I like to make things. I have a hopeless amount of hobbies. I recent friend of mine called them my “hanasheries.” A psychiatrist once called it, “An outlet for a moderate to severe kind of ADHD.” I chalk it up to curiosity. The cute words and medical diagnoses sit over the reality that I just really, really like to make things.
My bedrooms always had big windows. We’d moved a couple of times over the years, but each time my room had a view of something or other. Marshland, a leafy green backyard with a koi pond in the middle, the roof of the Indian Embassy, littered with leaf debris and stray footballs. The very first home I can remember was the thirty-fourth floor of one Floraville, right by the new Suvanabhumi Airport. We could see all of Bangkok up there.
I’d spend a lot of time by those windows. I got so wrapped up in the world beyond them. My Mom failed to hold painting lessons with me when I was seven years old (Not for lack of skill, mind you, I was just too impatient to listen) and I was left with a beautiful, empty sketch pad to draw in. Draw I would, sat by the window, and whether it was the tops of busy city blocks or the yellowing grasses of the Thai countryside I drew and drew, with the skill of an unskilled but curious little kid.
I got hooked to that sketch pad, and to all the other sketch pads my Mom bought me over the years. I’d bring them wherever I went, doodling in them whatever random idea came to mind. And truly I was the nerdiest kid — next to planes and helicopters, trees and cityscapes I drew maps and floorplans, technical designs and drawings for machines that made sense to me alone. When I was thirteen we learned perspective drawing in art class, and soon I was bringing rulers around wherever I went, connecting the lines of Bauhaus building blocks and soaring skyscrapers to points on the distant horizon. I’d draw with a pencil, and then I’d lose that pencil, and without looking back I’d whip out another pencil I had on me before carrying on to the next project, the next idea, the next random thought that sprang forth inside my mind. There must be thousands of old pencils scattered about my primary school.
Over the years I found myself trying any and crafts that caught my interest. I tried my hand with pottery and clay figure-making, although most of the fun I had was in watching my little figurines melt on the barbecue (I hadn’t quite understood what it meant to “cook your work.”) I picked up the trumpet, then the tuba, under the false impression that it was a cool instrument to learn, followed by the guitar and the ukulele. I got into photography, tried my hand at videography. Singing. Stage acting. Photoshop. Painting, again, despite those failed attempts when I was younger. Each time I picked up a new hobby I dropped whatever old pursuit I had at the time, discarded like pencils out of the grubby and impatient hands of an excitable young child.
The only two hobbies that stuck around the longest were my love for drawing, and my unstoppable desire to write down anything and everything. These I always did sat by my desk, propped up against the window, watching quietly the world that unfurled beyond the pane.
I do like to make things. I have a ridiculous amount of hobbies. Many of those hobbies never stuck around too long, although that could be on account of my moderate to severe case of ADHD. On the sketchpad of life onto which I have sketched and scribbled away at on old and discarded pencils, though, I will forever have my daydreaming mind, dancing away on some point on the distant horizon.