The title of this post sums up the sort of answer I would have given when I was, say, twelve years old, when somebody asked “what are you going to be when you grow up?” (one of the questions that have plagued kids for generations). I would not have said it in so many words, but that was the idea – I had been raised on documentaries and adventure stories, and I had this sui generis image in my mind of what a scientist would do – go out there, learn the world, help people see those wonders, teach.
I realize now that, had it been considered an option, I would probably have loved to make documentaries, or be a nature photographer.
But those were not “serious jobs”, so I focused on university, and became a paleontologist and a geologist.
I did research and teaching for a while, and then ended up in this dead village in the hills of Astigianistan, saddled with debts other people had made, and too old to do any job because hey, you’re over 45, you should be either rich or dead.
So it’s back to adventure stories – because if I can’t go out there and do it, I can at least try and inspire others to do it.
Or dream about inspiring them – most of my readers are my same age or older, and “adventure” is today something somebody set up, and you can go through it for a price, and everything’s perfectly controlled.
You don’t get to see the world but that small slice they will allow you to see.
Most places are too dangerous, or too weird, or just plain uninteresting.
It gets depressing.
And I, sitting here in this small village lost in a countryside where curiosity and youth are ills that must be cured as soon as possible… today I find some solace learning foreign languages, trying my hand at cooking exotic recipes, and paying a small amount of money to some charity – usually through things like Humbe Bundle or such.
I’m starting to feel old and useless, I need to find something new to explore.
30 July 2019 at 14:14
Ideas? In this kind of scenario, the best thing is go completely out of the box. That means try your hand at something that you never approached before, in order to focus that wonderful brain you got in a different path. Do something that requires a hands-on approach, like sculpting. Go full robotic and put together a super-sized scarecrow in your garden, best if equipped with red LED for eyes and some motion-tracking sensor to freak out the cavemen that live near you. Build with your brother a Japanese wooden bathtub. Set up a refuge for bats. What about apiculture?
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30 July 2019 at 14:47
Both the wooden bathtub and the bat refuge sound like feasible and attractive.
I’ll make some cautious plan in that direction.