Monday, March 16, 2015

The evolution of my hobbies (obsessions)

As I've grown older I've had a lot of hobbies. I'm not just talking photography and gardening, I'm talking hobbies that boarder on obsessions. Being obsessed with something is not healthy if it interferes with your daily life, but obsessions that make you happy, make your daily life richer, well those are good hobbies (err.. obsessions).

As I've pondered my hobbies over the years I've realized some of these hobbies make for my very best memories, and make me the happiest I've ever been. Truly. Each hobby shaped me into the person I am today, and each one holds such fond and strong memories of who I was during that time of life.

Looking at them all in a list brings back a flood of nostalgia, of friends I was hanging out with at the time, of love I felt for E, of becoming a parent (which was very much my favorite obsession).

The reason why I've been pondering these hobbies so much lately is because I have a new one: BBC Sherlock. A tv show. I'm almost embarrassed to admit how much I love thinking about a mere tv show. I mean, I haven't thought about pretend characters as much as I am now since I was 14 years old. That is embarrassing. But, it brings me a lot of happiness, so I'm just going to roll with it.

So, a list of the things I was and are obsessed with, starting with when I was merely 14 years old:
Junior High school - Lois and Clark aka Superman
I adored this show in Jr. High. Thinking about it now brings back such happy memories. My best friend and I were obsessed with Dean Cain (the Clark Kent/ Superman actor) and it makes me smile to remember how much time I actually fantasized about kissing him.

High school - "Haunted" places
Again, such happy memories. My friends and I were absolutely entranced by ghost stories and weird/abandoned places in high school. Our favorite Saturday night activity was getting a pizza and then driving around looking for "haunted" places. I know all the stories, all the locations, and all the "hauntings". Such good times. This is also when E and I started dating and so the memories are extra special.

College - Ghost towns/ Urban exploring
After high school I got much more into Urban exploring, which is a term that means exploring abandoned urban places. I read some amazing websites, explored some amazing places, and thought about abandoned structures pretty much all the time. E and I loved to check out ghost towns and abandoned highways, and every last forgotten home down near the farmhouse was explored.

Have some extra time? This is the best Urban exploring website out there. LOVE it.

This mill I explored alone. The entire creepy inside of the mill and I was alone. Most definitely one of the bravest moments of my life. I found a unlocked door in the basement and crawled in in the middle of the day.
Lots and lots of abandoned houses. I've talked about exploring abandoned houses a few times on my blog, I just love it. Here is one of my favorite posts about exploring abandoned homes. And here is another one. 

Post collage - Travel
Once I had money to travel I spent most of my time thinking/planning/imagining and scoping out our next adventure. E and I traveled a lot in our mid twenties. England, Amsterdam, Tanzania, Italy, Austria, Japan, Canada and every single National Park we could manage. Many many years of possibly my favorite memories of my life (second to being a mother of course).
Travel may seem like a weird thing to label as an "obsession" but for a very long time I was obsessed. My thoughts drifted to little else, only where I've been and where I couldn't wait to go next.

Early twenties - American Girl dolls
Remembering how much I loved dolls (well into adult hood) makes me realize how much poor E had to put up with. I loved dolls. I thought about them all the time, buying new things for them, making new stories up, and even taking Violet on our honeymoon (thank you E, you deserve a metal). Dolls were my life up until I had James. I made so so many friends on the doll message boards, some of which I still consider my closest friends today.

Some of my very favorite doll moments can be found in the Kit mystery albums: Mystery at the Farmhouse, Mystery at the Cabin, Mystery of the Abandoned Barn (because of course I've got to combine my love for dolls with my love for abandoned places!), and The Mystery of Christmas Eve.
Plus, of course, there are tons of traveling Violet albums.

Can't wait to share these types of memories with the kids one day.

Early twenties - Harry Potter
Each of these hobbies hold such a special place in my heart. Harry Potter is no different. While I loved seeing the movies in the theaters on opening night, the books are where my heart lies. Nothing got me more involved with the Harry Potter world than the release of a new book. I would read all the theories, contribute to discussions, and generally geek out on how much I love Harry Potter. Oh, and re-read the books again and again.

I love Harry Potter so much that's it's enough that it somewhat defines who I am (crazy, right?! Ask any Harry Potter fan and they will totally get what I'm talking about). And Dumbledore? He's my all time favorite.

I AM SO STOKED to introduce the kids to the books. Their minds will be blown.

Late twenties until current - Children, being a mother
It sounds trite to say, but becoming a mother, and immersing myself into motherhood was and is a hobby/obsession. Of course, becoming a parent changes you, it changes you for the better to your very core. But motherhood is an obsession of mine. I revel in it. I immerse myself totally and completely. Being a stay-at-home-mom has made me happier than anything I've ever done.

