Updated: Aug 9, 2019
This, for me, is a very passionate subject.
When I was younger, I often struggled with pretty profound questions that really had no place being in a kid's head - like what was the purpose of life, what was I supposed to be doing here on Earth, etc. etc. I found myself in a sort of struggle where, looking past the mundane such as going to school, getting good grades, growing up and getting a job, paying my bills, starting a family - all that is great, but what was the REASON for it? These are the types of things that swam through my head when I was a kid - that may make me sound troubled and depressed, but it was quite the opposite. I've always been a happy guy, positive and optimistic. I've just always been a thinker, too. These types of questions and thought processes ended up leading me through some pretty strange years in my youth... I became pretty addicted to video games, rarely going downstairs to eat with my family. I would lock myself up in my room and blast music. I didn't have much friends for a time, so I never really went out. Sometimes I skipped school, because I didn't feel like dealing with my teachers. You know, stuff like that.
What this was, I think, was my young mind trying to piece together what the hell I was supposed to be doing. What I was supposed to be striving for, what my goals were supposed to be. And, while I still look for answers to those profound questions at times (doesn't everybody? I hope... LOL), I think I finally stepped out of my own version of madness when I discovered, perhaps, the simplest answer.
I discovered a hobby.
Video games doesn't count.
What I discovered was writing - now, back then, it wasn't the grandiose narratives of fictions I write today. It was actually lyrics, or poetry. I've always been a lover of music, and today I'm an avid yet training pianist and bassist. I would blast my music (house music, classic rock, heavy metal, whatever I felt like jamming to that day), I would bring out a composition book, and I would write shitty lyrics. Lol.
Shortly after this, or perhaps maybe even shortly BEFORE I actually began the writing itself, I started going out with friends from school. That's also when I started dating my now-wife. I started being more social, more NORMAL, if I can use that word. It's interesting because once I discovered a sort of outlet for myself, a sort of space that belonged to me and me alone, something that I did FOR me because I wanted to do it, not because someone else told me I should do it, it gave me a small sense of purpose. It gave me fuel. I then started learning the drums, my first instrument. I then joined the lacrosse team at school. Fast forward 10 years or so and now I'm writing fiction, with my first book out on Amazon and my second about to hit it's editing stage. I've picked up another 2 instruments. I've traveled to different countries around the world and seen some pretty cool things. I'm working on becoming tri-lingual and, MAYBE, quadrilingual. Chinese is starting to look like a smart language to learn. It's slow going though, so bare with me lmao.
Yeah, I work a daytime 9-5 job. I have to, it's what pays the bills right now. But what really drives me are those little hobbies, those little escapes for myself that fuel me and give me reason to keep going. Reason to be better for myself, for my wife, and for my kids when they come. I want my kids to think their dad is a cool dude who writes books and plays instruments. That their dad speaks 3 or 4 languages. That their dad is a good guy with lots of energy and passion and fire for life, not some deadbeat who doesn't have his life together. I want my wife to think about me that way too, and my siblings and my parents and the rest of my family. Hobbies, goals, things to accomplish, have given me my purpose in life - it's simple, yet I was so blind to it in my youth. It's to become a better version of myself. It's to hopefully leave this world with a small stamp, a memory of myself, as a good dude with a big heart. That's my purpose - and hobbies, in their tiny ways, have brought me to that realization.