I have a plenty of hobbies.
If we skip unimportant (and somewhat shameful) hobbies like eating, drinking, sleeping, daydreaming, yawning, smiling, laughing, giggling, mocking, and stuffs, then we’ll get to my first hobby, reading.
My eyes are glued to books (mostly fiction) and magazines ever since I was able to read. Later on, reading survived me from Language Testing class by Mr. Marcelinus Marcellino, for without this hobby I could never finished piles and piles of textbooks on Language Testing (a very remarkable topic to learn).
Reading then led me to the next hobby, writing. Once, somewhere in the eighties, I produced my own children magazine, called “Majalah Cherry”. I sold the one and only (handwritten) copy to my sister for Rp50,-. But I enclosed a Rp25,- coin as a bonus in the magazine, so it only cost Rp25,- actually! The magazine contains comics, short stories, quizzes, and games. I also wrote a novel about a young girl who went out to have an adventure, but it was never finished.
In elementary school, I was famous for my drawings. They weren’t really special though, but my friends simply liked them.
During junior high school, I found my true hobby. Singing! Finally I found something I can’t live without.
Starting with popular Indonesian and English songs, this hobby finally led me to Chinese songs. Some people said I sound good, yet deep down in my heart I knew it ain’t right. I sing the right notes with the right tempo, that’s all. My voice is not deafening, yet it ain’t special as well. For several years, I was quite well-known (among family and relatives) as a “wedding singer”. I would surely perform 1-2 songs at almost every wedding party I attended.
What a golden era!
But singing also introduced me to pains.
One day, during high school, while we were gathering around in a friend’s room (at a boarding house), the radio played one of my favorite songs. Couldn’t help it, I was singing along. Suddenly, a good friend of mine said, “Would you please stop? Your voice is not nice to hear.”
Like a sword, her words stabbed me right through the heart.
My feeling was badly wounded that I couldn’t utter any single word. Going out of the room, I found myself sitting on the stairs, took a deep breath, glancing at the brilliant blue sky, trying to heal my wounds, letting my mind wander freely until the sky got dark. And abracadabra, the pain has gone!
We remain good friends until this very moment. But ever since that day, I never sing in front of her again :p