Friday, May 4, 2012

a case for the historical value of hobbies!

So I'm in for another frantic round of daily scrapbooking! I know.. I'm a little bit crazy. Who knew having a hobby would do this to me!?!


I remember when I was younger, I would drive my mother crazy with my comments of  "I'm bored." I think she struggled a great deal with my inability as a child to entertain myself during the summer months.

Don't get me wrong, I was a bookworm and I'd read for hours but somehow it seems like much of my childhood was marked by the idea of boredom. Looking back, I'm awed by how this was so because I remember my life and imagination filling my days. I remember being outside, biking, playing, etc.But time seemed long and I was often left at a loss with what to do with myself.

And I'll be honest, I think that this habit persisted into my adulthood. Frenetic reading and movie watching became my go to staples in the quest to alleviate boredom. I didn't really have hobbies beyond reading and watching movies. Really.

And now I can't even begin to imagine life with hobbies. I have far too many hobbies these days. In fact, I think Paul sometimes feels like he's married to me and my hobbies! Ironically, the hobby that often consumes most of my time is the one I never thought I would have: scrapbooking.

I mean, I consider myself to be the antithesis of the PTA soccer mom. Even when I'll be a mom I'll never be a soccer mom with her minivan, driving the kids from one event to another. Or at least, I pray like hell that I won't because to me, this would feel like a complete loss of self to motherhood, which is what frightens me most about the idea of being a parent. (Yes, I want a kid to have the best I can offer but not at the complete expense of my own selfhood). Anyways.... I always thought that being a scrapbooker would mean that I had to be Christian, a Mom, living in suburbia, and a fan of Mom Jeans. Could anything be scarier to yours truly? Ok, yes...  but you get what I mean.

As I grow more into this hobby though, I am finding more and more ways to make it my own and be comfortable with the narrative I am writing. After all, in a true marginal literary voice, I am telling the female dominated oral narrative that relates another side of history: the private tale that records the subjective autobiographical face of history that really brings it to life. While I don't want to be the marginalized female, I also find value in the identity that I hold within the narrative because I know that I can comfortably switch between roles. And frankly that appeals to my theory loving, lit geek self. After all, Jane Austen was once dismissed as a romance writer and is now hailed as a witty commentator of Victorian culture. While I may not aspire to anything as grandiose, I think that there is room in the world for scrapbooks to record a historical narrative that has its own significance. And that's pretty damn cool...

Paper, glue and history unite... Marya's going all lit geek on hobbiedom!

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