When I was twelve, I watched a movie that no-one else saw.
It was the best movie I’d ever seen.
It had fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love and miracles. It had a pirate with eyes like the sea after a storm.
For the next six years, I never met anyone other than me who had seen that movie. I began to suspect I’d invented it. It was weird, and lonely.
And then I went to university, and it seemed that every single person I met had seen that movie and could quote it with me at length.
It just took me some time to find that geek wavelength.
(I’m using the word “geek” as shorthand for “an unfailing enthusiasm, mixed with a delight in delving deeper and deeper into the subject”.)
Here are some of my geek wavelengths.
Ancient History, focused especially on the fall of Republican Rome and the Julio-Claudians. Firefly. Hamlet. The works of Stephen King. Speed metal. Roleplaying games, especially Exalted and Shadowrun. WWE wrestling. Feminism. Tolkien, including the Silmarillion. Psychology. Some comics. Communication and marketing. Computers (I got three Microsoft certifications for the fun of it). Singing. Fabrics. Technicolor musicals. Action films. Acts of kindness. Supernatural. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
These are some of the things I will always read an article about or stop channel-flicking if I see them. These are the things you will acquire an instant eavesdropper and/or conversational buddy if you talk about in my vicinity.
These are fascinations that have endured. I first read The Hobbit when I was eight. My parents – delightful creatures – showed me Monty Python and Rocky Horror when I was four, although I had to cover my eyes while they ate Eddie. (They also let my sister and I watch a movie we thought was called The Best Little Warehouse in Texas. They didn’t correct us.)
So, for most of my life I’ve been dealing with the fact that most people aren’t interested in – are in fact dismissive and sometimes aggressively disapproving about my love and appreciation of – the things I am most interested in.
I remember talking about my weekend with co-workers and saying I “spent time with friends” because that was just much easier to describe than the roleplaying we actually did.
I know that the people with whom I can talk about Slayer may not approve of my rueful love of Calamity Jane, despite all its terrible subtext.
I’ve had a lifetime of experience in being a weirdo. It’s taught me some valuable lessons.
First, everyone is a geek.
Every single human being has their fascinations, the interests they cannot truly rationalise but only enjoy.
Your geek might be water polo, or prog rock. You could be deeply into particle physics or felting. Experimental installation art, rock climbing, or tiling.
Or you might be a geek for all of the above. We contain multitudes, baybee.
Second, lots of people Don’t Get It. And some are aggressive in their reaction to your geek.
I’m not sure why this is. Personally, I am fascinated by fascinations. I love learning about a new topic through someone’s obsessive love for it; in fact it’s my absolute favourite way to learn about anything. But a lot of people don’t feel that way, and they are very vocal in their disapproval of the things you love.
But thirdly, nothing bonds people like a common geek wavelength. If you’re used to the polite disinterest or loud disapproval of others, the instant you find someone who adores the things you adore, it’s really really hard not to like them. You both light up and start arguing about details in ways that are incomprehensible to outsiders. You smile a lot. You gesture bigger. It’s great to meet people who Get It.
So if you put all of these things together, I guess the thing you could say about me most is that I’m a geek-of-all-trades.
I fall in love with your love and unashamedly egg you on in your pursuit of making something weird (to most people) and incredibly brilliant (to the right people). I can tune into other people’s geek wavelengths, and converse on that frequency.
For the last few years, I’ve been doing that at Cash and Joy, which is my online biz providing business strategy and marketing awesomeification to small (geeky) businesses.
But more and more, I’ve wanted to talk about a lot of the same things I talk about there – about the vital importance of doing your best work and resisting the forces that will make it mediocre, about finding the right people instead of making your work suit the wrong ones, about keeping the faith – to people who aren’t building tiny bizzes. To people who are making an art practice or running a non-profit or working in a Day Job and creating a YouTube series in their spare time.
So that’s why this website exists. Because I believe in your magnificence, and I want it to flourish. And I lovelovelove the rush when I get to help.
Other Things About Me
I’m a child of the 70s, but only just. I’m short and very freckly. I live just outside of Brisbane, Australia. I’m powered by sunlight and hugs. I like my music to have a bass line. I find it impossible to stay awake past 11pm, but am almost aggressively cheerful in the mornings.
Oh, and I adore you.
Wanna meet up? You should sign up for that free Unbreakables session, then.
Or come say howdy!
Love and pompoms,