It's Never too Late

Words by Stephanie Mann
Images by Lina Barengolts (feat. Stephanie Mann)
Styled and Directed by Emily Sims

“What do you like to do in your free time?”

The question that seems to find itself in all introductory conversations can often be a little intimidating. Between work, friends, chores and sleep, finding the time and energy to explore other activities can be a challenge. What’s more, what we do have left of personal time is often spent on social media or Netflix.

When I was a kid, I spent so much time creating. Between making picture books to writing stories to hosting photo shoots with my friends, I was constantly looking for new projects to start and new activities to try. Days filled themselves easily with inspiration, and I had what felt like an endless amount of energy to try new things.

I miss that. It’s too easy to get caught up in our day-to-day and forget how good it feels to make something. A few months ago, I decided to make a change and create space in my life for more making.  

For Christmas, my boyfriend got me the wonderful book called Sourdough by Sarah Owens. Its pages our filled with recipes for rustic fermented breads, sweets, savories and more. Beyond the recipes, the book dives into all aspects of making bread, from the tools you need in your kitchen to the different types of flours and grains that exist.

As someone who is almost entirely green to the world of baking, I knew this was an opportunity to both learn something new and challenge myself. A few trips to Williams Sonoma later, I was in the kitchen, dough on my hands, flour in my hair and crumbs on the floor.

Was it easy? No. Was it perfect? Definitely not. But did it work? Yes. The dough did rise, the muffins did bake, and I was so damn proud of myself. The best part of trying something new is having the reminder that you are capable and that are you strong.

If you find yourself looking for a new hobby, but you’re not sure where to begin or how to keep going, here are some tips I’ve found helpful in my pursuit.  

Figure out the small things that make you happy

One of the best things I’ve learned about trying new hobbies is that they don’t have to be big or daunting. What little things make you happy that you can add into your routine? Is it trying new recipes? Is it crafting or finding a new book? For myself, it’s making time to bake once or twice a month. Tackle something small to start, and that hobby will feel less intimidating and bring you more joy.

Don’t be afraid to learn something new

Ever since graduating from college, I’ve had the sneaking suspicion that I’m incapable of learning something new – something new new. I used to steer away from activities that involved skills I didn’t already have, but in an effort to break out of this cycle, I challenged myself to learn something foreign to me, such as baking. And it worked! Challenging yourself is the perfect way to refuel your confidence and creativity.

Be patient with yourself

When learning anything new, it will of course take time. Be patient with yourself! Every time I bake, I still get flour all over the kitchen and have to make adjustments as I go. Allow yourself the space for learning and the space for growing. You’ll be amazed at how much better you are at something even the second time you try it.

It is literally never too late

There is this perception that by young adulthood, we’re expected to have a clear understanding of what we want to do and where we want to go. At the age of twenty-four, I for one definitely don’t have that figured out yet. But the good news is that it’s literally never too late to try something new. Your life is your life, and truthfully, you are allowed to do what you want with it. Remind yourself of your courage and your adaptability, and never stop reaching for your goals.

 

Here’s to more making. Good luck!

Alisa Hetrick