I’ve been wrestling a lot lately with the notion of “fun.”
I find that these days, although I’m actually really happy with everything I’m doing and am involved with, from the outside looking in, it doesn’t appear that I often have all that much “fun.”
Part of me thinks this may be because I’m in a place right now where all the things I used to do for “fun,” my passions and my hobbies, are pretty much all things I now do for a living or in some fairly serious capacity.
Video editing and production, writing poems or stories or scripts, reading business & psychology books for fun (yes, for fun), or even figuring out what to do next with a Muslim youth organization — all of those things I grew up doing for fun now are all part of pretty specific jobs I have or there are specific purposes for which I have to do them.
No longer am I spending a weekend thinking up YouTube video ideas and spending hours on motion graphics tutorials or out filming stuff. Instead, I’m either shooting freelance video at an event, or editing videos for work, or putting together video ideas for an organization I volunteer with.
No longer am I staying up late when inspiration hits trying to craft a poem with an insane amount of flow and internal rhyme, or getting lost in books about writing stories and trying to format my perfect screenplay. Instead, I write when the websites or organizations I work with need content, taking some time out and publishing by deadline.
No longer am I taking up hours in a group chat or in a Dunkin Donuts meeting with other Muslim youth trying to figure out the best way to put on our next event or what creative project we could take on together. Instead, when I’m called on to give a speech, or conduct a workshop, or to volunteer, I head out and do my duty.
I think it was Tony Robbins from whom I first heard the idea that the real source of happiness is progress.
I love so many of the things I do, and I’ve built a life where I get to do them very often. But there’s this nagging feeling that these things that really excited me, don’t excite me as much anymore.
Even things like simple comedy (which I spent a long time learning and finding ways to perform or write)…I find that when I hear a joke, my mind deconstructs it based on its comedic merit. It’s such a beautiful moment when I can genuinely laugh at a joke, without thinking.
All of this is not to say that I regret getting better or spending time doing what I love.
But I guess, as they say, what got you here, won’t get you there.
If happiness is progress, maybe I’ve just stopped progressing. Maybe I need to find some other things now that I’m actually completely inexperienced in, where I can find some room to grow.
I’d love any suggestions. ( you can tweet at me @jawaadahmadkhan or just find a way to reach me if you know me).
I think I’m ready to approach new parts of life, curious as a child, and giddy as a guy-whos-just-trying-to-get-better-at-this.