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By Gillian Taylor | Personal editor

There’s an underlying assumption that a hobby isn’t just something you’re passionate about, but also something you’re good at. You have to prove that you deserve the hobby. While it’s fun to do well, this discouraging mindset often keeps us from exploring new interests.

If you’re good at something, there’s pressure to improve, to make money, and to be the best. I’m not against being the best and who doesn’t like making money, but the stress of it all ends up replacing the joy it once brought us.

Growing up, I had an insatiable desire to try everything. I exhausted my parents by moving them from tap dancing to art lessons to piano lessons and whatever else I felt I had to try that week. I filled my time designing bottle rockets and making homemade fondant. I cried in middle school when my mom told me there was a “fork in the road,” and I had to start choosing the hypothetical path to follow because I couldn’t do it all.

I was on a mission to become a “jack of all trades”, but with that came the most unfortunate part of the saying “master of nothing”.

I never really thought of that with a negative connotation. I enjoyed learning about myself and what interests me. I realized that failing was OK, and it was weirdly impossible to be good at everything, but that never took away the fun.

As I progress in my hobbies, I am careful not to let them become a source of anxiety but rather allow them to serve as relief. I’ve discovered my likes and dislikes better since elementary school, and as I pursue them, I get better.

I always like to add something new to my routine to try once in a while. I find relief knowing that I’m not expected to be a pro. I’m not saying to be bad at everything or never do your best, but don’t be afraid to explore new things.

Be a little selfish and do what makes you happy, whether you’re good at it or not. Don’t let the fear of failure hold you back. Discover your interests and have fun doing them.