10,000 hours. So say the “experts”. That’s how long you need to practice at something before you can be an “expert” at it. Whatever. Who knows. It’s just a number. Everyone is an expert at something. Actually more than one thing.
Your job. Whatever your job is, if you’ve been doing it for several years then you are an expert at it. If your job is pacing the perimeter of a building in case something unusual were to happen, then that is your expertise. If your “job” is watching cartoons all day long while pretending to look for work, then that is what you are an expert at. See, we are all experts at whatever we do all day long.
Then there’s life expertise. If you’ve grown up in a family where yelling and hurling insults at each other is the norm, then you are an expert at that too. If you hold your feelings in every day while chaos swirls around you, then that is what you are an expert at. If you come home every day and comfort those around you, listen to their problems, help them get back up on their feet, every day, then that is your expertise.
I am an expert at pumping iron. I’ve lifted heavy weights for around 6,000 hours of my life. Not quite 10,000 hours, but think about it. Some things just can’t be done all day long.
I am also an expert at mocking people. For as long as I can remember I’ve entertained my younger siblings, my past girlfriends, and now my current children by role playing stupid characters, in full and proper accents. Stupid characters that think they’re smart.
When my oldest son was a toddler, screaming in the backseat of my car, I invented “The King of the Road”. I would yell at other drivers, point fingers, pretend to get angry. This would send my toddler into fits of laughter. When I became bored of this character I invented “The Elvis of the Road”. A similar character, but done with an Elvis accent, and a few Elvis sayings thrown in. This character got old real quick, so then I invented what was to become a long standing character that survived for years and years.
“The Genius of the Road”. Done with a pompous British accent, there was not very much yelling with this character. He just smugly insulted everyone he laid his eyes on in some ridiculous way, proclaiming everyone around him to be “stupid” and an unnecessarily obstacle in The Genius’ way. For years to come my toddler-to-teenage son begged me to do the Genius of the Road. (in case you’re wondering he’s a very mature 16 year old now, apparently undamaged).
I now have a toddler who’s turning 2 in a couple of weeks. The old mocking genes are tingling as I drive him to daycare.
And now there’s DRAGONE. Me. I am DRAGONE. Apparently, that’s my expertise. Enjoy. Or not. I can’t help it. It’s what I do. It’s what I know. It’s who I am.