Hi! My name is Julia. I am a creative optimist, loving wife and a crazy cat person. I also happen to be a hobby hoarder.
I have never planned it that way. I am not collecting hobbies as part of a project or a challenge. I have just always been interested in the world around me, and I really enjoy trying new things – or am unable to concentrate on one thing, depends on how you want to look at it.
That was actually my problem for a while: I did not know how to look at it, myself. I mean, I did enjoy trying new stuff and taking up new hobbies, but I felt that it was… not exactly wrong, but also definitely not quite right.
I believed that the best way, the right way was to concentrate on just a few things, like, say, your job and one or two hobbies, and do them really well, you know, shooting for the stars, striving for perfection and all that.
I still admire people who can choose a path in life and follow it through. But this is not the way for me.
I don’t want to say that I never follow things through. I do have a profession that I love and a few “steady” hobbies that I either do regularly or to which I return again and again. But I have realized that I can also try out a whole variety of new hobbies without making them a life-time commitment. And I have realized that it’s okay to be an amateur.
Wow, that’s a profound idea, isn’t it? : ) But, surprisingly, it took me quite a while to get it. I was definitely in my twenties or maybe even mid-twenties when I began to come to terms with the fact that I am a jack-of-all-trades (master of just a few), always will be – and that it’s okay to be one and to enjoy it. Better late, than never, I guess.
I mostly worked this out myself, albeit very slowly, but I had some help along the way as well. This maybe too much for an About Me page, but there are two examples I’d like to share – scroll down if you’re not interested : )
A few years ago I discovered this amazing video on ted.com – I do not even remember how anymore. But this short video and its simple idea really inspired me, reminding me how amazing it is to try something new and also giving me a few ideas of projects to try. I may write a whole blog post about my experience, but for now just watch it and see for yourself.
The second example is the book “Refuse to choose!” by Barbara Sher. I don’t know, there may be other books like it, but this is the one I came across when browsing the corporate self-improvement library we have at work – and I am glad I did. Again, I’m thinking of writing a full review of the book someday – I think it might be really useful for someone like me, especially if you are still struggling with the idea of being a jack-of-all-trades. But for now it will suffice to say that the key note of the book is basically that it is okay to be a jack-of-all-trades (I know, simple, but just what I needed), not just okay, it can be great – and the author goes even further to show that it is possible to successfully incorporate both work and hobbies into your life, including multiple hobbies. I enjoyed reading the book, and it supported me even further in my desire to regularly try out new things in life.
Why this blog?
Apparently, just having many hobbies and trying something new every now and then was not enough for me.
I work as an English teacher (ESL). Now it is hard for me to say whether my character influenced my choice of profession or vice versa (it seems a little like a chicken-or-egg kind of situation), but I love sharing my knowledge with people. Not just sharing – I am actually not that big on handing out unasked-for advice – but helping people when they need it, making a difference.
I feel really happy when I manage to show people that learning a foreign language is not just something they have to do, for example, to enter a university or to get a job, but also something that is fun and can be a great hobby. I know for sure that I inspired at least two people to take up a second foreign language apart from English, and they enjoy learning it – and I consider this an achievement : )
People often come to me saying something like “I am not good at languages and I never will be”, “learning English is not for me”, “learning a foreign language is hard” and “I have no talent”. And part of my job – the part I truly enjoy – is dispelling these myths, helping people believe in themselves, showing them that nothing is impossible to a willing heart and mind.
But as I have mentioned above, my job is not the only thing I do in life, not the only thing I love and possess some knowledge about. I also have quite a few hobbies, and I have accumulated quite a knowledge base in relation to them.
There some hobbies that I have been doing nearly all my life, like various forms of drawing and painting or various crafts. I am not a professional, but I know a few things – enough to create some interesting tutorials or give some helpful tips. Other hobbies are rather new, like doing yoga, but for them I could write beginners guides, sharing things newbie to newbie : )
“Why would I need a guide from a beginner?”, you may ask. Well, why not? Sometimes beginners see things differently from professionals, and what a professional sees as something obvious, a beginner may have problems with – and a fellow beginner may actually be a bit better at explaining something like this. Also, even at a beginner’s level I could share some pitfalls that I encountered and help you avoid them if you decide to take up this hobby. And finally, if just sharing my excitement over a new hobby inspires someone to try it, wouldn’t it be great?
Who is this blog for?
This blog is for you if you:
- are looking for a new hobby to start;
- want some tips and insights about your existing hobbies;
- need some inspiration – to take up a hobby or go on with one;
- need some help with organization – I will also share tips on organizing your time and space to accommodate numerous hobbies in your life;
- want to broaden your horizons a bit, not necessarily trying all the hobbies in this blog, but learning about them and getting to know people who practice them;
- are a jack-of-all-trades yourself and want to create a community of like-minded people together with me;
- are just curious about people’s hobbies and life in general.
Seems a little too broad? Well, if you have not skipped the first part, you already know that it is hard for me to narrow things down and choose one hobby – or one theme / niche for my blog : ) So, I will set myself this ambitious goal and, well, shoot for the stars.
If all this seems interesting and does not scare you away – join me on my adventure in the world of hobbies : ) Subscribe to stay notified when new posts come out. Create and join discussions in the comments. And also do not hesitate to get in touch, especially if there is a particular hobby you are interested in: I may have tried it, but have not written about it yet, and I will be happy to write about something that interests you.
See you around!