The title of this little piece came to me while I was supposed to be working at my less-than-exciting-but-always-demanding job. I was asked to give writing a blog a try by a colleague who has come to be a friend in a rather unexpected way (shout out to you, Pregan!). So here I am giving it a go…
They’ll let just about anyone become a Jedi these days…
Photo credit: The Conmunity – Pop Culture Geek
Old school geeks can relate to my woes when I say that being an obsessive, borderline weird or outright strange kid was no walk in the park – that feeling that you’re not exactly on the same wavelength as most people your age because you believe that the ultimate achievement in life would be to wield a Lightsaber and be one with The Force. Perhaps, if Star Wars wasn’t your poison, you wished really hard to be a Disney princess or better yet, to drive the Batmobile in full gear with the superhero alter ego to boot. These are just some examples of obsessions that I grew up with and I tell you it was not just a whole world of fantasy – it was a universe of it. Fast forward to 2018 and literally anything can have a fandom and you can geek out in so many ways that it becomes almost jarring to keep up. Nowadays, kids have all the opportunity to be whoever they want and their dreams and fantasies are nurtured and encouraged by the world over. We live in a time where being weird is welcomed with open arms and we adults can finally come out of the shadows to shine in all our strange glory for the world to see. Of course there still exists the naysayers who have transcended our childhood, but we are hearing none of it, nope, this is our time!
The question is, how do we navigate through this brave new world when all we knew were the shadows? I have come up with a sort of ‘survival guide’ that will hopefully resonate with those like me and inform those unlike me:
- To quote the Matrix, “know thyself”. It’s a daunting world out there and it doesn’t help if you’re not sure of yourself. Whenever you feel unsure, take a deep breath and center yourself, think about everything that makes your heart smile and just do it!
- Find people with similar interests to yours. I can’t stress this enough! As a loner for most of my life, I am surprised at how fulfilling it has been getting to know new and awesome individuals who, though not exactly like me, are similar enough to make me want to actually hang out with them. Being comfortable with your own company, while highly important, can never give you that warm feeling of belonging. However, on the other hand it is also vital to remember that your personal well-being is also of utmost importance and I believe that if people don’t contribute to this then perhaps you may want to reconsider your alliance with them.
- Finally, and this one is my favourite – BE YOURSELF. I personally have come to realise that I have been playing a role for most of my life, trying to fit in everywhere but fitting nowhere. I’m now faced with reinventing myself around a whole new array of friends – it is very unnerving to say the least. I took a moment the other day when I was alone in my bedroom and strolled through my thoughts, realizing that I’m not the loud-mouth crazy person that most people know. I’m actually quiet and deep and always contemplating and I have only realized this thanks to all my new geek friends.
Well, that got a little philosophical, but the aim of those 3 key points is this: for you to realize that you are a geek and so am I. You’re obsessed with the vast possibilities of Middle Earth, Hogwarts, heck, even Aliens, and now you get to walk in the sunlight and join other geeks in shining for all the world to see. Going into 2019, embrace it; be proud of it, dance in it and just smile, smile, smile!