Now, more than ever, it’s so easy to lose yourself. In media, in the mainstream. In mindless television, thoughtless drinking and dining. Tattoos and artificiality. Trends, fads, gimmicks. Generic lives and mediocrity.
Of course, most people don’t see it that way. They choose how to live their lives; they’re independent beings, of course.
If you’re like me, you can feel yourself being swayed into the current, and you resist it. But, it’s hard. You’re self-critical, and draw comparisons at every turn, to what the world wants you to be, and what you are or aren’t.
At your core, you don’t connect with many peers, for lacking much in common past the basics.
It’s just easier to go with the flow. If I didn’t care, I’d be much less in flux, perpetually. Content in being fed my life.
When I find myself in the hamster wheel, I hit the brakes and find a quiet corner to stop. Home, the gym, spin class, or a short trip. An evening of Netflix. Reflection.
For all the networks we belong to, and things we subscribe to, and greater systems we toil for…I believe you must have something of your own to maintain sanity and a sense of self.
Great, way to be vague.
Something of your own = anything that you direct, free of bosses, timelines, or competition. Hobbies, traditions, side projects. Rituals.
Personally, this blog is my place of ownership. I’m responsible for all content, imagery, thoughts, concepts, ideas, and designs. It’s all me and no one else. It moves at my speed, and will only blossom as much as I fertilize it. Scary and thrilling simultaneously.
And, I don’t know anyone else who is interested in and knows as much about fire engines, departments, service, and apparatus as I do. Baby’s first weird obsession.
I see it in my friends too (who similarly buck the path commonly taken): the one who makes wedding cakes and pastries as a side business, but doesn’t need it to live. His cakes are works of art, delicately and tactfully constructed and decorated.
The one who has made music videos, recorded original tracks, and will make a documentary some day. He inspires me to be 100% my weird, quirky, unconventional self, and do it loudly and proudly.
The one who crafts, making homemade greeting cards, tags, and wrappings. A brick & mortar store is forthcoming for her. (She manages a medical video production company, 8-5, btw.)
And most recently, the one who started a blog too – which even in its infancy feels so thoughtful.
The power of the owned hobby lies in its creative autonomy. Make your own rules, go however rapidly or slowly you want. Prune, water, and adequately light your thing and it might just bloom.
Whatever it does on its own…you will feel peace in having directed its destiny, and having had a place to go where no outside influences have weaseled in.
Of course, this won’t solve all your problems. I still want to be noticed, for people to pay attention to me and to find a job I wake up for enthusiastically each day.
In the meantime, it’s solace in an impersonal, overpopulated, mass market world.