Recently, I sold my metal detector. I rarely used it, but I always enjoyed being a guy who owned a metal detector. I was incredibly conscious of the social stigma that came along with being a metal detecting enthusiast. It made me a nerd. It made me the weird guy wearing big headphones digging for people’s lost pocket change. It immediately made me uncool, no matter the context. It made me the butt of jokes and so on and so forth, but it made ME happy.
I loved pulling anything out of the ground. Sure, loose change was always fine and it paid for plenty of sodas in the office back in the day, but it was the oddball stuff that I loved finding more than anything. I never found any expensive jewelry but I found plenty of little bits of costume jewelry. I found buttons from suit coats and tons of zipper pulls. Every time I found something like that I would instantly start to wonder what must have been going through the person’s mind that lost the trinket. Did a man go crazy for a week trying to find the brass button to his favorite jacket? Did a young child fear getting in trouble for breaking the zipper on their coat or pants? Answers that could never be answered but left plenty to the imagination.
Now that it’s gone, a small piece of me is too. I suppose I’m “that much” less of a nerd (even though I still know how fast the Millenium Falcon made the Kessel run) than I was last month. I’m sure I’ll buy another one again one day and I’ll regain my rightful nerd status. Maybe I’ll even wear a straw hat and a fishing vest this time.
The point to all of this is… Do what makes you happy folks. Sometimes it isn’t glamorous or even something that you wouldn’t want people to know about, but it makes you smile at the end of the night. Sometimes I think we worry too much about society and it’s definition of cool, especially in the digital world where we’re seemingly endlessly connected to one and other. Stop living for the better judgement from others and worry about what makes you happy. Go metal detecting. Knit until your fingers bleed. Tie flies for fly fishing or build birdhouses in your shed. Go to museums and watch bad movies. Go ahead and watch Old Yeller. There’s a reason people reference it all of the time…its a hell of a good movie. The problem is, you’re scared shitless to let your coworkers or family know that you watched it last night. F that noise.
Good night, gang.
(The Kessel Run references a trade route in Star Wars that typically took 18 parsecs to complete. The Millenium Falcon made the run in “under 12 parsecs”. Pretty damn fast)