Nerding out

My ten-year-old and I walked the dog together last night. She was a chatterbox. Get her away from books and Netflix and conversation flows from her.

She changes topics pretty quickly. It’s a stream-of-consciousness kind of flow.

At one point she said, “Dad, what did you nerd out on when you were a kid?”

Me: “What do you mean by ‘nerd out’?”

Her: “You know. Like I’m reading those books about Egyptian mythology right now, and I get really into everything about it.”

And she does. Thanks to the Kane Chronicles books by Rick Riordan, my daughter is now well versed on all the Egyptian deities and their stories and is eager to share what she’s been learning in great detail.

This conversation was a proud moment for me, that she recognizes that “nerding out” is a thing and that she delights in it.

I told her that when I was her age I nerded out reading biographies and obsessing over NASA and astronauts. And I reminded her that, as cool as she knows I am, I’m still nerding out about a lot of things, like Apple and books and great gear.

I hope she will continue to embrace delightful obsessions all her life. Nerding out is really just following your curiosity and your joys and caring deeply.

Follow your bliss, no matter if anyone thinks it’s nerdy. It doesn’t matter if what you nerd out over will make you any money or win applause or approval or likes on Instagram. Pursue those things that bring you joy for their own sake, without any attachment to some external reward.