Since I was three years old I’ve gone to dance class every week. By age ten dance became my favorite and most time-consuming hobby. When I was thirteen, the possibility of a career in ballet began to formulate in my mind. My (now daily) dance lessons transitioned seamlessly from hobbies to steps towards a job in a professional company. At this point, my time to pursue other interests drastically diminished. I moved to Florida to attend a ballet conservatory and then to Chicago to continue intensive training. By age seventeen, to my amazement and joy, I held a contract with one of America’s distinguished ballet companies in my hands.

This journey, from loving something to getting paid to do that thing, is a rare and beautiful gift. But I have recently noticed the way this journey has affected my pursuit of other skills and hobbies. 

I have noticed that when I start to pursue a new interest, I often stop myself subconsciously. There is a little voice in my head that demands a future for my new hobby, often even before I begin. It asks me why my blog doesn’t generate income yet, or if I could sell my knits for a profit. The voice doesn’t condone doing things “for fun”. 

I think this voice is wrong. Because there’s room for so much in a life. And in mine I want to be more than a dancer, and more than whatever else I do for income someday. I want to be able to knit beautiful gifts for my friends, and someday play an instrument with my family’s band (yep we have a family band). I want to learn another culture’s language and express myself through writing and art. I want to read many books and run to calm my thoughts. I want to cook to nourish my family and I want to travel. And I want to learn for the joy of learning because the people who do this are my favorite kind of people. I want to value these things for the privileges that they are. To have time and freedom to learn and grow. 

What activities bring you guys joy? What do you do just for fun? I’d love to hear.