Live long and learn

Published December 6, 2017

There’s something brilliantly wonderful and overwhelming about diving into a subject you don’t really know a lot about.

I’ve done this a few times: with films, with music and most recently with sport – getting fully involved with tennis, and this month, jumping feet first into Formula E with a new podcast and everything.

At first, it seems totally overwhelming. There’s so much you don’t know, an entire history that you’ve missed out on (not so much with Formula E, being just a baby motorsport series), and so many connections you’re going to miss. What you have to do is push that to one side, ignore all the voices telling you it’s too big a subject, it’s too late, you might as well just watch re-runs of The Big Bang Theory instead.

What’s brilliant about it, and what I am only just starting to understand, is that the lack of knowledge or of knowing where to start, is really the key to it all. You just pick one thing and start there. Do the next thing. Gradually, you get more and more knowledge and it all starts to fall into place. Those are the joyous moments, when things click together and you get a glimpse, however briefly, of the bigger picture.

In just a few weeks, you can look back at where you started from and think: what was I worried about? And in a few months, you’ll be proud of coming so far. And if you’re anything like me, suddenly two years have passed and you’ve somehow managed to listen to 200 albums in that time, passed comment on them all, and now enjoy Beats1 radio rather than cowering away from all the songs you’ve never heard of.

So if you’ve got a burning desire to learn about something new, just do it! It seems a big deal now but, in the end, you’ll be glad you did.

(Oh also, those moments where the streams are crossed. When your sports people make cameos in film. Or musicians rock up to watch the Wimbledon final. Those are fun too.)

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