I'm not new to writing, I'm not new to blogosphere. There were days in my life when I spent my time only writing down things, writing sentences and patching them up that I'd call as 'poems', writing and then striking them off because they're not good enough for the world. That was the only way I could express it. That was the only outlet for my creative freedom. As a child, I was not very good at any creative hobby like singing or drawing. I was encouraged to study more than pursuing hobbies. If you go and ask my parents, right now, why didn't you encourage Vidya to have more hobbies, then they would answer with a counter-question, 'Do these hobbies put bread on your plate?'
This was the answer (or question?) I got from my mom when I was throwing a tantrum to buy more sketches to draw in my 10th grade (passing 10th grade is a big deal in India). I was discouraged from drawing. I was discouraged from reading fictional books. I was discouraged from singing. I was discouraged from dancing.
The only thing I could do without grabbing attention from my parents was, yes you guessed it, writing. I wrote and wrote until there was nothing left to say. I'm embarrassed to go back to my old blogs and read them. I'm embarrassed to know that I felt such deep feelings at that age. I could have been spared from all those feelings if only I was given a medium to be creative. If only I was given a choice to explore things other than studying. Like Natalie Portman, I don't like studying, I like learning. Learning things that tickle my curiosity is beautiful. So, I was not against learning but I was this child who believed her parents' words. I believed for such a long time that hobbies don't feed you, they don't put bread on your plate so they're not worth pursuing, they're not worth your time. Boy, were they wrong!
If I could go back in time and tell my younger self one thing, then it would be to let her know that hobbies DO NOT have to put food on the table. Not everything in life is pursued to make more money. If you do decide to make your hobby your career, that's a topic for another day. But, they are not necessarily pursued to create material wealth. They are pursued out of pure curiosity. Out of pure interest. Hobbies are like food for your creativity. They are an outlet to express what you are as a person. They shape your thinking. They help you explore the corners that are otherwise hidden away. Hobbies simply exist to bring you joy, not money. If they do bring money, well then, aren't you the luckiest person in the world? 🙂
My old blogs gave me so much freedom to be what I wanted to be. I lived in fiction, I weaved stories, I was playing with sentences, I was experimenting with rhymes, oh whatnot. I loved writing. It was the one thing I regret not doing more often.
If you ask me why I stopped writing if I loved it so much, I have no concrete reason. Every reason I come up with feels like an excuse. But, this post which I wrote back in 2011 has some truth to it. I'm not great at expressing myself when I'm happy. I simply stay quiet and enjoy the moment. As I grew, people started saying that being an open book isn't good. I shouldn't be sharing the feelings that I was sharing. Although I did not listen to them initially, they got to me eventually. I stopped writing. I stopped expressing myself through writing. At least, I did not let the world know that I write. I let myself forget the one which brought me joy.
When I reached an age where I'm more independent in my thoughts, I started exploring other hobbies as well. Painting, binge-watching Hollywood movies, exotic ones even. Book scraping. Bullet journaling. Tried to learn music by playing a keyboard. Reading and hoarding 100s of books. You see, as I grew, I started exploring more and more mediums to express myself. Also, I don't consider scrolling through Facebook feed or Twitter timeline as a hobby although I did all of that and still do. There never was a year without me doing something besides learning.
This year, I finally found my way back to explore old and new hobbies. I started curating a Newsletter called The Curious Bunch and blogging. I initially created this website to explore my interest in Data Science and AI. I did write a few articles around it. I tried to dedicate some time in the evenings to research and come up with new articles under those categories. But I quickly realized I cannot be confined within 2 or 3 topics. My interests vary. Research and writing are two things I cannot confine myself to just a few handfuls of topics. If given enough time, I want to explore the depth and breadth of any topic, any category.
I've recently come across this tweet by Jordon
and I'm obsessed with this idea the same as him! I couldn't contain myself when I found another person who resonates with my thoughts. It gave me so much confidence to go forward and just explore the wilderness which is out there. Right now, I'm brainstorming 3 topics. Writing, Life stories (like how I rambled about hobbies here), and NoCode tools.
I'd like to see myself as a writer someday, I know, too big of ambition, but you know a girl can have silly dreams as well. 😬 So, I'd like to continue writing, a blog post a week so that I don't give up on this again. This is my primary medium to express myself without limiting myself. I may write fiction, share some stories from my life, or my moods, oh I don't know, everything I want to put down on a paper and is decent enough to share with you. 🙂
I hope you enjoyed this little piece from me today. This is me, re-starting writing and blogging. 🙂
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