My hobby, my sanctuary

My hobby has changed throughout the years, not having one specific favourite pastime. At one time, it was watching my favourite cartoons before or after school; there was also listening to music and even singing (even if I was really bad at it). I was just so fickle-minded where hobbies were concerned. Maybe it was because I always wanted to fit in with my friends by having the same hobby or what seemed cool then.

It was probably around the start of my secondary school life when I discovered my interest, along with my hobbies. It started off with Niexter. A classmate introduced me into being a young writer for Niexter, which kickstarted my interest in the media and communications field. It was then I discovered my passion for writing. I enjoyed writing stories and essays. The only hard part was starting off each piece, but once started, I wouldn’t know how to stop. Then, as I progressed, I became hooked on photojournalism. I was intrigued by how a story could be told with just pictures.

I then started venturing into photography and joined a photography workshop held by NST. From then on, I expanded my knowledge in photography and tried to capture precious moments in my life. I soon became better at photography, and when I realised that I wanted to express more but a thousand words weren’t enough, I decided to venture into videography. I attended a workshop, got the basic information and even managed to create a short video with my friend! Compared to photography, I am still very much lacking in videography skills. But I’m working hard every day to improve my skills in both areas.

Another hobby of mine is learning new languages. Being Malaysian has its perks of one being able to speak many different languages and I am proud of that. I got interested in languages because I was enthralled by the fact that there are many ways of expressing oneself, as well as how some phrases have no direct translations in other languages. I started off with my mother tongue; Cantonese, by learning from Hong Kong dramas and spoke to my friends in Cantonese. I then ventured into Mandarin because it was similar to Cantonese. At the same time, I learned Korean because of my interest in K-Pop culture and I just couldn’t wait for subtitles to be released (and risk the fact of misunderstanding some dialogues because of mistranslation). As of now, I am an English-Korean translator for some idol group fansites online and I do my best with the other team members to deliver an accurate translation. As I am currently on an exchange programme in Japan, I am working on my Japanese as well. Not forgetting my Bahasa and English. I continue to broaden my vocabulary by reading, listening to music and watching reality shows in those languages. Reading in Chinese and Japanese is still hard for me, but I’m constantly trying my best!

In addition to the three hobbies above, I have one more hobby which is dancing. I enjoyed dancing when I was mere child and I still enjoy it up until now. Back in primary school, I was always in the traditional dance team and I did find it troublesome to actually stay back and practise after school. That continued until secondary school! I had my ups and downs with traditional dances, but I’m glad I stuck with it until I graduated. Recently, I practise more on the modern, pop and hip-hop dances rather than the traditional ones. I really enjoy dancing as it helps me relieve my stress and all the unspeakable emotions I have built up inside. I’m not as good to call myself a proper dancer, but I believe with more practice, I’ll become better.

My hobbies are my sanctuary, my port in the storm. A place where I take refuge in, a place where I find peace when I am feeling down, stressed or unable to express myself with words. Even if I’m not as good in some of them, I constantly push myself to expand my horizons and get more exposure to be better at my hobbies, so they would one day be useful skills as well. It doesn’t matter if you start late or early, a hobby is something you do to find peace or fun in, that relieves you of your stress and worries. If you don’t have a hobby yet, go on and try out something new! Because it could be the start of something meaningful!

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