Remember to enjoy the ride
Instead of trying to get the most out of it
During the pandemic, I found myself with more time and energy to explore new hobbies: digital art, sewing, chocolatiering, and quite a few more. The excitement of learning quickly coupled itself with another equally persistent motivation: capitalizing on a new skill.
Without fail, the business part of my brain would wonder… How can I make money from this? I could sell digital coloring books! Make tote bags! Open a chocolate shop!
So I created an Etsy shop. Researched materials and profit margins. Checked out a retail space.
Eventually I’d exhaust myself from the pressure of needing to learn the thing while simultaneously needing to learn how to be an entrepreneur. Sometime in the space between childhood and adulthood, I’d internalized that whatever I was spending time on needed to be justified by a monetary outcome.
That message was everywhere. And yeah, it felt quite icky. I’d go online and within seconds there’d be some ad asking if I wanted to make $100,000 a month or something. Upon sharing a new endeavor with well-meaning friends and family, I’d be asked, “Are you going to sell prints? Your tote bags? Your chocolates?”
We’d all been conditioned to believe that New Skill = New Revenue Stream. Because Time = Money.
But when I was younger, time was just time. It was free. It was infinite. It was a place. And it was mine to do with as I pleased.
I started reprioritizing things without expectation for money or any other compensation in return. Book club. Hour-long phone or video calls. Voice acting with friends on creative projects. Neighborhood walks. Meditation. A healing arts class. More video games.
Opening ourselves up to new things just for the sake of the thing itself gives meaning back to the state of being. Of sharing and connecting through experiences rather than capitalizing on them.
And when that happens, we can simply… enjoy the ride.