I Was So Into That
When I was a kid, I’d think about how cool it would be to have my own little workshop on my desk. There I’d be, hunched over my desk under the light of a little worklamp building a beautiful scale model of a Ferrari 308. I’d see myself so organized and enthralled. Sweating over the tiniest of details for hours. How I would emerge after so many long nights with a beautiful example of meticulous craftsmanship. Inevitably, I’d beg my mom to buy me a model - which she would, simply because she was awesome.
I’d arrive home with that box so excited, opening it up and marvelling at how I was going to enjoy my new career as a professional craftsman. Then of course I’d rush through it - losing pieces, breaking things and getting glue spots on everything along the way. Sometimes I’d even finish putting it together. But of course patience was nowhere to be found. What kind of idiot waits for glue to dry before painting or applying those finicky water soluble decals? Why wait when you can have a beautiful finished model only 30 minutes after you opened the box? Just let your eyes drift past those crooked decals and gluey fingerprints on the fuselage.
I’d stick that hacked together Ferrari or P59 Mustang on my bookshelf, the acrid smell of model glue still wafting through the air. It would collect dust or get broken a short time later - getting shoved off the shelf by some other random project two nights later.
I never had the patience. Or the determination. Or the kind of brain that would stay interested in something for more than an evening at a time it seems. I’ve felt shame for it from time to time. Self-imposed of course.
I still find myself hopping from interest to interest. From passion to passion. From the craft of writing (oh yeah… that’s why I bought that copy of Strunk and White!), to car detailing (you do know the two-bucket method is the only proper way to wash a car don’t you?).
Motocross, cartooning, watercolour painting, playing electric guitar, kites, model rockets, origami.. the list goes on and on.
And the internet is the perfect environment to feed that beast. We live in such an awesome time for getting into the weeds on almost anything, and finding other people who share those interests.
I’m finally coming to terms with my passion for fleeting passions. It’s okay to become super-enthusiastic about something for a short time. You inevitably come out of it learning something and being all the better for it. Just because you didn’t have the patience to do it for years or became bored with it later on doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth it.
There are some things I’ve done that have stuck. My love of photography gave me a long lasting appreciation for it. The same could be said for graphic design. And softcore geekery, well.. that provides a gateway to all sorts of other fleeting interests.
So hopefully there are others like me who marvel at someone who takes an interest in something and does it for years - becoming utterly great at it but never growing disinterested or bored.
As always, part of me wants to be that person, but after almost 50 years I realize that I’m likely just not built that way. But that’s okay. There are a million other things out there to get into and enjoy no matter how fleeting they might be.