things I actually enjoy doing
I think we often get caught up in what we've been told to enjoy or told is the enjoyable thing to do at each age, that we forget what actually gives us a good time. I'm of the belief that people don't change, but rather become more of themselves as they get older. In line with this school of thought, I'm a strong proponent of the idea that your interests (while they may be exhibited through different mediums depending on your place in life) solidify rather than change. Our slow departure from such interests is not a result of "interest modification" but due to us forgetting that's what actually peaks our interest or "happiness" (whatever that means) as a result of society's norms and structure. The past two years of adulthood and frankly 6 years post high school has definitely made me into a dull boomer, inadvertently letting go of the activities that I've always thoroughly enjoyed and turned for both happiness and stress relief. Here's a list of 5 awfully specific things I love engaging in (some of which are embarrassing to admit) that I hope I'm more active in partaking following this post. This is a different way of saying I'm not thrilled by playing golf "grabbing coffee" (I don't even drink coffee, fun fact). This is also an exercise I encourage others to do so that they can properly analyze their strengths and interests and perhaps align the list with a career. Unfortunately, looking at my list, I don't think such occupation exists.
Legos - I was always against investing in plastic because from a very early age I knew that liking toys was a phase (I guess this directly opposes my point about people's interests not changing, but I'd almost argue that this is the reverse version of what I criticized regarding societal norms up above), but Legos hits different. The crossover of Star Wars and Legos is especially hard to resist - from a very early age I showed an aptitude for perseverance, sitting down for 6+ hours to finish a set. I'm sure any parent seeing their kid accomplish such a feat would tell their neighbors their son is a genius (my parents included). Offspring ability exaggeration aside, there's something inherently satisfying with following a set of instructions to "create" a bigger picture by connecting smaller parts together. My dream is to have a Lego room in my future house, pending my wife's flexibility.
Eating Something While Watching Something - I'm not sure if anyone does not like doing this, it may be the ultimate pastime activity one can do alone while accomplishing a vital activity all human beings need to do everyday (I'm talking about eating, not watching Youtube). I, like many of you, suffer from Finding the Perfect Video Disorder and probably spend more time finding the video than the entire meal itself. It could be viewed rather unhealthy to relieve stress this way as there's nothing productive or healthy about mindless watching something while shoving carbs down your throat, but I don't think anything made me happier than coming home after 7th grade to vacuum up 8 servings of pasta while reading my favorite comic book or watching a Lego stop motion animation (do kids even know what that is nowadays)? I'll probably do this today.
Riding a Bike While Listening to Kanye or Tyler - I'll admit that I didn't know Kanye or Tyler in elementary school (if you're asking Tyler who? then no need to follow my blog), but as unathletic as I am, I've always been good at riding things. I picked up skateboarding and snowboarding relatively naturally, always had a natural ability for skiing and even learned figure skating at one point. It's no surprise that people enjoy doing things that they're naturally good at and as someone who sucks at everything involving a ball, depending on machines with wheels is the name of my game. There's a sense of freedom and lack of restrain that comes with speeding down a familiar neighborhood while you have your own BGM, especially in the perfect Southern Californian weather (sorry East Coasters, "at least we have seasons" is what jealous losers say).
Karaoke - One thing that's always overlooked when comparing my Korean heritage vs. my American lifestyle is the reality that Koreans on average are so much better at singing than Americans. This isn't even speculation - Koreans have singing as part of the public school curriculum, with most Koreans learning how to read sheet music and somewhat be in tune before they hit middle school. It always shocks me to see the vast majority of my American friends be completely tone deaf (definitely have no sense of beat whatsoever), but still be fans of "indie music" and "hip hop." Reverse racism aside (is that what this is), Karaoke (or NRB as the Koreans call it) has always been a go-to activity since I was young, especially as both my parents enjoy it as leisure activities. My mom basically has perfect pitch and my dad is passionate about singing (sorry dude), which has definitely subconsciously fed my love for losing my voice in front of a screen that prints out lyrics. I'll note that I've definitely received my dad's genes on this one and am unashamed by my lack of vocal fluency, but am confident that I'm still more able than most of my American comrades.
Making Content - I actually didn't realize I've always enjoyed doing this until a recent reflection on my childhood activities. I'm glad I jumped on this early and deleted my old channel full of mockable content (I used to upload clarinet videos and stop motion animation made on Windows Movie Maker...), but putting stuff on Youtube was never a new thing for me. I also always loved storytelling, with my mother reminding me recently that at any play date I was always dictating which storyline to follow while playing pretend (or maybe this is just me being a control freak). I'm a big fan of doodling (considered starting a portfolio for college once), constantly think about imaginary scenarios in my head, and nowadays treat my daily life as content of its own. Maybe I'm just a victim of the 2021 TikTok generation and everyone feels this way, but I'm rather confident I was an attention seeker since birth.
Maybe there's a job out there that allows me to be paid to eat on a bike while watching someone make Legos with a microphone in my hand singing Kanye songs as someone films me doing this. Maybe all men my age have very similar pastime activities. Maybe I should stick to golf.