Obsessions of a Nerd

When Bayana and I decided to start this blog a main goal for me was to become more disciplined with my writing. I have always loved to write but am a bit scatterbrained and easily distracted. However, for the past couple of months, I know that every Thursday I am counted on to provide a post about something nerdy or something on my mind. I try to be proactive and stay ahead of my deadlines but since I work full-time and need to read and watch TV pretty often to keep current on what I’m writing about, at times I will fall behind. Sometimes I find myself finishing my post in the early hours of Thursday morning stressed and unsatisfied with the final product. Another issue is my tendency towards procrastination. Even though I know that I have to write consistently to keep up with my schedule that doesn’t stop me from pushing starting my post until the last minute.

I seem to find endless distractions to keep me from writing, Law & Order marathons, The Sims, Twitter, but most recently there has been one activity taking up hours and hours of my time: coloring. Adult coloring books are all the rage right now and it’s easy to see why. The pictures are complex and intricate and you can spend hours on one page. Adult coloring is thought to be a good source of stress relief and honestly, I have found it really calming. However, I’m also very particular and have a strange preoccupation with patterns. So while I find myself able to really focus in on coloring and clearing my mind of all thoughts, I also spend a lot of time choosing the colors that I will be using and how I will alternate patterns of colors. Since buying my first coloring book I have found myself, on more than one occasion, awake and coloring well after 1 AM.

I had planned to blog about Orphan Black this week but again found myself distracted with an intricate pond scene and a pair of owls that I’m quite proud of. I have frequently talked about how being a nerd is much more about how you like something than the thing you like. Some things, Harry Potter, Doctor Who, Star Wars are widely accepted nerdy touchstones, however, not every Harry Potter fan feels compelled to start a podcast or think about the plight of house-elves and how it relates to larger cultural understandings of the “happy slave”. Some adults may find these coloring books soothing and a fun way to pass the time, I’m not sure how many of them find themselves up at all hours of the night sacrificing sleep and other commitments just to make sure the picture they started is just right.

I often wonder what it is about certain things that capture my imagination and attention. Sometimes these passions flare up and flame out as quickly as they come, other times like Harry Potter they stick around for years. I don’t know what it is about these obsessions that compel me to drop everything and forsake responsibilities to stay up too late and color pretty pictures. Since I bought my first adult coloring book I have purchased three more, packs of color pencils and gel pens. In a month, this has turned from mild curiousity to a reason to cancel plans and stay in. I am also sure I’m not the only one who falls victim to this, how many of you have pulled an all nighter to finish a book or watched an entire season of a show on Netflix straight through regardless of your better judgement?

Hopefully, one day I’ll find the perfect balance between new obsessions and existing commitments. Maybe one day I’ll be able to set aside my current preoccupations and focus on the task at hand, won’t waste away hours in front of a television or coloring book. Maybe one day I’ll become a responsible adult.

God, I hope not.

*Pictures from The Mindfulness Coloring Book: Volume Two