Get a hobby, but seriously. It's nothing against you — in fact, it's in favor of you. One of the best things you can do for yourself in your 20s is find something you like to do by yourself, and do it, a lot. Most people oscillate between independent and co-dependent stages in their lives. When you're in a relationship you might want to share all of your experiences and activities with your partner, and maybe when you're single you might force yourself to try things on your own. But regardless if you're in a relationship, single, spend all your time with your friends, or can't get enough of your family, it's important to force yourself to carve out some "me time" and use it to explore your passions and try out different hobbies.
The habits you make in your 20s can last a lifetime, and once you find a hobby you enjoy, you can keep it forever. Relationships change and people grow apart, break up, get back together, disappear, move on and move away — you can only rely on yourself. Which is exactly why it's important to know that regardless who comes in or out of your life, you'll always be able to do this one thing you love.
I spent most of my teen years and 20s in serious relationships. When my boyfriends were away, I always felt like my life was on hold — like my world stopped spinning while they were gone. I would be bored, restless and uncomfortable with myself. If I thought of something fun to do, I wouldn't want to do it alone; I'd wait until my boyfriend came back to do it with me because I believed only shared experiences were worthwhile. It took me far too long to realize that the time I spent waiting around for people to join me was time wasted. In my recent year of being single, I've forced myself to find things that I enjoy alone. For me, it's taking pictures of horses. Totally random, who would have guessed, but works for me. Hobbies don't necessarily mean knitting or collecting buttons. Hobbies can be as random or badass as you want them to be. If you're still not convinced, here are six reasons why you should get a solo hobby:
Having your own hobby is a good way of ensuring that you never lose your independence. You'll always have something that you can do with yourself, never again will you be bored just because someone isn't around to entertain you.
Having your own "thing" is a total self-esteem booster. Knowing that there's something in the world for you and only you will give you a major confidence boost that will shine through other areas of your life.
A Common Thread
Find a hobby that you can do anywhere. It will give you something to look for in each new place you visit. It will become a thread that weaves your life together. Whenever I travel somewhere new, I always look for ranches or horse farms to add to my collection of pictures.
It can be a meditative practice to do something with yourself. Because it's only for you, it can feel special and sacred. It's not something that anyone can take away or get in the way of.
It's strangely relaxing to practice your hobby. It's nice to do something physical or technical that allows your mind to wander and not get stuck on the nitty gritty.
You'll be surprised how much you'll learn from you hobby. What started out as just a love for horses and photography turned into a never ending lesson in horses, equestrian culture, farms, ranch hands, and nature. You'll enjoy the never-ending lesson your hobby will offer you.
Images: Kaitlyn Wylde, Giphy