Renewing Old Hobbies, Trying New Things and Self Reflection

2020 and 2021 have been roller coaster ride for everyone. These are the years most of us spent most of our time between the 4 walls of our homes. While everyone was trying to find a new hobby like making bread or Dalgona Coffee, I was pretty clueless about how to spend my free time. Like a normal person, I ended up spending a lot of time watching stuff on YouTube. This was the same time every other Stand Up comic in India was turning into either streamers or podcast hosts depending on how old they were. Since I had made this habit of listening to podcasts when I used to walk to the office, I was drawn into listening to podcasts all day long in the background while I worked. It didn't matter if I understood or related to the guests in the podcasts, it was just playing in the background, like music. I think even though I am introverted and wasn't a typical going out personality, something in me still needed that office-like chit chat around me to work.

Speaking of the office environment, one thing that I got obsessed with watching while I was working from home was the American version of The Office. I don't think I have ever liked a sitcom show that much, that I still watch random episodes of it even today. Watching 9 seasons of that show with 20+ episodes each kind of saved me from getting the work from home blues.

As a kid, I was always into reading stories, mostly about science fiction and fantasy. I still remember when we had to give away 100s of Kannada and English comic books we had bought over the span of 5-10 years of childhood when I grew up. In between all that, when I got introduced to computers and video games, the reading hobby had slowly taken a corner. The other first-world problem I was facing when I was reading a physical book that demotivated me to read, was that the pages used to tore up in my hand due to my sweaty hands.

While I was listening to Ear Biscuits podcast by Rhett and Link, I heard them talking about a book called The Making of the Manager by Julie Zhuo. I was just transitioning into an Engineering Manager role at AntStack at the time, it occurred to me that I should read that book. Since I didn't like having a physical copy, I thought of buying a Kindle edition and reading it on the tablet I have. The author of the book was an early employee of Facebook and was moving from a designer role to a management role within Facebook, so it was very relatable to read and see what is that one should know and do when moving into such a position. Even though I haven't read that book completely, I wish to complete it sometime this year. Hopefully.

Another book I bought thinking that it is very relatable was The INFJ Revolution by Lauren Sapala. I had taken the Myers-Briggs Personality test couple of years ago and was identified as INFJ. I didn't pay much attention to that until I joined AntStack and started talking about these with Prashanth and Rahul. I started reading this as soon as I bought it in October 2020, but wasn't able to complete it then since I was reading like one chapter per month. In Nov 2021, the anxiety of not completing any book have bought kicked in and motivated me to continue reading this book again. Belonging to a rare personality type and being able to relate to the author in the way we think, how we behave in certain situations and why we behave like that gave me a lot of perspectives. It also helped me understand a bit about myself and saved me from some overthinking at some scenarios. One takeaway from this was that I had subconsciously become close friends with other rare personality types or the types which have overlap with INFJ, like INFP, INTP, and ENFP. The main accomplishment for me for the year 2021 was being able to complete reading this book (On December 30th though).

So I managed to get through 2020 and 2020-1 and landed in 2020-2. I am not a person who would make fancy (or any) new year resolutions or goals, but I have started this year doing a couple of new things with the hope of pursuing those hobbies/habits. I started learning how to skateboard, went to a Star Party at Coorg with Bangalore Astronomical Society, and started cooking (yes, I am also surprised). By the looks of how I am thinking right now, there are a couple more new things I might end up trying by the end of this year. Fingers Crossed 🤞.