I used to be heavily into watching sports. Well, mainly professional football (American).
I used to be excellent at fantasy football as well. I played in a league with pretty big buy ins and I’ve won it all twice (the first time in a free league though) and usually came in the top 3, despite the fact that everyone in the league really knows football.
When I was in junior high, my dream was to actually play professional football. Well, I neither grew big enough nor fast enough. So I tried semi-pro and got injured in a pickup game before even tryouts happened.
Which is great. I learned what my body can do and what it can’t do.
So instead, I ended up living vicariously thru professional football players. I followed careers and knew everything about the players.
You know. Corporate job. Married with a kid. Watches the game with friends on Sundays.
Which really isn’t such a bad life considering when we were Australopithecus, we were 4′ tall, mostly vegetarians, and food for other animals.
But I wanted something more.
In 2007, everything changed. My buddy D and I started talking about music. Whereas he liked The Cure and a lot of those early 80s British bands, I liked Metal. We decided to buy some musical equipment and write our own songs.
He didn’t play anything. He wanted more to produce music.
It didn’t sound like much but at the time, I knew this would change my life.
Earlier that decade, I tried to get into cartooning. I got really good at it and made a few shorts but nothing really significant. It was overwhelming and I never finished a single episode.
I hired a guy to get me funding and that turned into a dead end. It was really this 2007 event that changed everything.
Music and photography
I joined an Emo/Goth band (don’t laugh – I honestly thought it would go somewhere) that revolved around a teenage girl singer. I ended up writing the music to her words.
When we actually went to record though, she froze and we got a bunch of recorded songs with no vocals. So I left that band in early 2009 and started my own (a Metal band of course).
The one thing I noticed though is that I started caring about sports less and less. I used to be able to tell you all about baseball. I knew the San Francisco Giants like the back of my hand. I even followed their primary farm team. I could tell you who from that team has a shot of making it in the majors.
Today? I can’t even name five current baseball players. That’s total, not just on one team.
I’m not anti-sports by any means. I got pretty good at soccer but never followed it as it’s simply not big in America. I’m an extrovert and enjoy watching with people, not alone.
I also used to know UFC. I used to be able to name all the good fighters. Yes, I trained in Muay Thai and wrestling back in the mid-90s to early 00s.
Today though? I can’t name five current fighters. There’s that Irish guy who drinks whiskey.
Music and photography took over my life and sports kind of went away.
I had a beautiful model that I was going to shoot for Suicide Girls but she was one of those people who starts things but never finishes them. It’s too bad though as she would have been a shoe in. She’s definitely more attractive than 99% of the girls on that site.
I had literally thousands of pictures of her, and started drawing her as well.
The drawings started to get better and better. In 2018, I started drawing Allie except this time, I got serious.
I’d been a cartoonist since the early 00s. This time though, fantasy art.
I played Dungeons and Dragons in the 80s and loved the aesthetics of AD&D v1. Fantasy gamers would know exactly what I’m talking about.
From there, I also started studying my favorite artists.
Then I started to go professional. I changed this site to a professional site and sold prints and music from it. I even started selling paintings in person. I got into art galleries.
Then of course the pandemic happened and fucked up pretty much everything. But rather than lamenting, I decided to produce as much art as possible. As soon as I finish one painting, I start the next one.
When things return to normal, I’ll have enough paintings for a dozen shows.
What I’m getting at…
What I’m getting at is that the more involved in your own life you become, the less you get involved in people who don’t matter.
I’m not at all anti-sports. I’ll still enjoy watching a game with friends.
But I don’t know every single player anymore. I don’t know all the stats. I can’t give you advice on who to draft for your fantasy team.
I’m now so involved in my own life that I simply don’t have time for distractions.
My relatives are always saying “Roman, you need to see this and that on Netflix.”
We even have Netflix and I haven’t watched anything since The Witcher, which I really did like. I’ve also seen all the Game of Thrones on friends’ HBO. But the latest shows? Nope.
Find your passion. Explore it. Put time into it. And you’ll soon find yourself not caring about distractions.