Wednesday, September 14, 2011

My Secret Origin

On Monday, I posted about my geeky life and how awesome it is. But how did I get to that point? To answer that, I'll turn to the age-old comic book tradition of the superhero secret origin. Every hero, after all, has a great secret origin that gives meaning to their Hero's Journey. As a firm believer that we're all heroes in the midst of our own journey, it should come as no surprise that I also think we each have our own "secret origin" that gives it meaning. This is mine:

Looking back on my early life in New Orleans, it was no surprise that I turned out to be a geek. After all, my earliest memories were filled with programming my own video games, playing with my friend's Transformers, and watching Star Wars with my mom. Ghostbusters triggered my love of the supernatural, and Back to the Future led to my fascination with time travel. Sharing those interests with others was never easy for me to do as a kid, though. I was lucky in that I found a small group of kids like me in elementary school who were into Super Mario Bros. Super Show and playing "Let's Pretend" with Jedi and Sith instead of cops and robbers, but there weren't many of us. I'd wear my Ghostbusters belt to school and get made fun of for my interests. It was hard dealing with that as a kid, but at least I had my friends to geek out with after school.

Then I moved away from home to live with my mom and stepdad, leaving my geeky support group behind.

I took the loss well enough, but moving around to three different states in middle school made it hard for me to build a new circle of geek friends again. I never found friends I could geek out with in Florida, and just as I was making some good geeky friends in Indiana, we moved again to California. I understand why we moved so much, but man, it made life hard for me to start high school without knowing anyone. It's not like I was a social butterfly to begin with, and each move made it harder for me to open up to potential friends.

Fortunately, I found a good group of people to run with in high school, and I could be comfortably geeky again. I got into collectible card games and tabletop roleplaying games around this time, in addition to opening my wardrobe choices back up to geek attire. It was as though I had found myself again, and I made a vow to myself that I would never suppress who I am and what I like again. Granted, saying that's what you're going to do and actually doing it are two different things, but nothing worthwhile is ever easy.

It's been a long, long road to being comfortable in my geeky skin, but it's been a good one. I'm proud of who I am and what I like, and no one is going to convince me that my passion is wrong just because it's not mainstream.

Then again, looking at today's pop culture, it seems that geek is becoming the new mainstream more and more. I'm glad I've got a front row seat for the new geek order!

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