As an adult, one of the things I feel I’ve lost (or forgotten) is the ability to play. By play I mean, doing things just for the sake of the thing, just because it’s fun. And if you ask me that is extremely important! One can start to take a very grim outlook in life, cynicism creeps in, and then with that one day one realizes that they have forgotten to be happy! I can get some shallow laughs from something in Netflix or a meme… but can do that only so much.
I recently been trying to relearn how to play, and it’s been quite the journey!
The first thing that I discovered was that when I sat down to try to find something “fun”, a side project or hobby, my first instinct was “a hustle”. I think I’ve been for so long in a society that attaches value only to things that have financial benefits that doing something that didn’t felt foreign.
The next thing I discovered was that, oddly enough, I didn’t know what I liked!! Now, this one was distressing! I tend to be introverted and reflective, so coming across such an important part of myself and seeing that I knew nothing of it was kind of disheartening. But then I decided to follow good old curiosity. She has been a constant companion, and event though I’ve ignored her for years because I was trying to make something “useful” I finally decided to listen to her, and oh what joy! How much fun! How interesting!
Just to put it into context, before this I’ve been playing TOTK almost daily. It’s a really good game! But once I started following curiosity, the fun was such that TOTK looked dull, not because the game suddenly became bad, but because I was having a different kind of fun! A fun that fulfilled me, not just one that entertained me. A fun that took effort, but it was the effort of solving a fascinating puzzle, or seeing the flowers growing after the effort or working the garden! And what was I doing? A CHIP8 emulator!
I’ve been reading the book Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and in it I’ve found something very similar to my experience, she calls it living a creative life, and it’s been changing my perspective and giving me ideas about how I want to live!
But a big part of it is, I want to play! I want to learn more how to play and take things playfully, because after all, what else is life if not a dance with the universe?
Written with Smol Pub
Send me a message at benj AT sdf.org :-)