I just read Scott Nesbitt's latest Weekly Musing, and it definitely struck a chord with me. He was writing about embracing your inner geek but in a way that feels right for you. My career in academia has given me the opportunity to research specialist subjects to the edge of current knowledge and beyond, which in many ways is making the inner geek an outer geek. However, what is really fun is indulging my inner geek in an amateur rather than professional fashion. There is a heady freedom in this, as it allows me to pursue an interest flexibly, or drop it when my focus changes.
A good example is my ongoing passion for beer and whisky, or alcohol more generally. Yes, I enjoy the simple pleasure of a pint in a pub (now but a memory but maybe again next year) but the interest allows for so much more. Visiting breweries in England, Wales, Canada and the US, whisky distilleries in Scotland and Wales, wineries in California and Niagara, and a sherry bodega in Jerez, Spain have allowed my inner geek to explore the variations in process, the histories of the facilities themselves and their different connections to communities and places.
Staying with alcohol, homebrewing gave me a more tactile, hands on insight into the brewing process and ingredients. I could have been a better homebrewer if I'd incorporated more of my then day-to-day lab science skills but there was liberation in taking a less measured approach. I don't homebrew any more but I might return to it in the future... but if I never do again, that's OK, there are plenty more ways to let my inner geek run rampant through virtual fields of barley. For example, on my long list is pulling together my thoughts around alcohol and the circular economy.
I could go on but I'll keep this relatively short and sweet and end with words from Scott as he inspired this post:
If you feel the urge to embrace your inner geek, do it. Just remember to do it to the level that's right for your needs, your time, and your level of ability. You can go all in, be superficial, or do something in between. Just ignore what others are doing — that doesn't, and shouldn't, have any bearing on your goals.
Entry 48 of my participation in the “100 Days to Offload” challenge – find out more and join in!