When Did We Become Too Old for New Hobbies?
They say you can't teach an old dog new tricks. I hate that phrase. The truth is if a friend of yours discovered a new passion you'd be the first to encourage them to go for it, so why would you ever try to talk yourself out of doing the same because of what other people think?
This past weekend there were a ton of things worth checking out in the Treasure Valley including the Boise State Fall Fan Fest, seeing some wicked cool World War II era planes in Nampa, the Western Idaho Fair and seeing country superstar Justin Moore perform after the Albertsons Boise Open. As fun as all those would've been, I didn't opt for any of them. We have a limited number of hours where we can escape our real world responsibilities to be truly present and immersed in things that inspire us. That's why I chose a different community event - the Boise Public Library's Comic Arts Festival at JUMP.
To be honest, four years ago the only Marvel Cinematic Universe movies I had seen were the Iron Man movies and I didn't really have an interest at going any deeper into that world. Then I started dating my husband who loved those types of movies and dragged me to see the newest releases with him. With his help, I eventually went from being totally uninterested and lost during the movies to a total fan girl (it only took a handful of movies and me asking him questions every 30 seconds to get there.)
During the same period of time, I went to my first comic con event at the Nampa Civic Center. The station I was working at at the time was involved with it and I didn't really know what to expect at the time. It only took me a couple of hours to loosen up and realize how truly cool these types of events if you dive right in. The first night, I had the opportunity to judge the cosplay costume contest and after chatting with some of the contestants, I decided to dress up for Day 2. My costume wasn't anywhere near as extravagant as the ones from the contest but it certainly turned enough heads for people to stop me and ask for pictures. Thanks to that silly Yoshi halloween costume, I got to talk to hundreds of people that day and never felt shy, nervous or uncomfortable around complete strangers. I think that's because cosplay is a great ice breaker that naturally attracts people with similar interests to you. It's so easy to strike up a conversation knowing you share the same kind of fandom.
After that event, I was hooked. In my 30s, I may be a little late to the cosplay party but its definitely a new hobby that I enjoy. I really enjoyed talking with all the new people I met at the Boise Library Comic Arts Festival and seeing kids light up when they saw Wonder Woman or Captain Marvel and her buddy Spider-Man. Next weekend, I'll get to do that all over again at FanX in Salt Lake City and I can't wait.
Unfortunately, the world is full of those who want to cut down the things you enjoy because they don't understand it. I've gotten a couple of snide comments about my new love of cosplay that made me stop and wonder "Am I too old for this? Is this too out there for people?" For anyone, those types of thoughts are hard to shake off and can let a little air out of your balloon. I hate that I gave them any part of my energy because the truth is this new hobby is fun. It fills my bucket and I shouldn't have to constrain my interests or creativity to something somebody else thinks is "normal."
I share this story with you because as we grow older, we never stop evolving. It doesn't matter if you're a single woman in your 30s or a mom in your 50s, chances are something new will grab you interest one day. It might be learning to play the piano, woodworking, running a 5K, painting, fishing, racing pigeons...whatever it is, you should go for it. Go for it with passion. Don't you ever let somebody tell you that you can't or you shouldn't.
Choose what's good for your soul, because more often than not the negative feedback someone is giving you is a reflection of their own insecurities and shortcomings.