I want to foster hobbies. Basically, I’ve spent a lot of time cleaning things up, getting organized, and trying to feel like a responsible adult. That’s been great, and I’ve seen pretty good progress. Now, I want to focus on embracing what makes me who I am, and pursuing hobbies that reflect the “real me.” The “me” I want to be moving forward, basically.

Three things have really been calling out at me in the back of my mind, and I’m hoping to work on integrating these things into my life in a more prominent way. Somehow, when I have time and money, etc.

1 – Stand Up Comedy

I’ve been interested in comedy for years, probably since my high school best friend got me into Jim Gaffigan. I listened to a couple of comics – oh, the days of George Carlin – and avidly watched Last Comic Standing on TV. Once I went to college and grad school, I’d see visiting comedians when I could, but that was about the extent of it. Even today, occasionally I can convince folks to go see comedian, but it’s rare. I’ll watch comedians on Netflix – Aziz! It isn’t enough.

My motivation has returned because of a few things. First, when I was in Vegas with my family, I saw several comedians and loved them all. I like laughing (who doesn’t?), and it’s something I really find worth spending money on – I forgot about all of that. Second, my roommate is constantly going to see comedians at the Arlington Drafthouse, and I’m super jealous every time. Third, said high school friend recently did stand up of her own and went to a comedy festival, and again, super envious. I want more laughter!

I’m lucky to be in a big city, and DC’s comedy scene is pretty vibrant. There are a few obvious clubs – DC Improv, for one – and visiting performers at some local theaters. Beyond that, many bars have open mic nights, and a few strange places (hotel rooftop restaurant) have comedy nights. Some are free, some cost big bucks, but there’s something for everyone, in every part of town.

I’d love to have a “regular” place I went to hang out and watch comedy, but that will likely take a while. That can be a goal for next year. In the meantime, I want to go to comedy nights more frequently, and try to encourage friends to hang out there instead of going to happy hour or dinner. If you know me and you’re interested in this, break the 4th wall and tell me.

2 – Self Defense Classes

I’ve also been strongly considering taking a self defense class. I work better with practical motivation, and I like the idea of a purposeful class that provides a skill. Moreover, my job makes me nervous sometimes, and I feel pretty defenseless. I lose pretty quickly when I wrestle folks. I want to be able to defend myself. I keep considering living alone next year, and I’ll feel much better about it if I had some skills under my belt.

My thought is that I’ll sign myself up for something in December or January, so that I have time to 1) save up money and 2) boost my endurance and strength. These courses SAY they’re aimed to all athletic abilities…but I really need to be in better shape if I want to not embarrass myself. Now, I just need to figure out a type of self defense to pursue. I’m leaning towards krav maga, jiu jitsu, or muay thai boxing. I think the best place would be an MMA studio where I can rotate the types of classes. I have a while to decide, thankfully, so I’m going to do my research and check out some trial courses.

3 – Community Service

This last thing stems from wanting to give back to my community more. I want to be more connected to my community in general. On top of that, the last guy I was dating made me think a lot about my faith and my values, and I realized that I’ve been failing myself. I’ve been very self-centered the last couple of years. I don’t think that I let my slight narcissism impact my friendships or those around me, and I understand it – a focus on my professional and educational goals was necessary. That said, while my job serves a deep service-need in me, it helps society in a big-picture way. I want to help society on a more individualistic level. I’m trying to find some organizations that I want to commit time to, and I’m working on securing something for a semi-regular commitment. I’d love to work on domestic violence issues or do something with fostercare, but it’s hard finding something that lets me use weeknight or weekend time – most places want you during the day or 10 hours a week.  I’m going to make a list and call people before I assume they don’t need me, however. We shall see what pans out!


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