Why You Should Never Really Grow Up

Yesterday I was working a holiday concert featuring local choruses from around my city. It was really fun to see all the little kiddos singing Christmas songs. So adorable. One group of elementary school students came in their Catholic school uniforms complete with knee socks. Then they had on Santa hats. I just about died from the cuteness.

Anyway, the concert got me thinking. Not just about the fact that kids are cute from afar but kind of scary when you have to deal with lots of them at once. No, sir. It got me thinking about how much I miss singing. In high school I was a total choir nerd. I was in every choir/vocal group and did all the musicals. I was definitely not the most talented singer that my high school had to offer, but I was decent and I really loved singing. I stopped when I went to college and literally have not sung a note outside of my shower since high school graduation. That depressed me. How could I go from doing something for literally hours every day to not at all?

Not me. But it's okay.

I’m a working woman with a job and less free time now, but I need to find a way to start singing again. I may not be able to commit to a choir with weekly rehearsals. Maybe I can just take inexpensive voice lessons every few weeks or so. Even just taking some time to go through old songs I used to sing ( I still have all my old music books) would be a start. It doesn’t have to be extensive training, just getting myself in the habit of singing would be good. I need to slowly get back to a part of my life that was so huge for me for many years. Too often there’s this idea that if you’re not going to do something professionally then there’s no point in doing it once you graduate high school. That’s how I felt about singing. I knew I wasn’t going to be a vocal performance major in college. I knew I’d never win American Idol. Because of this, I just felt like it was a waste of time to keep singing. I thought I needed to grow up and move on to Adult Life and stop doing hobbies that weren’t going to benefit me financially. But yesterday made me realize that I was wrong. You can do something for no reason other than the fact that you enjoy doing it. Should I spend three hours a day singing? Probably not. Should I spent half of my paycheck on voice lessons and studio time? No. But joining a community choir or taking a few inexpensive voice lessons is not a waste of time/money.

In fact, getting back in to a hobby I used to love is actually how this blog came about. Here’s what happened: I was having a really difficult time adjusting to post-college life. In fact there are times when I still think, “I went through all of those years of school and dreamed about the day when I wouldn’t have to go to class every day just for this!?” Okay, that sounds worse than it is. What I really mean is this: I miss my friends a lot and I miss making my own schedule and I miss being able to skip class with no repercussions. Sometimes I feel less independent now than I was in college, when I always assumed it would be the other way around. Yes, I’m financially independent. I have my own place. But there is always someone who needs to know where I’m going to be, or when I’m going to get that thing done, or where I put the ::fill in the blank:: I miss coming and going as I please and doing things on my own time as long as they get done by the deadline. I also assumed when you graduated high school you automatically had the next fifteen years of your life figured out. Now I know that’s not the case and that’s stressful. No, post-college life is not the relaxing vacation from high school that I imagined it would be when I was sitting in tenth grade algebra. To get through that awkward adjustment from college to “adult life”, I started this blog. I’ve always loved to write. When I was a little kid I would write stories and poems all the time. So I went back to my childhood hobby and picked it up again and it was amazing. I love it. Blogging is my absolute favorite thing to do in the world, and it really helped me get through a rough patch. That experience made me realize a few things about what you loved as a little guy/girl:

Let childhood hobbies point you in the right direction: Childhood hobbies have a lot of value and should hold more weight than they do. First of all, you can tell a lot about yourself by remembering what you loved to do when you were a kid. I was always writing, hence the fact that I’m a writer now. Am I writing stories about a talking purple mouse named Dottie like I used to when I was in first grade? No. But the energy and enthusiasm is still there. Hopefully a little more refined and relatable, but still there. If you really loved dancing as a kid, go back to that. Maybe you don’t necessarily pick up dancing again. But think about what it was about dance that you loved so much. Feeling fit and graceful? Maybe you’d like pilates or yoga. Performing? Maybe you could try improv classes. Your childhood loves can steer you in the direction of an activity that will add some dimension and color to your big kid life.

No money, no problems:  The fact that you will never make a career out of your hobby doesn’t make it any less valuable. The entertainment and excitement something adds to your life counts for a lot. Keep that in mind before you decide to give up on activities from your past. If you loved soccer, find an adult soccer league. There are tons of different recreational sports leagues for adults. Just because your dreams of being a pro athlete are over, doesn’t mean you have to stop playing the sport. If you’re a performer, join a community theater program. Take a painting or drawing class. Stop judging yourself and your own talent level and just have fun. Go to work, come home, go to bed, rinse, repeat, is not a healthy life plan. Add some fun and mix it up. Fourth Grade You would want it that way.

Do you have a childhood hobby that you miss and want to get back to? Did a childhood hobby lead you to your current passion or job? How do you enjoy your hobbies but still maintain your adult, post-college life? Was the transition from college to the real world hard for you too? Let me know!

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Comments

  1. I relate to this. You and I are about the same age except I’m not as successful as you haha. But I agree. I overheard some high schoolers talking the other day, they were saying “oh, i can’t wait to graduate. no more problems!” yeah, the high school problems are over, but then you have LIFE to think about!

    thats great that you have singing as a hobby. i love singing too but i was always too shy and insecure to join any choirs. i would listen to other people sing and secretly wish that i had the courage to do that. i admit, i’m in my 20s and i still see high school choirs and wish that i was one of them 😛 i would always wait until my family left the house and then i would sing with my guitar hahaha. i still do that. but just recently i decided to take a voice class in college and it was the first time i sang in front of people. to make things worse, we had to sing solos right away and i was caught off guard but im glad i did it. you should definitely sing again, it’s great to have any type of hobby, it makes you forget about the things in life that you struggle with 🙂

  2. I was just coming down here to comment, and the person above me is also named Cherie. I was confused, thinking, “Did I already comment on this?!” That’s how uncommon my name is.. or so I thought.

    ANYWAY.

    I’m glad you bring this up. I’ve been thinking about delving back into learning piano, which is something I did from ages 6-12. My mom told me I’d “regret quitting” one day — and boy, was she right. Mother’s know everything, I swear they do. I hope to buy myself a decent keyboard and re-learn the basics, and hopefully more.

    I sang in third and fourth grade, but I’m terrible now and no one wants that.

  3. Hi Cherie and Cherie (haha)

    Cherie #1 (you are both the #1 Cherie, but I mean the first Cherie to comment): Thank you for the compliment. You are too sweet! But I don’t think I’m more successful than you. You’re so right about hobbies helping you to forget about stress/problems. It’s such a great release. And I was definitely one of the high schoolers who talked about how she couldn’t wait to get rid of high school problems. Whoops. Like you said, if only I knew then you have to worry about real, big kid life.

    Cherie #2: You should DEFINITELY get back into piano. It’s funny you mention this, because I used to play piano too. The other day I was at my parents’ house and just started goofing around on the piano to see what I remembered. I was playing on a second grade level, but it was really fun to just plunk around a little bit. Like you said, even re-learning the basics would be good. I’ll get back into singing and you can get back into piano and we can start a mild to moderately good band=)

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