Our passions play essential roles in our schedules. They can tell us about ourselves and lead us in the right direction. That’s why it’s so important to have the freedom to do what we like when we want to, especially when we are single.
Whether we are focusing on education, sports, the arts, careers, organizations, or one of the other millions of facets of life, singleness gives you all the time in the world to be “selfish” and flex your independence. There’s never a better time to accomplish your dreams and goals than when you have no one “tying you down.”
Here’s the kicker. Passions usually come in the form of hobbies. Numerous people never find a hobby with which to connect, and there’s a chance you are one of those people. It’s not enough seeing your friends and their significant others going on trips, trying new foods, and playing fun games together; you’re not even sure what you like to do. Being single and having no invigorating pastime? What a major bummer! Let’s talk about a solution.
If you’ve not been one to pick up a leisurely activity or two, it’s possible you just haven’t found the right niche. To get your gears grinding, here are a few questions:
- Have you tried anything new recently?
- When you’re watching TV, listening to music, reading, or interacting with other people (especially in discussions) which aspects of your surroundings get you excited? What stands out to you the most?
- Is there anything you can identify that you’re good at doing? Are you handy with tools? Quick with numbers? Perhaps you have a way with words.
- What do your trusted loved ones tell you they’ve noticed about you or your talents/gifts? Yes, this includes everyone telling you that you should consider being a teacher (shout out to my friends and family).
Take a moment to reflect on your answers. Did you surprise yourself with any of the responses you gave? Learn anything you hadn’t thought of before? While you’re contemplating the first part of this article, join me in another flashback to my past.
Before I got into the relationship with my ex, I was a part of many extracurriculars. My youth group had a worship team and a drama team, both in which I was involved. There were other various outlets, too, like lock-ins and basketball tournaments.
My time at home was spent reading or singing along to CDs. My parents and I frequently enjoyed our favorite TV shows and movies. Weekends were booked with sleepovers, birthday parties, games, and shopping. Sometimes, I’d go on weekend-long mission trips in local areas with the above youth ministries. All in all, my passions were continually being fueled.
Once I had a boyfriend, my hobbies got put on the back burner. Instead of spending time with my mom and dad, my room became a shell and I the hermit. It was all because of him that my whole life came to a standstill. And it wasn’t his fault. Truthfully, it was my own doing. I didn’t want to be included in anything that didn’t include him, too.
College rolled around; nothing changed. It was a fresh slate to branch out and find my groove, but I stuck by my man. We ended up making most of the same friends. If he went to play basketball with the guys, I would follow to watch. If he went to hang out in the dorm lobby or at Waffle House with people, I was always game. Sooner than later, those choices came back to bite me.
On more than one occasion, I let my desires for the relationship outweigh my longing to be a part of events or activities. My ex signed up for an intramural sports team and had a blast. I never joined one for fear of losing time with him. Missed opportunity.
I spent time getting ready for a Halloween party then ditched my plans to make a longer-than-expected trip to Walmart with him (which proved extremely unbeneficial). My friends took pictures without me and made memories. Missed opportunity again. Eventually, these missed opportunities added up and cost me greatly.
Two scenarios can take place when you don’t plug into some hobbies: 1) You pour so much of yourself into someone else or rigorous assignments at work or school until it becomes an expected pattern. This creates a more significant issue if any specific person involved in one of those cases (your significant other, your boss, your teacher, your classmates, etc.) doesn’t notice your needs aren’t being met.
It’s worse if you’ve been supportive of their needs or requests while remaining completely silent about your own. Any of these situations can cause tension and potentially broken relationships. And 2) You feel purposeless and unsatisfied with how your life is turning out. You risk growing bitter toward yourself and even others because your passions are not being cultivated.
I’m not telling you that you shouldn’t do things with people you love. I don’t mean to say you can’t be their proud cheerleader. But there comes a time when you must be a fan of yourself, too. At a rather young age, I was already being taught that you should pursue your passions; they lead to purpose.
Post-breakup, it finally hit me that I had let all my hobbies and passions drift to the wayside; therefore, I’d lost sight of my purpose, which pushed me off the track God prepared for me. When you are single, you have an ample amount of time to rediscover your passions or encounter new ones. I almost guarantee that if you follow the Lord’s leading through the passions inside of you and the opportunities in front of you, you’ll land in the middle of the calling on your life.
Stay tuned for the next piece in the Single Isn’t Scary Series.
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