Thoughts & Thangs

Black People and Hobbies

I was looking in my drafts to see what old ideas I could refresh and add to…this one came up. I’m leaving most of it as-is so the time period being referenced was June 2020.

First of all…whew chilay! Semester is over and cheers to the end of my 2nd year abroad in Myanmar. I survived. I persevered. Now time to summer. I hope I get to travel, if only just within the country. I’ll post about my sadness and grieving what will no longer be later.

During quarantine, I was determined to keep myself uplifted, because self-care and I’m the school counselor…if I don’t have it together, then who does? And actually, when my school closed the building mid-March, it wasn’t me just sitting at home. I was fully working from 7:30am to 4:30 and sometimes beyond that.

But now that school is closed and I can’t really travel, I have an opportunity to really delve into my own personal learning and hobbies, so that’s what this is about.

On the last day of school, after we stood in line and collected our brown paper bag money and had lowkey awkward conversations with some people that got let go, we went to our hangout spot Harry’s. I had a conversation with a teacher and their partner about biking. When I was a kid and lived with my dad, we shared a bike…obviously too big for little me, but I didn’t care. I rode that thing up and down. For years, that was his only mode of transportation and I’m sure some people made fun of him for it. I enjoyed riding but it was moreso to get me from A to B and back to A.

My hobbies include jigsaw puzzles, this here blog, painting. I’ve managed to keep a hand full of plants alive so then I attempted to grow some from seeds. Cerasee: if you know, you know. (Update #1 : cerasee died; got squashed rather) All of these are indoor hobbies. I don’t currently have any that involve going outside, although that could change. [Update #2: I still don’t have any outdoor hobbies.]

I’ve asked my friends and acquaintences from back home about their hobbies: meaning things they do simply for fun, and because you like it.

The conversation with my former coworker and their partner really made me question this idea of blackness and whiteness and hobbies. In Colorado, a coworker and I would joke about the caucacity of it all…hiking, biking, running, skiing, camping, HITT training…all this outdoor stuff that other coworkers would partake in. Meanwhile she and I would hit up Starbucks at Target. I was completely fine with that. Shoutout to the more physically active people out there. I aspire!

The conversation made me question why I thought it was super caucastic to just be out there biking…for fun (like what is that), why are certain aciticities deemed things that “white people do” and now that I’m in a place where technically I could do those stuff, why don’t i.

Well, let’s see here. Traditionally, in The Bahamas, as a black adult, you worked all day, 5-6 days a week. At the end of the work day, you came home to your family, ate dinner, watched tv, the end. On weekends, you did chores and went to church, which in black communities is a whole day affair. By evening time, you’re tired and you want dinner, then you watch more tv and/or prepare for the week ahead. Hobbies were the things for children. Hobbies were the things for rich white people who had the time, money and energy.

Hotel shift workers and their “weird” work schedules getting Monday and Wednesday off…what hobbies? Most of my peers are married or have children so what hobbies? Those with neither are on their hustle. Those with both [husband and children] are also on their hustle with side businesses separate from their 9-5s, so again, what hobbies?
Going to the gym can be perceived as kind of a hobby, but in part it’s really essential to health since most of us live very sedentary lifestyles.

Time is what you make of it. We can always find excuses for not doing stuff. Most of watch tv or scroll social media endlessly for hours on end. We could have a hobby if we wanted. Hobbies don’t have to be expensive. Hobbies make life fun and there certainly has to be more to life than working to pay bills as the memes say.

If you’re a reader of this, let me know in the comments what your hobbies are and if you don’t have any, what would be your hobby.

3 thoughts on “Black People and Hobbies”

  1. Over the quarantine, I learned to cross stitch. It started as a DIY online program for the library I work at, but now I love it! It’s a great indoor hobby that you can do while bingeing episodes of Love Island in the background!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s pretty cool. I imagine it’s very therapeutic. Back in Emporia, I had briefly revisited crocheting…tapping into my inner old lady!


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