If you didn’t know that one open-ended statement had the power to make you feel like complete dog shit, I bet I can change your mind.
For the record, I’ve always hated “ice breaker” type activities.
The company that I work for offers a certification program to the public, facilitated by yours truly. However, when I was new to facilitating, I shadowed my coworker to get the hang of things.
There’s this lame exercise that we make the class do as a “get to know you” activity, and to explain the exercise, my coworker asked me to help her show the class an example of how it should be done.
It goes like this.
You and your partner take turns sharing as much information about yourselves that you can think of in 30 seconds. The goal of the exercise is to give your partner enough information in those 30 seconds so that they can get an idea of who you are.
She went first.
In the first 15 seconds she shared the following information:
-She’s a professionally trained ballet dancer
-She has an obsession with vintage bicycles and collects them
-She sails tall ships
-She and her husband bought and flipped a 1964 Airstream trailer, that they now bring with them as they travel the country, visiting national parks
OH. IS THAT ALL?
By this point I zoned out and stopped listening, because what. the. fuck??? How was I supposed to follow THAT? I think I blacked out during my 30 second spiel, because all I remember is that I mumbled something about being a middle child, that I have a love affair with HGTV and my obsession with my dogs is probably unhealthy. They have their own Instagram.
Although it was only 30 seconds, it felt like the longest 30 seconds of my life. I spent the rest of that day asking myself, who the fuck am I? What do I do for fun?
In college I had so much free time. I can hardly wrap my mind around how I managed all of that time.
In all honesty, my friends and I spent a lot of time with boxed Sunset Blush and cheap ass Miller High Life. Also, way too many all-nighters were pulled in attempt to start and finish 25 page research papers that I had all semester to work on…
I drove home that day trying to rack my brain for my hobbies or some kind of talent that I possessed.
NOTHING. Blank. Empty.
What am I good at? What the fuck do I do for fun? I’m fun!
My mind shifted to my fiancé Luke.
Because my friends and I live so far apart, and my closest sister is three hours and a time zone away, it’s not an exaggeration when I say that Luke is basically my only friend. I spend almost all of my time with him. His hobbies are technically now my hobbies, right?
Luke can be described as an outdoorsman. He loves to hunt and fish. When he’s not hunting or fishing, he’s reading, thinking or dreaming about hunting and fishing. The entire month of October I wake up on the weekends with the house to myself because he’s in the woods by 5:30 am taking advantage of deer season.
He also loves reading or watching documentaries on American history. Luke apparently paid attention in high school, unlike me, who spent class periods writing notes to my friends doodled with hearts, cartoon penis’s and plain bull shit.
He’s clearly my better half.
Stressed out over my attempt at soul searching, I figured who knows me better than I know myself? Luke, duh. He had to know what I was good at!
So I walked in the door that evening and hit him with the question,
“What are my hobbies and talents? What do I do for fun?”
I should add, unless he’s 2-3 glasses deep in a bottle of wine, Luke doesn’t always have a way with words.
I had to physically take his phone and put my number in it when we first started dating, because he just stared at me (in what I can only assume was shock) after I asked if he had my number so he could call me later.
I promise I’m only a little bit psycho.
My anxiety grew as Luke searched for words, desperately trying to think of things to say to make me sound interesting.
Clearly impatient, I blurted out, “If I die tomorrow, what will I be remembered for?”
He lit up and excitedly said, “You love the dogs!!!”
I mean, yeah the dogs are perfect and adorable, but that’s them, not me! I stared blankly back at him.
I could feel myself getting hot. Then choked up. Then the water works came.
Between snot filled sobs I shouted,
“THAT’S WHAT YOU’LL REMEMBER ABOUT ME? SERIOUSLY?!”
It was official. Not me nor my future husband could come up with one God damn interesting thing about me. My ego was shot.
To be fair, I don’t know what I was expecting him to say. My talents consist of things like forgetting to text or call people back, making bomb ass macaroni and cheese and being able to lose pretty much anything at the bottom of my purse.
What do I do in my free time?
Shop online and fill my cart with things that I can’t afford and then never check out.
Obsessively vacuum and Swiffer every inch of my house in attempt to pick up every single dog hair.
Binge watch Kardashians.
Search Zillow for my dream houses and text them to Luke, who’s usually sitting right next to me.
Reading the bios of dogs on Pet Finder that need to be rescued and cry. And then insist to Luke that I’m going to hop in my car and drive all the way to butt fuck nowhere North Carolina to save them.
Honestly, I’ve never really fallen into a niche or felt drawn towards one particular goal. I feel like most people have that one thing that is their passion and I just don’t have that.
You know that person that’s naturally amazing at art and can make something out of nothing? Nope, not me. And there’s always that chick we all love to hate, the one who has the pipes of a wannabe Whitney Houston. Surprise! That’s also not me.
I played the clarinet in middle school….but I quit before I got to high school, because I didn’t want to be in the marching band.
I’m pretty sure my older sister proclaimed where she was going to college and had her admissions essay complete by the time she was like ten.
Meanwhile my younger sister got a full-ride scholarship to college for softball. She just finished her junior year and was asked to play on the Italian National team for the summer.
Do you see where I’m going with this? Do I sound like the middle child yet? This is me inviting you guys to come to my pity party.
If you’re reading this in hopes of a motivational story, or a happy ending to inspire you to find your true calling in life, there’s a very good chance that you won’t find it here. I would be lying if I told you that this moment inspired me to take up a new hobby.
Truthfully, I don’t really have any specific hobbies because I’m broke as fuck. Anything that I would consider taking up as a hobby doesn’t really fit into my reality of living paycheck to paycheck.
But, I’d like to think that I’m not the only person that considers a bottle of wine, dancing to 90’s R&B music and some nice cheese, a solid Friday night.
So, if you find yourself scrolling two years deep into the hip and trendy feed of some random chick on Instagram, who spends her days surfing, suntanning and drinking straight out of fucking coconuts, try not to feel super shitty about yourself. Just know that you’re not alone.
And if somebody asks what you do for fun, and your answer is that you enjoy dancing around your living room to Genuine’s Pony, you’re also not alone.