ARRL Extra Class License Manual

If I look back on it, the real reason that I started poking at ham radio to begin with was entirely to do with stress at work. I needed a place to apply my brain that I could pick up and put down without guilt, fear, anxiety, or loss. Most people might have once described that as a hobby. But our culture has become increasingly hostile to the idea of recreation for its own sake. For all of the talk of Self Care, there are still people talking about what side hustle they are going to develop during These Strange Times. That’s an illness.

What’s the cure? I think it starts with reclaiming some space for fun. Fun that doesn’t come with pictures of sunsets from inside of a tent or a perfectly posed photo of children picking up a flower. That space that seems to be missing is in the empty spots between pictures and stories. They’re the things we do to make ourselves whole again. Those deep breaths between the long series of sprints that make up the marathon that is life in 2020.

I can safely say, that in terms of personal accomplishments, I hadn’t done much for myself in many, many years up until I walked into the Ben Wilson Senior Center to take my test for the Technician License. Most of my achievements were around family or work. But the studying I did between calls and the books I read before bed were little bits of me being reclaimed. And when I walked out of the exam with a perfect score and my ticket in hand, it felt amazing.

I hadn’t felt that way in so long that I couldn’t remember the sensation. It was personal pride mixed with excitement and a huge dash of accomplishment.

No one but me cared at all. And I smiled all the way home.

Now that we’re in The After Times, I’ve decided to grab the manual for the last rung on the ladder. I want to hit that Extra Class. I don’t care if I make it by one point on the test, I want to do it. So I will. And again, no one will care but me. And that? That’s the point.

Comments are closed.