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Old Interests Die Hard

I recently proposed this question to a couple of friends of mine:

Do you feel like you’ve let go of old interests and hobbies, or are you still hanging onto the same ones you had as a kid/teenager?

The overall response was “I’m still hanging onto the same ones I had a kid/teenager” which I’m not surprised. For years, I’ve felt the same way.

Growing up as a Navy brat, I moved a lot, which meant my only real constant was the things I liked. It didn’t matter what military base I ended up on, I still had my same toys, posters, video games, and sport teams. I retreated into my fantasy worlds and interests, when it started to feel like too much trouble to make friends that I’d just leave in a few months. Thus, my interests and hobbies were my comfort and my home.

Of course, growing up when I did has played a part in my hobbies and interests remaining relevant, since as a child of the 80’s who grew up in the 90s, all of my hobbies/interests haven’t gone anywhere. Pretty much any show I’ve watched has been available my entire life, any toy a few clicks away, sport games found with little effort. Unlike someone who grew up with Howdy Doody in the 1950’s, my childhood has been repackaged, marketed, and sold back to me more times than I can count.

I’ve written in the past about questioning my hobbies and interests. I realized that I sometimes followed certain things just because I had always followed them. I spent time and energy reading up about sports, movie franchises, and book series that haven’t been relevant to me in over two decades, yet I still feel compelled to stay in the loop. Part of the reason is so I’m ready to jump back in at any moment, and the other reason is because I’ve allowed my interests and hobbies to define me. I am the movie guy my friends and family come to. I’m the guy who you can chat about comics or video games. I can still carry on a solid conversation about the latest happenings in NASCAR despite not having watched a full race since probably 2006. Want to chat about the latest wrestling storylines? I’m your guy. Know how many hours of wrestling I’ve watched this year? Maybe two. Maybe. Know how much wrestling I plan to watch? Probably none.

One of the biggest factors in my questioning my fandoms/interests is I’ve noticed how short on patience I am for so much of them. Maybe I’m just turning into a grumpy old man, but I just do not have the time or interest in all the drama, behind the scenes, greed, and at times, plain horribleness. Want to know the main reason why I struggle to watch NASCAR these days? Nepotism and the fact that the only people that can race in NASCAR these days come from mega rich families who can fund them. Want to know why I’m sick of wrestling? Take your pick, whether it’s CM Punk’s drama in AEW/terrible booking, or the recent stories about Vince McMahon and the WWE selling out to the Saudis for years now. We live in a world where its difficult to just enjoy the product, because social media/marketing has given us a look behind the curtain, and rarely when I look behind the curtain do I like what I see. Don’t even get me started on celebrities.

For a while it felt cute that I had recognized this little intricacy about myself where I struggled to let go of things and move on, but I’ve finally hit a point where I’m truly ready to let go. I wish I could say I have a dozen new hobbies/interests lined up, but that’s not the case right this moment.

However, the more time I waste following stuff I don’t care about, the less time I have to discover those new hobbies and interests.

I struggle letting go of things, because I feel like I’m letting go a part of me. Who am I if I’m not the horror movie guy? Will anyone still like me if I don’t follow the same interests that we bonded over? I think it’s time to find out.

Published inSelf-ReflectionSimple Living

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