of the University of Florida. The strangers can have a field day, I didn’t need it. My sister's childhood bike identical to mine stood in our garage; frame bent, tires flat, it was out of commission. So now what? I wanted to be on a bike! So I went to Facebook to search for a bike – turns out, there are tons of people looking to get rid of their old bikes. I found one within the hour. My Ruby. I got her for $65, the seller was a short 20-minute ride away, so I hopped in my car and went to pick up my new bike. I took my first ride that afternoon and I felt SO liberated. I felt like I connected with my inner kid again. It was exactly what I needed, exactly what I was looking for. I rode Ruby everywhere. It wasn't long before my 1-2 mile rides became 4 and 5. Soon enough I took my first 15-mile trek. I was in awe of how much I loved my bike. How relieving it was. How freeing it felt. I rode my Ruby to the ground, so much so her chain popped and I had to take her in for a tune-up. There the man told me that my bike was too small, and it wasn't beneficial for me. If I was going to be a true bike rider, I needed to invest. I knew the joy my bike brought me and I knew I couldn't leave that store without a bike. So with my last, I invested. I left the store with a brand new bike (well used, but new to me). Overjoyed, I took home my new baby, my new escape. A healthy one at that. Finding a hobby was the best thing that ever happened to me, and that hobby was riding my bike. Me? A black girl, with kinky curly hair, out in the sun for hours upon hours riding a bike sweating out my edges?! YES! That's me! Having the time of my life!
When I finally stopped searching, and simply started flowing, life became easier to bear. I went where I was led, did what I was called to do. Finding a hobby wasn't easy. I think I went through many various tasks before I stumbled upon what I truly loved. I instantly knew this was for me, something that I could do just for me and only me.
I encourage everyone to “find a hobby.”
Find something that makes you happy, that you can do by yourself.
Find something that is in close proximity and easily accessible so there's no excuse for you not to do it.
Find something that connects you with your inner child, the inner being that craves to come out and play.
Whatever you find, don't monetize on that. Don't turn your hobby into work, for it will no longer be your escape.
Find something that you deeply miss when you don't do it for a while.
Keep trying activities that make you burst with emotions. I can't tell you how many times I've cried while riding my bike, good cries, bad cries, worship cries, all kinds of cries.
What I thought was the worst advice EVER turned out to be the very words that lead me off my hamster wheel of wallowing in my own pity and finding new joy, new happiness. Turns out, those very words happened to be the BEST advice I was given in 2022. Find a hobby. Find your release, I promise, it’ll change your life. Once you find that thing that makes you happy, keep it close and never let go.