by Maisie Smith on January 15, 2015
“Geek porn,” I said matter-of-factly.
“Yep. Porn for brainy people. It’d be smart. And witty. Where people wear glasses for real because they need to actually see important things.”
He propped himself up on his elbow, a sign that I should keep going.
“Every now and then, an algorithm is introduced that people need to solve before anything… and I mean anything… can happen.”
I then proceeded to tell the ridiculous story of a brilliant bearded computer nerd called in to perform an “emergency” motherboard repair for a new client. After running diagnostics, he is able to confirm that a simple reboot is all that is needed to get her computer up and running again.
“But first, before we begin,” he mentions casually while straightening out the pens in his shirt pocket, “I need you to tell me what the square root of Pi is.”
My guy and I had a good belly laugh over my silly idea and the inevitable rabbit hole of Internet-ness that you go down when you Google anything having to do with porn.
Welcome to a day in my life.
If you are still reading this… thanks for that, by the way… you’re probably doing a double-take at the post title and wondering, “What the hell?”
Geek porn is confusing yet strangely intriguing at the same time.
Perhaps even interesting.
That’s why you are still here. Because “interesting” is captivating.
(And don’t we all want to be captivating?)
• • •
I’m going to be straight up with you. There aren’t 23 steps to being interesting. Heck, there aren’t even three steps. There is no breakthrough equation or top secret Pentagon document that unlocks all of the mysteries associated with being an interesting person. There isn’t even a “Five Juicy Tips to Become More Interesting” e-Book that I can offer you to download.
The only thing you need to know about being an interesting person is this:
Interested in people. Places. Things. Conversations… the kind with the potential to start off about the need to downsize the hallway blanket closet and then morph into an epic tale about Dwayne the computer geek and his smart-porn fantasies.
Curiosity will take you places.
Having unfiltered conversations with people… about what the hell a motherboard actually is or rehab for negative people or why Macarons are all the rage right now or an idea for a pen that makes music when it writes or how to be a world-class hobo or the merits of bacon-flavored coffee… that’s interesting. Getting your ass off the padded office chair, peeling your eyes away from the glowing laptop screen and investing in experiences… the kind where you go out into the world and actually do shit…. that’s interesting. Crafting your experiences into stories that you tell others… that’s interesting.
Want to take it a step further?
It’s rare that the person who spends all of his time inside, glued to a work stool with a hand permanently entrenched in a bag of Cheetos while reading Buzzfeed articles, will create something interesting. Interesting people are out gathering experiences that will make their businesses better. They are having conversations that broaden their perspective… and they aren’t afraid of the direction those conversations head. They take drawing classes when they are scared shitless to be artistic in public. They read sci-fi erotica every now and then to give their brains a break from their beloved historical fiction. They take road trips where the flip of a coin decides the direction they will go. They hang out with the freaks and the jocks.
They are curious about the world. They are hungry for experiences.
The funny thing is that we are all born curious. Sadly, as we progress through life, the curious is starched out of us. Crayons are replaced with dull books. A sturdy pair of rambling shoes are replaced with an ergonomic office chair. And we become boring. Accustomed to ruts. Wondering why we no longer have anything interesting to say.
Some of the most interesting people I know have figured out how to break free from the boring ruts that life insists on pushing us into. They ask “What if?” They try new things. They find humor and delight in unusual places.
And they churn out some of the most interesting business ideas.
Hugh MacLeod, of Gaping Void, doodles cartoons on the backs of business cards. He also dishes out pithy insights into humanity and the creative process. I imagine that one day, long ago, he was sitting in a bar, perhaps pondering life and eavesdropping on conversations around him. One person said something ridiculous and he thought, “I have to write that down.” But he didn’t have any paper. So he pulled out his wallet, found a business card and doodled his snarky thought on the back of it.
The Gnarled Branch’s David Irvine takes existing, unwanted paintings… mostly found in thrift shops, yard sales and gutters… and paints in his own pop culture characters into the scenery. Tired pieces are given renewed life and are turned into collector’s pieces. I can just picture him rummaging through a dusty shelf at the Goodwill and then shouting, “Cool! A dumb painting of two dudes fishing from a rowboat. I’m totally going to turn them into Darth Vader and a Stormtrooper. And then I’m going to add the Death Star for a bit of ambiance. I think I’ll call it ‘Everyone Needs to Decompress After a Full Work Week.”
Misfit Inc. is a boutique digital agency that takes on only unusual and remarkable projects with the troublemakers and rabble-rousers of the world. The company ethos focuses entirely on carefully crafted experiences and products. AJ and Melissa Leon, the founders of Misfit, are modern-day gypsies. They nomad around the world in search of exquisite experiences, while creating meaningful work.
My parting advice for how to be more interesting?
It’s not about the “how”. It’s about the “do.”
Instead of wondering how in the world you can be more interesting, try going out into the world to become an interesting person.
You just might captivate yourself.
To digging life instead of ditches,