Being a geek is an investment in time, money, and most importantly interest. But what happens when the time isn’t available or the interest isn’t there? With so many things to keep up on, past and present, it can often be difficult to stay on top of what-is-what and to be as informed and exposed as possible. Join us this week as we reveal some of our personal shortcomings in geekdom. Whether it’s geek-centric things we flat out don’t enjoy or haven’t had the pleasure of getting our hands on, we all come clean on our holes in the geek game. Don’t be hatin’, but get your hate-mail ready (and remember to send it to Matt) after this week’s episode of Monkey in the Cage.
Marking the passage of time as an adult is a tricky thing. As children, school provided great markers; summer, holidays, going on to the next grade. But as adults, time has a way of slipping by. Last Monday marked the 10 year anniversary of Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring’s theatrical release. Ten years!? Can you believe it? I know, let us take a moment to mourn the loss of our youth…
That's what she said?
OK, be forewarned this is the part where I start to get sappy and a little serious so if you have an aversion to real human emotion stop reading now.
I think back 10 years to the person I was then and the struggles I faced. I was 21 years old and battling thyroid cancer. As you can imagine, I faced a plethora of emotions… most of which were lamenting my lot in life and questioning, “why me?” I was too young for this, I was at the beginning of my adult life. By December of 2001 I was five months out of radiation, thankful to be done with the worst year of my life but still frightened that the cancer could come back.
Months prior we learned that Peter Jackson was making The Lord of the Rings into a trilogy of movies. We were excited beyond belief. Nerds everywhere were rejoicing in what was sure to become their all-time favorite movie. I still remember seeing a teaser trailer of the Fellowship walking through a passage single file, each character being revealed slowly… yeah, it gave me the chills.
We all went to see the movie together on opening night. I loved every second of it. Especially the part when the Fellowship was making their way through the Mines of Moria when this exchange happened:
Frodo: Wahh! Gandalf: Cork it, short-stuff!
Frodo: I wish the Ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.
Gandalf: So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us…
And it spoke directly to me. I was wishing that the cancer never happened. I was wishing that I could be as carefree as my friends. But it wasn’t of my choosing. It happened to me. The End. It was now up to me to make the best of my situation and go one living my life.
Is it a bit cheesy that a line from a fantasy movie helped change my entire outlook on life? Sure. Was it profound? Absolutely. Lord of the Rings has represented more than just an amazing story and an awesome movie franchise for me. It reminds me of a time when I wasn’t sure what was to become of me. It also reminds me that I have my very own Fellowship of friends that would, and have, travel through Mordor to Mount Doom with me.
Where does that leave me now? I celebrated ten years cancer-free a month after the birth of my first child this year. I am lucky and I am grateful.