Stepping into my "hobbies" era

Clutter of Joy (By: Hedy Zhou)

My rocky start to 2023 is still happening. I feel like I’m going through what people call “a quarter life crisis”. I’m blessed with potential paths to pursue but paralyzed by the thought of doing the wrong thing.

Long hours in front of a desk or very little pay? Higher income with benefits or a much more active lifestyle? Keep this job or try something new? Build a ‘respectable’ and progress oriented resume or one filled with experiences I want to try in my lifetime? Stay at home or move to another state? Play it safe or take the risk?

Life yields for no one and right now, I’m feeling rushed to make a decision on the direction I should take with my life. But obviously this decision isn’t black and white, and as much as I want to do what my gut is telling me to do, I can’t fully ignore the countering opinions of those who I know care about me. Despite our difference in lifestyle preferences, most of the time, their concerns do have some merit.

Holy shit though, sometimes I’m just so tired of caring about what other people think…

It’s fine, I’m fine. I’m figuring it out and it’s not that big of a deal. I have my health, so I honestly need to just chill.

Needless to say, I’ve been feeling a lot of fear and stress. To help deal with these feelings, I’ve really awakened the hobbyist within me over the past couple of months. I’ve always been intrigued by and interested in knitting and decided to purchase some yarn in late Feb to give it a try. I really like the idea of hand making something I can wear or use.

When I started, I was originally attempting to make a tube scarf, but once I realized it would take me forever to finish because of the light/fine yarn weight I chose, I decided to turn it into a top. I learned how to cast on, change yarns to incorporate different colors, bind off, and join knitted panels from watching YouTube videos. I didn’t follow a pattern but the top turned out a lot better than I expected!

My upper body is a combination of slightly broader than average shoulders and smaller than average boobs which often make tops ride or bunch up in an uncomfortable way. So once I decided to make a top instead, I was very intentional on how wide I’d make the straps and where I placed them. I’m super happy with the result and proud of myself for making a piece of clothing that fits me exactly the way I want it to.

My first knit top
My first knit top

I’ve also been cooking and baking (mostly baking) a lot more to try to expand my repertoire of recipes. Some new recipes I’ve tried include lemon shortbread cookies, scones, and crème brûlée. All of these were big hits with the people I’ve shared them with. The process of baking is therapeutic for me and sharing the goods is also rewarding.  

You’d be surprised by how easy some things are to make so if there’s a type of treat or food you really like, it wouldn’t hurt to try to make it yourself.

Crème Brûlée

Another new thing I recently tried was drawing a community property plan. I’m not even sure if I’m calling it the right thing but I just freehand drew a few tiny home community property plan ideas. I don’t have any technical architecture or engineering skills so these illustrations aren’t to scale or professional by any means.

I’ve just really liked the idea of living in a community centric environment, a place where people actively and can easily participate in community events and activities like weekly outdoor movie nights, pickup soccer or frisbee, summer BBQs, group yoga, and more. Imagine a space that’s conducive for creating a sense of community and truly being friends with your neighbors.

How wonderful would it be if parents could just ask their neighbors to babysit their kid(s) for a night and not feel guilty about it, instead of going online to find a stranger to do it, or people take back the power to grow their own organic and nutrient dense produce in a community garden.

I have so many thoughts and ideas on this subject that I could write at least another few blog posts worth of content. Community/village focused living is definitely something I want to talk about more. I really hope people start seeing and continue seeing the value in living in spaces similar to this, and one day, this can be our reality.

One of my drafts for a community living layout. (This one is missing a few elements.)
One of my drafts for a community living layout. (This one is missing a few elements.)

I wish I could tell you I’ve been running too but unfortunately I haven’t been. I accidentally kicked my right foot into the corner of a wall just over two weeks ago and I don’t know how I fucked up my right pinky toe this bad, but it still hurts when I try to curl it or put pressure on it. It’s been getting better and I can walk without any pain but the healing process is taking a lot longer than I expected.

I played frisbee for about an hour a couple days ago and my toe definitely felt a little worse the next day, so I don’t want to push it. I’m hoping whatever is wrong with it will heal in the next couple of weeks. Until then, I’m going to stick with stationary exercises and yoga to stay active.

If you're interested in seeing more about my hobbies, I recently created a Instagram account for things I make: @hedymakes

I hope you have an awesome day and I’ll write again soon... not making any promises though ;)