A Worthwhile Nerd
The term nerd is in flux right now. Once, the word nerd conjured up images of that guy from Revenge of the Nerds, pocket protectors, and numerous other stereotypes. Now actors like Zachary Levi have merged nerds together into a giant machine, and you can be nerdy about anything from the classics of video games and coding to sports and cooking.
But since the basis of being a nerd or a geek involves an obsession with something (in it’s modern definition), I’m running into a crossroads. I’m nerdy about video games and technology (among other things). What happens when that nerdiness, that obsession, causes conflict in my life with what’s really important. Is it possible that the things I like are exactly the things keeping me from being the best I could be?
Some nerds overcome this purely by the fact that they put their nerdery (I’m creating new words; hang with me) to work. They’re nerdy about coding, so they build websites or design video games for a living. They’re nerdy about tech, so they build programs or design and build smartphones and tablets. These nerds are the ones to envy. They’ve taken an obsession, and made it a living.
Then there are those of us who are nerdy about video games. The more I go through life, the more I’m convinced that nerdiness about video games is the worst possible nerdiness I could have picked up. If I’m honest, I can have a bit of an addictive personality. When I’m into something, it’s all I can think about. I can’t concentrate well at work because my latest obsession fills my mind. The question is how to use that to my advantage.
I want to be nerdy about my job, and a hobby that’s productive, like this blog or learning to code websites. I’d like to be nerdy about my family and what they love and love to do. I’d love to be nerdy about my faith, pursuing a life full of serving others and continually searching for opportunities to do so. Which means I’m left with two tough questions:
1. Can I be nerdy about those things and balance them well with other nerdery like playing video games?
And if not:
2. What am I willing to give up to become the person who’s obsessed with what’s important?
Honestly, I’m kind of scared about what the answers to those questions might be.