The day this was supposed to be published, July 27th, was the last day of my vacation. I was on the way back from the small beach town a few hours away that my family visits almost every year. There was sand in the car, bags of messily folded clothes, and a (slight) tan on my skin. Surprisingly, I didn’t even fall asleep in the backseat of the car with my mouth open like I usually do (how attractive), even after a few long nights of sunsets, ice cream, and sleeping on a lumpy cot.
I was really thankful for a few days off, even though there ended up being more rain than sun. I needed some time where I didn’t have to worry about anything, go anywhere, or get things done. My brain needed a break. From panicking about my last year of high school to applying for university to my seemingly never-ending writing slump, the list of things to worry about didn’t get as short as I thought it would once summer holidays began. Unfortunately, everything picked up again as soon as I got back from vacation. The last week and a half was a complete blur of work and errands and now it’s August. Crap.
So for this month’s blog post, even though it’s late, I’ve just decided to pick one of the things I’ve been thinking about and write until I have all my thoughts down. Next month I’m planning to do something light and fun, like a collection of all of my summer memories. I can take pictures, and write little captions… and I’m already sidetracked. Ok, back to July.
Something that’s been on my mind a lot recently is all of the different phases I’ve been through. I’m not really talking about personality phases- I seem to be one of the few people my age that didn’t have a really intense emo phase (yet). The phases I’m referring to are obsessions with a hobby or topic for a period of time before it seems up completely abandoned.
There are constant reminders of all of my phases scattered around my room. From little mementos tucked away in my drawers, to boxes of old toys, to a large collection of quirky earrings from when I was into cheap jewellery. These things are like little pockets of nostalgia I stumble across from time to time- bringing me back to what seems like a completely different version of my life.
But since a large portion of my life revolves around technology, there are reminders of my past phases saved digitially. Besides the obvious nostalgia blackhole of iPhoto and my seemingly endless iTunes library with Top 40 hits from 2012 (one of my stranger phases, for sure), I find so many other reminders of the past on my computer.
My email is always littered with newsletters from websites I used to be obsessed with. For example, as a 13-year-old I was downright addicted to Pinterest. I had boards dedicated to every possible area of my life, and I’d spend hours scrolling and pinning stupid memes (before I even really knew what a meme was).
Every so often I’ll click on one of those emails and browse a little. Sometimes I can’t even remember why I liked it so much, but what matters is that I did. For a period of time, that hobby or game or interest brought me a lot of joy. Eventually, other things moved into my life and that hobby got pushed out of the way. Even though I have no problem mass-deleting the newsletters from my inbox, I don’t have the heart to unsubscribe to most of them. Even though I might not log into Pinterest again until I’m a middle-aged mother, I still respect the past version of me that was obsessed with it.
Sometimes I sit and wonder how much I’ve changed in just a few years. In some ways, 12-year-old me would barely recognize 16-year-old me. She would be shocked that some things she thought would last forever didn’t even follow her to the ninth grade. She’d be happy that I picked up certain things that make me happy, but also really confused about why other things aren’t in her life anymore.
That’s one of the characteristics of a phase. You never really know that you’re in one until you’re out of it, and that can be scary. The thought of eventually giving something up that means everything to you right now is unsettling, to say the least. That’s why it’s so important to live in the moment and just enjoy the things and people that are important to you right now.
Honestly, I think phases don’t deserve the negative reputation they have. I think phases, whether they involve a hobby, personality trait, or even a relationship, are important for us to figure out what we like in order to grow into the person we want to be. As long as it’s healthy, there’s no harm in being obsessed with something. You learn things about the world, yourself, and others. And you learn to how to prioritize and eventually let go of whatever it is when it is no longer an important part of your life. Additionally, without going through a few phases, it might be impossible to know when something you want to do long-term comes around.
All of this talk about phases links back to my very first post on Fuzzable- “Life is a Series of Timelines.” Life is comprised of hundreds of things happening at the same time, and you never know when one thing will end and another will begin. So if you’re like me and you go through plenty of phases with your hobbies and interests- don’t sweat it. Embrace the fact that you are completely obsessed with one thing at this specific point in time, and don’t feel bad if that starts to develop into a new interest. I know it’s cliché, but sometimes one door has to close before another one opens.
Well, I better go shake the sand out of my shoes. See you next month!