7.21.2014

Your Hobby Isn't Worthy of #Pinterest? It Might Be Real Life.

I've had some time to think lately, and came to the realization that there are some things I will never be

I will never be a world-class knitter. Should someone be in need of a simple hat or scarf, I have the skills (rusty as they are) to help them out, but that's as far as it goes, and I'm okay with that. It's a hobby I tried and retired.

I will never be a power blogger. I have no skills for self-promotion (that's the "I" part of INTJ shining through), and no blogging plan or specific niche (which, from what I've read, is a must if you want to hit the big time). And I'm okay with that too. I'm happy to support bloggers who resonate with me.

I will never be a master chef (no patience) or a much sought-after editor (I enjoy it, but the mistakes I miss annoy me too much). I will never be a linguist (though the idea of speaking a second language appeals to me), an award winning photographer (good pictures are an accident in my world), or a best-selling author (we tried - again with the self-promotion roadblock). And I'm okay with all of that.

What I know is this: I'm a raving fan of the good food others fix, I'll happily proof-read for friends, I appreciate my bi-lingual husband, respect my successful brother, and write honest book reviews on Amazon & Goodreads. In short, I am a great cheerleader. Introvert surprise!

While updating my bio earlier this year, I realized that I could not pinpoint the non-essential (read: non-eternal) things that really made me tick. Although I had attempted to emulate the interests and talents of various friends and family members over the years, editing was as close as I got to something that fit my natural skills. And even that lost its bloom over time.

Last week I stopped trying to figure out what I was good at, and instead paid attention to what made me want to do the {happy dance}. I looked specifically at the people I followed on Twitter, the blogs I read, the books I bought, and the tasks I enjoyed in my free-time.

Here's what I discovered...

I like to eat. I like to eat really well-made food, ethnic food, unique food. Though I will never be a great chef, my own cooking skills have improved in the last few years, and with that, my confidence. My husband, on the other hand, loves to cook. It's a hobby he has embraced, and I am an enthusiastic fan of his growing skills. If you recall, I almost had my gallbladder removed in honor of his butter sauce! When presented with a menu at a fine restaurant, I get downright giddy. If you're looking for a raving fan to cheer you on in food prep, I'm your woman.

I love to travel & I adore culture. Start talking international, and I'm there, pulling out suitcases, passport in hand. For 4.5 years we had the amazing opportunity to live and work in east Africa, southern Africa, various ports of call in southeast Asia, and the United States - from North Carolina to Idaho to Alaska and back. And I miss it. I miss living out of a suitcase. I miss the flavors of new foods, the sights, sounds, and smells of a new country, the culture of a new-to-me people group. I like stretching my dollar and splurging on occasion. I like trying to "blend in" and pay attention to reducing the American side of me. The idea of living outside of the U.S. again is not outside the realm of possibility, and fortunately, I married someone who loves it as much as I do. 

I like to find ways to save a dollar, but have a life. I'm not one of those budget bloggers who can feed a family of 20 on $3 a day, but I do have a little financial savvy, plus the experience of paying off our 30-year mortgage in 11+ years, most of that within one 9-month period of time. I wrote about it here (and no, I never wrote that e-book). I know each couple, family, and individual is unique, with various levels of income, interests, goals, self-control, and yes, even hobbies, and there is no one-size-fits-all plan. But I like to share our story in the hopes that something might resonate with someone who is ready for a change. {P.S. I loved this post from Tsh about their choices}

I enjoy planning and executing home improvement projects. When it comes to renovation ideas, seeing the big picture and visualizing the final result would be listed in the category of "fun" for me. For whatever reason, perhaps something to do with our INTJ personalities, both my husband and I can look at a worn out house and see the potential within. Within minutes of walking through a space or looking at pictures online, we have come up with a plan to revitalize it - with very few surprises about what the finished product will look like. And though we have the skills to do much of the work ourselves, we've learned the hard way what we are willing to do, and what it's better to hire out. If we can work our way up to having disposable income, I could easily see this becoming our self-supporting career.  

I am a reader. I have been since my mother placed a book in my hand as a 5 year old and taught me to sound out "Little House in the Big Woods". If I find myself with 5 minutes to spare in a waiting room, I'm pulling out my phone for the Kindle app. I have two, never-shrinking stacks of books on my nightstand, and love used book stores, Amazon gift cards, and Goodreads giveaways. Books are my Achilles heel. I still pinch myself when I get paid to read for work (a little more rare these days, but it still happens), and love it when I stumble upon a series of books that sucks me in. It's more than just a hobby, reading is part of my DNA.

Finally I have my list. And while none of these things pay the bills (with the occasional exception of the book thing), and they may not be "pinnable" or even cause me to suddenly find my place in the blogging world, they are solidly mine. A direct result of the personal experiences of my life; bringing with them not just fun for the present, but positive memories from the past, and big dreams for the future.

What makes you tick?

3 comments:

  1. I loved this list and getting to know you better! Since you like food so much, you may enjoy my friend Kathy's blog - http://www.myurbanpantry.com/

    Sad truth - I've never read the Little House books. But grew up on the television show!

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  2. Love this Carrie! Tim and Tonya are back and we had a great time catching up and remembering Lesotho ~ we should all go back overseas together again! :)
    Laura

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  3. Yep, this sounds exactly like you! :) I can relate to feeling like a "jack of all trades, master of none," but this makes me stop and think about the other bits of real-living that I enjoy - reading (of course!), exploring national and state parks, encouraging people through written words, pursuing a deeper relationship with God.

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There are more than 400,000 words in the English language. My only request of you is this: Use them wisely.

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