What if he pursued the activity of making you happy with the same drive and determination?
And to those of us who have been the John Finkels of this story, I say: Stop apologizing. If you're good at something, take pride in it. Anyone who belittles your accomplishments because they aren't interested in doing it themselves probably doesn't deserve to date you. And anyone who judges a world champ based on their own prejudices about others who pursue the same activity? They don't even deserve to know you.
This is a lesson I myself am only learning now, in my 40s. I am a software developer, and in my own humble opinion I'm a pretty damn good one. I won't try to convince you of that, because that's not the point - just take as given that I'm a talented developer. The problem is that for the longest time I avoided identifying myself as a programmer in social situations. My excuses were that no one would understand what that meant, or I was escaping the natural "can you fix my computer" follow-up. But truthfully, I was afraid of being judged, categorized, and discarded before the new acquaintance got to know me.
This may have made sense in High School, in the 80s (yes, the 1980s; yes, there were computers to program back then; no, they didn't need to be hand-cranked), but as one of the blogs above put it, "the first geek wave is in our mid-40s now. WE OWN EVERYTHING. ... WE WON."
I have recently made a personal resolution to stop being ashamed of my own strengths. When asked what I do for a living, I will no longer vaguely mumble that "I'm in computers." I will no longer immediately change the subject. I will certainly not categorize myself by saying, "oh, I'm a software guy," like I'm apologizing for something. Instead, I will enthusiastically explain (briefly) that I write trading systems for a futures trading firm. If that doesn't interest my conversational partner, then neither of us have spent much time on the topic, and we can move on. But I might discover that they have a common interest, and we can enjoy discussing things that we both find very fascinating. And if my life puts someone off or makes them think less of me as a nerd or a geek, they can pound sand.
Post a Comment