Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Words of Wisdom: The Value of a Hobby

The Value of a Hobby
Lia Vosti

When I walk into a craft store, a card store, a journal store, or any kind of store that sells paper or craft supplies, I feel as if the word “alive” takes on a whole new meaning. My heart literally starts beating faster and my senses go into overdrive as my eyes begin to scan everything in the store until I find the piece of paper that makes my mind race with ideas of things I could make with that piece of paper, or the colorful tapes that that bring newfound joy to the art of using tape, or the yellow envelopes that could be the perfect vehicle for delivering the letter I will write to a friend.

Okay, call me crazy, but I love making cards and journals and pencil cans and basically anything that can be made or decorated with beautiful paper, buttons, ribbon, etc. According to my parents, this has been a hobby of mine since the day I was able to pick up a crayon. I can sit at a table with my art cart (yes, I have a roller-cart full of all of my art supplies!) and cut and glue and paint and draw things for hours on end.

I have asked myself many times why I devote so much time, energy, and money to this silly hobby of mine.

The answer is simple.  I have realized that it isn’t just a silly hobby; it’s a deep passion. When I make cards or pencil cans or journals, I feel inspired, and for the rest of the day I am more productive, focused and happy because I had so much fun.  I receive an added emotional bonus when I give those things to people I care about.  When I occasionally make something for myself I get continual visual reminders of my passion for creating things and the fun I experience while doing so.  Perhaps best of all, the pencils extracted from my, decorated pencil can seem to do a much better job at their appointed tasks! 

Howard Thurman once wrote, “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, because what the world needs is more people who have come alive.” I am twenty years old. I am studying bioengineering (which I also love) in college, and so far, making paper crafts seems to have nothing to do with the career path I have chosen. But paper crafts make me come alive. So much so that it brings excitement and inspiration into every other area of my life, including my studies.

I urge you to reconsider your hobbies. Reconsider their importance in your life. Or, if you don’t have any, what are you waiting for? Get one! Is there something productive in your life that you could do for hours and hours and never get bored?  Well, that’s your hobby. In your search for a productive hobby, try new things until you find an activity that makes you come alive. Once you find it, you’ll be hooked!

I believe that in order to live a good, happy, helpful, generous, loving life, one must live an inspired life. And the only way to do this is, clearly, to find the activities that inspire you and do them! (By the way, inspired people tend to cluster, so be prepared for an added bonus!)

Making cards inspires me. It makes me feel alive. Maybe someday I’ll make this hobby of mine a career, or maybe I’ll just keep making cards and presents for every friend I ever have. But no matter what path my life takes, I know one thing: I will always make time for cutting paper. 

The Words of Wisdom Column, Lia Vosti:

Lia Vosti is an undergraduate at Santa Clara University, majoring in Bioengineering. Growing up together, her words always made the most obscure situations crisp and clear. She is the up and coming Renaissance woman, able to give homely advise after a day in the lab, and wise beyond her years.  

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