I am not the perfect parent, far from it, but I like to give my children a magical childhood. We tell stories. We play outside year round. We build forts and get muddy and laugh and laugh. Bringing this to the two people I love most in the world is my favorite obsession of all.

Early thirties - Instagram
About two years ago I got very into Instagram. Yes, Instagram that is just merely a photo posting app on your phone. But I connected with other mothers around the world and I loved that this platform pushed me more with my photography and my creativity than anything in recent past.

I challenged myself to getting the perfect shot, the perfect lighting, the perfect expressions. Instagram was and is a way to share my love of motherhood and photography with other mamas out there.

While I still love IG, my obsession has shifted a little. As kids grow bigger and more independent they are less willing to be the object of photos, and part of childhood is living without a camera in your face. So I've lessened my presence on IG a bit over the last four months.

Current - Sherlock 
I said above that I totally admit and embrace the fact that being obsessed with a tv show (made up characters that really don't exist) is pretty geeky. But as I love dolls and Harry Potter so I'm not too worried about my geeky rating.
I LOVE this show. It is kinda crazy. Like I haven't felt this obsessiveness towards a show since Lois and Clark (twenty years ago!). I like detective stories (Law & Order SVU was a favorite of mine) but it is so much more than that. It's a love story. It is. Don't laugh. I truly feel that Sherlock and John Watson are going to end up together. And it makes me so happy.

Poor E, he not only had a doll join him on our honeymoon, but he has to listen to me go on and on about what I believe are two gay detectives. This man needs an award.
I know that it's kinda crazy to think that Sherlock will end it's five seasons with John and Sherlock together in a romantic relationship, but I do think that is where the creators are going with it. Call me crazy, I don't mind. 

Plus, the story is really just so good. Predictions are so fun to make, even if they end up totally false. I loved that with Harry Potter, and once the 7th and last book came out, and all questions were answered, it felt like such a sad moment. Part of the fun of getting into a fandom is trying to figure out where the creators are going with it. 

If you are a Sherlock fan, and don't mind reading theories, here are the best websites. Each one is brilliant and such a fun read. And if you don't agree that Sherlock is going to end up with John that is fine too. I won't be too offended. 

Ha! I wanted to write a short post about my love for BBC Sherlock and it turned into quite an epic post. However, writing it made me smile again and again. I realize now that being obsessed with something is totally not a new thing for me. It's a lifelong love. 

Send me your best Sherlock theories and a gold metal for my man that has to deal with all of this craziness. 


  1. Connie12:13 PM

    As you know, I am totally into obsessive hobbies, having a few myself like the AG thing. Einstein said, "The greater the mind, the greater the need for the simplicity of play." So, we have great minds and hope we never give them up to anyone!
    PS E probably deserves a medal, not a metal, unless it's gold, of course! HEEHEE!

  2. Anonymous9:05 AM

    Not sure you would even remember me from the American Girl Fan Boards. I think I went by trvnbrn or maybe just Bren (my name) My daughter was into the dolls (o.k.,me too). Her name is Hannah & we hosted Violet in Virginia (took her to Jamestown & Colonial Williamsburg). We have followed you here & love watching your kids grow up. HAD to comment because Hannah introduced our family to Sherlock. Love, love, love it. We don't ship John & Sherlock....Hannah would rather ship herself with Sherlock. lol. She also introduced us to Doctor Who. Merlin is fun as well. BBC has some great stuff. P.S. Hannah will be 18 in July & starts college this fall. ENJOY every second with your little ones for they grow up all to quickly ;o)

  3. Been, I remember you! Oh my goodness, how will Hannah be 18?!!! Oh my gosh! Where does the time go. It is crazy how fast it goes. Send her all my love.

    And I do think John and Sherlock will end up together, I really do! We shall see!


  4. Bren, sorry. Autocorrect fail!

  5. Anonymous8:31 PM

    It's funny because I've been quietly reading your blog for years & have to stop & remember that, yeah, you haven't seen or heard from me in years....might not remember me. lol. Glad you do & I hope I don't sound like a stalker! I just enjoy your blog ;o) Better chance of Sherlock ending up with John than him ending up with my daughter. Feel free to look me up on Facebook (Brenda Riley Ramsey). My boys, Simon and Ethan, are 14 and 11.

  6. Bren, totally not stalkerish. And if you love Sherlock as much as I do (and aren't weirded out that they may be gay) click those links. Seriously, they are amazing and so well thought out. And it is so fun to try to predict where the show will go! I'm off to Facebook now to find you. xoxox


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