People in costumes have always fascinated me. To be more specific, I mean people dressed up in Superhero outfits or something of that nature. Spending the time it takes on something that others may not understand or care about is a worthy endeavor. And likely I hold it in such high regards because I will never do such a thing. I just don’t like that kind of thing and likely never will.
I have never been one to dress up on Halloween other than something like Three Hole Punch Bunch, or writing Book on my face (yeah I basically want to be Jim Halpert but so should you, after all who wouldn’t want to be him) or have a cool jacket on and surrender before a storm trooper and then call myself Han Solo (true story). That sincerely is the equivalent of the amount of time I have spent on costumes. And that will likely never change.
But after attending, Free Comic Book Day this past Saturday, I have a new perspective on this hobby people have. And it started while waiting in line 2 hours before the opening of Acme Comics for Free Comic Book Day. Let me preface by saying that you have to get there 2 hours early so that you can stand at the end of the block in line because you are stuck behind nerds who do fascinate me but honestly have way too much time on their hands since they can start lining up on Thursday afternoon for an event Saturday morning (especially when you can get said comics Saturday evening if you want to avoid lines but miss some cool things).
I digress. Here’s the scene. Me and my three year old son who wanted to get a costume change from his Batman cape to his Ninja outfit (which entails oddly enough, a Batman beanie hat, a pink headband that my wife used to run with, and a TMNT sword). We get back to the line after having to go to the car and we get to meet a guy who dresses as Nick Fury on a full time basis. His words, not mine.
I asked him, “So you do this regularly? Like how often?” He replied that it was “full time.” My thoughts immediately went to “you get paid to do this.” And he read my mind and said, “unfortunately this is not something I get paid to do. I do get perks like free access to fun events and stuff like that but I do it so much because I love it. I’ve always done it and I’ll probably always do it even if I don’t ever get paid to do it.”
Wow, Nick Fury, this answer floored me. Here I was just making presumptions about you being a bigger nerd than I am, even though we were both nerding out at Free Comic Book day. I at least wasn’t dressed up and had my son there at least as an excuse if someone asked why. But you, and your fury, showed me what true passion really is. It is going all out for whatever it is you love and not expecting anything else in return. Because just doing what you love is reward enough.
So today shift your focus from asking yourself when am I gonna get paid to do this (whatever this is for you) to why can’t I do this more. You may end up getting paid to do what you love, at least in some small way. But if not, who cares, you like my new bud Nick Fury, would probably be doing it anyways.