Why I'm Reviving an Old Hobby

A lot of us go through different hobbies throughout our lives and maybe we'll find one or two that stick with us for a while. I had a hobby like that: violin.

When I was four years old, I asked my parents to buy me a harp. Eventually, we came to a compromise and they got me a violin. Playing violin is one of my earliest memories. Ever since then, violin became an integral part of my life. I practiced every day and all my friends, classmates, and teachers associated me with my violin. I loved it throughout elementary and middle school. I had recitals, auditioned for orchestras, and practiced with quartets. My freshman year of high school, I even went on a tour of Italy with my orchestra, performing in churches and cathedrals throughout the country. 

But sophomore year of high school, I started to lose interest. It was a combination of a lot of things: new interests like fencing, difficult classes, spending more time with friends, and stress from thinking about college. Slowly, violin began to turn into a burden rather than something I'd look forward to. My practice sessions became shorter and shorter and I dreaded orchestra practice because I hadn't practiced enough before rehearsals. My weekly lessons became one of the most dreaded hours of the week because I'd know that I hadn't practiced enough for to see my teacher.

By the end of high school, I more or less gave up on violin. It wasn't something that made me happy anymore—in fact, it did the contrary. When I started college, I decided not to bring it with me. For the first time in as long as I could remember, I didn't have my violin attached at my side. At first, it didn't really effect me at all. It was surprising. Sometimes, I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders, but then I'd quickly be flooded by guilt for being relieved from something that used to give me joy. 

After transferring to a school across the country, I realized that I wanted to play again. Being in a completely new environment where I didn't know anyone coming here, I wanted something familiar, and my obvious answer was my violin. It's one of the only things I've known my entire life. Bringing my violin to Seattle has allowed me to bring a level of familiarity and comfort to a new environment.

Granted, picking up my instrument again after abstaining for over a year has been different. It's a new approach to something that used to be familiar to me and I'm re-learning my relationship with my violin, but this time around, I'm optimistic about it.

In the end, facing an old hobby can be daunting and my dredge up feelings from the past, but I've become optimistic about violin. If you have any qualms about revisiting an old passtime, I think you should. You're coming in from a different perspective. There's nothing to lose, so go for it!