Soon after I began articling at Goodmans LLP in August 2015, I got involved in the summer-student recruitment process. Poring over the CVs of hopeful applicants, I was impressed by the hobbies students had listed. Figure skating at the varsity level. Opera singing. Ballet. I spent most of my free time getting lost in a Netflix series and watching cat videos. Where were my CV-worthy hobbies?
But it’s never too late to ditch the remote and try something different. So, I resolved to take up two new hobbies.
First up: squash, which my friend Carolyn, a then-first-year lawyer working in the public sector, had recently asked me to try with her. As someone with terrible hand-eye coordination (at nine years old, I had to wear an eye patch for two years to correct my uneven eyesight), I knew it would be hard.
We signed up for a five-week clinic and a women’s squash league at a local GoodLife. The difference between our skill levels was painfully obvious. Carolyn became a champion of the league. I lost every single game. But five months after joining the league, I won my first game. And I still play today.
For my next hobby, I chose to take a pottery class because I had heard another lawyer rave about the relaxing qualities of pottery making.
So I enrolled in a class at the Gardiner Museum, a few blocks from Queen’s Park. The first couple of things I made in those pottery classes weren’t symmetrical, functional or properly sized. (The first bowl I made came out of the kiln looking like it belonged in a toy kitchen.)
But I remembered something: there’s always more clay. That means more chances to create something new. And as it turns out, I find massaging a slab of clay and imagining all of its transformative and utilitarian possibilities to be both relaxing and deeply satisfying.
Taking up squash and pottery also taught me an unexpected lesson: I’m not perfect. I’ve learned to laugh at the truly hideous pottery pieces I’ve made. And it’s still fun to play a sport, even if I’m not all that athletic. I’m now a proud new member of two communities and learning two brand new things. So I plan to keep saying yes to all those squash games. Even though I know I’ll probably lose.
Rosel Kim is an associate at Goodmans LLP. She writes career and lifestyle columns for Precedent. Follow her on Twitter at @jroselkim.
This story is from our Spring 2017 issue.
Illustration by Brandon Celi