Work and hobbies can coincide, need balance

Lying in my semi-dark bedroom the other day before going to sleep, I had some of those random thoughts you get when your mind just won’t shut off. Aside from thoughts about homework and how much money is in my checking account, I thought about graduating in a few months.

It led me to think about how basically throughout my four-year college career, my hobby of writing has seemed to start to turn into work. Still, that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy it. I guess the hard part comes from finding balance between work and hobby. You want work to be something that you’re passionate about and enjoy doing, but at the same time you don’t want to lose that motivation and drive to keep going.

I definitely think there’s a certain point when a hobby eventually becomes work. Obviously, there is a clear distinction between the two. A hobby is something you do for fun, something you enjoy, something you purposefully go out of your way to engage in. Work is, well, work: something that needs to get done in order to survive. When you work toward strengthening your hobby, most of the time you enjoy it. It is something that gives you fulfillment and a sense of accomplishment. But when does that point come when you no longer feel the excitement? The success? The gratification?

I think that when you get to that point, it’s no longer a hobby. It’s work. It seems as though you started out doing something you loved and maybe even wanted to have a career in, but got lost in assignments and deadlines in the process. It turned something you were once passionate about into something you now dread. You don’t want to have to spend the rest of your life working and being miserable. Trust me, I know. I’ve worked as a floor associate in a grocery store on and off for the past several years. It’s not something I want to do for the rest of my life. At the same time, I wonder if I push something that I like doing too far, and I’ll end up losing that bit of enthusiasm and eagerness. It’s definitely something to think about.

However, as much as a hobby can turn into work, many people have been able to turn their work into something they enjoy doing. Finding something you’re passionate about and being able to do it for the rest of your life has got to be a dream come true. I know what you’re all thinking. Impossible, right? Only movie stars, famous musicians and athletes know what that’s like. How can anyone ever find that job they love doing so much it turns into a hobby rather than work?

Well, seeing as I’m graduating college in May, I’m not too sure either. But I definitely think it’s possible. While my major is journalism, my minor is in French. Learning new languages has become something I’m extremely passionate about and enjoy doing. Filling out job applications for life after college is scary and exciting all at once. But if I could find a job that includes French and journalism, then I’d be able to make that dream of having my hobby as work become a reality.

I’ve learned through feature writing and French class that having passion in what you do changes everything about working. It makes you want to make sure that whatever job you end up getting long-term you like, because it is possible for work to be enjoyable.

I think if you can turn a hobby into work, then go for it. It would be awesome to be able to get paid for what you enjoy doing day after day. But if there comes a point when you start losing interest and passion, then maybe you should take a step back and see what else you can do. No one wants to live life working miserably.

Work and hobby are two different things that can coincide with one another if you can find a good balance. I’m not saying you should try to reach this balance. I’m not even saying that you should separate hobby from work. I just think that I would rather live turning my work into a hobby rather than my hobby into work.

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