Nikhil Joshi, M.D.

Geekin’ Out

Hi World!

It’s me again. I’m rediscovering some of the joys of my hobby, after a particularly weird bit of time where I wasn’t really enjoying it.

I can already hear some of you going, “but, R., it’s a hobby. If you don’t like it, why do it?” And you know what? I’ve had some of those thoughts lately, too.

I should probably back up and explain what my hobby is, first. You can skip this, if you’d like, but I promise I’ll be brief. I’m a member of a worldwide non-profit that’s essentially a live action history club dedicated to medieval history. We’re not quite a LARP, but we’re also not entirely a group of academics, either. There’s a giant mix of nerds and geeks and jocks and art goobs and service junkies and for history fanatics like me, it’s a lot of fun. And for some of us, who never really wanted to give up dress up and pretend, it gives us an outlet to try to do create our favourite pretty pretty princess (or prince, for that matter) outfit and then wear it.

In short, I’m a geek, and I’m proud to be so.

So, why wasn’t I enjoying it? Like any other group of people, the group dynamics can sometimes be . . . well, interesting. Many of the geek social fallacies come to play. Emotions and opinions are all over the place, from victorious and boisterous rejoicing, to utter, soul-crushing heartbreak. All in the name of a hobby. A game. And like any group of people, sometimes things get political.

And I had let the aspects of the political game get to me. That game of emotions and being a pawn to another’s opinion of me, instead of enjoying the game for what it is – a time to learn new things and eat yummy food and bask in the pomp and ceremonies of our traditions and customs.

I’m thankful for my friends for making me realise that I had completely forgotten what joy my hobby brings me, and that while it was okay to take a step back, like we have to do every now and again in life anyway, to let someone own how I did everything wasn’t right.

So, in thinking, I went back to the things that did make me happy in my hobby. The art projects. The fun for fun’s sake. The stories and song. The pomp and ceremonies. Returning to the exuberant newbie that I was when I started was what I needed to do. I needed my own, personal Renaissance.

I can hear you going again, “what does this have to do with me?” Well, I totally realise that you may not be into my hobby. You may be into fantasy football. Or caber tossing. Underwater basketweaving. Chess. Social dance. Any number of things. And sometimes the joy from your favoured activity may not be there. The thrill, as they say, is gone. (yeah, cue the B.B. King already.)

Think about what brought you into your activity. How excited were you to try something new or to discover something? It is never, ever, too late to come back and try. The plateau will lead to greater, more scenic vistas, even if the path to get there is rocky. Sometimes that plateau will lead to a new realisation, or even a new path. And that new path may intersect with the old, intertwining old and new knowledge in seamless patterns. And sometimes, that new path will take off in ways you may never intended to have taken off, but the ride is worth it. The skills and relationships and the knowledge alone are always worth it.

I had to relearn where my passions were. And I think you can (and you will!), too. And in the end, I think your life (and mine) will totally be richer for it.


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