This weekend I spent quite a lot of time with myself. No particular reason, really. I just happened to enjoy my long weekend hanging out with me at home.
My excuse is always, “I’m an introvert.”
This weekend was a little different, though. I actually made plans for me, myself and I to really enjoy the long weekend as best we could. I entertained going to the National Zoo and just walking around. I wrote a grocery list to pursue eventually. I decided cleaning was in order, especially for my room, and after doing that I would FINALLY get on to tailoring some work clothes since I would FINALLY have room to take out my sewing machine. I also had a Mizzou game to watch with friends at a bar one evening, and my grandparents were visiting, so I’d probably get dinner with them one night. All enjoyable things in my opinion.
As it goes, however, following through with all of these plans was unlikely. It’s easy to cancel weekend plans on myself. Because, let’s be honest, who would I be letting down? Me? Nah, I’m the one who suggested them!
In case it’s starting to sound like I’m a lazy bum, which I am a good portion of the time, I did cross off a few to-dos. Cleaning. I actually really enjoy cleaning, so it was no bother. Those other ventures can wait till another weekend or weekday when I’m really feelin’ it. Or so I tell myself. I did spend time with some Mizzou football fans, drinking and talking shit as we lost. Horrifically. And dinner with the fam was actually quite enjoyable!
And for an introvert, these few activities equated to plenty of extroverted time.
All this to say, I found myself really craving a puzzle Sunday afternoon. I was looking for something to keep my hands busy (so as not to bake a cake and eat the whole damn thing) but also, something that I used to really enjoy as it tends to boost my creativity!
Puzzles are found in many aspects of life. Whether a physical black and white 3000 piece jigsaw, the act of moving homes and finding places for things, or even the consideration of a new career shift, puzzles are the most metaphoric toy in human life.
I think puzzles are awesome.
I spread the 550 colorful pieces across my coffee table. This one is relatively small, and I’ve completed it many times before, so it should be a breeze. I started with the border pieces as I usually do, framing out the space filling in here and there. The usual.
As a millennial, sharing this experience with my virtual friends is a must. Obviously if I love doing puzzles this much, surely my friends will think it’s awesome too. So I whip out my phone, take a couple shots of the pile of pieces on my table – oh that’s a cool texture pic, says my #designerd brain. I’ll have to Instagram that one! I also take a similar shot for my Snapchat Story, because of course everyone will think doing a puzzle on a Sunday is ballin’.
Great, killin’ the social media game. Back to the puzzle.
I go about my puzzle, thoroughly enjoying myself as I watch reruns of Love It Or List It on HGTV. I fill in these random soccer playing cartoons with silly expressions on their faces. Oh look, there’s a rabbit. And a dude riding a giant soccer ball. This puzzle (Cartoon Capers) is clearly entertaining.
I get a ping on my phone. Oh, a friend Snapchatted me! I wonder if he saw my awesome puzzle Story.
“Puzzles? You should get a hobby” he wrote as a Snap reply.
That’s not the response I was hoping for…
“Rude. Puzzles are the shit” I wrote back.
Wow, really dude? Way to burst my joyous puzzle-time bubble. I would show him. If he was gonna make fun of me for doing a puzzle for my own enjoyment, I’d just have to show him how boss I am at finishing it! And what, like puzzles aren’t a hobby?
I finished the puzzle in about an hour. I took a quick panned Snapchat video of the completed puzzle and sent it to him.
“Done. Suck it” I wrote – such a lady, I know.
As it goes with Snapchat, you can see who has opened your Snaps. He viewed it and I waited. No response. No, “Oh you’re really good at puzzles!” Or, “Dang you’re fast!” Or, “WTF. Was that a dude riding a soccer ball?!”
I was sorely disappointed. But why? I had spent an hour doing what I enjoyed. For that I was happy. But I had also spent that time thinking about how fast I could complete it. How I could prove to someone else I was good at something and that it was cool.
It stuck with me. “You should get a hobby.”
Maybe he was right.
What do I like to do? I’m a creative – I do graphic design work for a living – but what do I like to do when I get home from my job? Do I do anything else that’s creative? Or measurable? Is one supposed to be able to measure their hobby? Is there something I do that’s out of the ordinary or that other people would find cool? Does a hobby even have to be something other people find interesting??
These questions have been scrolling through my head since that afternoon. What do I do that sets me apart?
As of right now, I’m not really sure. Maybe someday I’ll find out.
To be continued…