Oh, to be a nerd. If only I could. It seems like only yesterday that being a nerd was a bad thing, but I have always been jealous of the nerd type. Really it is true. I have always had friends that are very intelligent and very obsessed with one thing, and isn't that what we consider a nerd. The socially awkward guy who knows everything there is to know about computers. The people who could tell you everything there is to know about comics. Any serious comic book collector can tell you that the world’s most expensive comic book is DC’s Action Comics #1 (1938). (I did not know this, I had to look it up.) There are also nerds out there who fit into the category but don't come across as a nerd because their obsession lies outside of the "nerd" culture.
My problem is, I don't fit into any of this and I am jealous and I will tell you why. I don't have any obsessions. Is this a bad thing? I'm not sure. Time to dig deeper. Let's start by looking at my interests (lackluster at best.)
I am a Star Wars fan. I am not a Star Wars nerd. I collect bobble heads from the movies, but I couldn't score fifty percent on a Star Wars quiz. I don't have the obsession gene. I have friends who could tell you everything there is to know about the Star Wars Universe, The complete Star Trek Anthology, the entire world of Lord of the Rings. Not me. I'm just not passionate enough. Not a movie nerd, I guess. Plus, my favorite movie is Good Will Hunting. A movie about a math nerd. Nope, I'm not one of those either.
Comic book nerd? Not even close. I have numerous superhero t-shirts and bobble heads. Too many, if you ask the wonder woman who does my laundry. No obsession here either. I have never even owned a comic book. I couldn't tell you a Marvel character from a DC hero if I had too. Avengers? Justice League? X-Men? I am clueless. I like the characters, I like the shirts, that's about it. Just a nerd wanna-be.
Computers? Video games? MMORPGs? Who has the time? All of these things are the classic obsessions that we associate with the nerd. I can't get crazy about any of it. I like it all. I don't need any of it. I think I need something more important or fulfilling to become passionate about. So lets take a look at my true interests.
I enjoy reading. I would love to have the time to sit in a quiet place and read the day away. The problem is, I can't seem to squeeze in more than a minute or two here and there. Tough to be a bookworm on five minutes a day. No passion, no obsession, no fulfillment.
Can you be a cooking nerd? Can you become so passionate about something that you become obsessed with it? It's hard to categorize a passionate cook as a nerd. Bobby Flay is no nerd. Kind of a dork, but not really a nerd. I would love to cook for people all of the time. Create exciting new dishes the amaze and delight my friends and family, but it is way too time consuming, not to mention expensive. It's hard when you want to make something new and different and all you kids want is chicken nuggets and mac and cheese. So, I guess I will have to stick with creative cooking just once in a while. Cooking mac and cheese is an obsession killer right there. Hard to be passionate about Kraft.
I love to sail. Love the wind in my face. Man in tune with nature. No motors. Just me and the wind. It doesn't get much better. So what's the problem nerd boy? It takes too much time. Time to get there there. Time to unload and set up. Time to break down and reload. It basically takes a whole day to get out on the lake and enjoy a few hours. Sailing nerd, I am not. Just a hobby, not an obsession. I am not part of any sailing community, I receive no newsletters, magazines, or attend any meetings. I am not part of any clubs and I don't attend any races. Just me and my boat. That's it. So where do we go from here dear readers?
Is it unhealthy to not be passionate about anything? It seems that others have one thing that they do very well, are focused on and have become very good at. Is it more fulfilling to have one thing that your very interested in or wide range of things that you enjoy and do well, but is without the passion? I have been referred to as a Renaissance man (There's your plug Shannon) but aren't the Renaissance guys really good at only one thing? (Painting, Sculpture, Math, Astronomy) I guess I'll take what I got and embrace it. The all around cover guy. Good at a lot of things, not an expert in any one thing. The guy you want on the island with you. (Another plug Shannon) I can catch the fish, clean the fish, and cook the fish (lightly seared with a lemon butter sauce.) I can build the hut. Not the Taj Majal, but liveable. Build the boat, sail the boat, and get your butt rescued. I guess that's not too bad.
On a side note, I was looking back over the characters that I enjoy watching on TV and movies. I wonder if anyone else finds this to be true. I watch shows with nerds. Really smart people that have a knack for one thing in particular. House, with its brilliant but messed up doctor. Bones with the genius forensic anthropologist. The Mentalist, which is self explanatory. And of course the movie I mentioned before, Good Will Hunting with dreamy Matt Damon as messed up Math genius.What does that say about me? What do you favorite things say about you? Just food for thought with a side of rosemary potatoes and an asparagus and prosciutto salad. Enjoy.