My twenty-eighth birthday is coming up this Christmas Eve and I thought that I would share a little piece of myself with all of you. I think that my twenty-eighth has been the most significant birthday thus far because I think you look back to when you were eighteen and you were bright eyed and fresh out of high school and suddenly there were all of these life changing decisions you had to make. And when you’re eighteen you think about the next ten years and how different you might be. I think I’ve changed for the better, but I’ve definitely kept waiting for that adult moment to hit me where bills and taxes and frivolous stress would consume my life, but it hasn’t, and it’s not going to.
I think that there is a monumental moment in every nerd’s life where you watch something or you read something or you just see something where you realize you’re not going to be like everybody else. That you’re different.
And if you are a real nerd. This is going to be something that consistently happens to you. It’s going to hit you like a sledgehammer every time you get into a new fandom, every time you start to love something new.
I don’t really know what makes up a real nerd or a fake one or a geek or whatever it is that you want to dub yourself. I think that I’ve always just loved what I love and have always tried to share as much of it with as many as I can.
So what was my monumental moment? When did I realize I wasn’t going to be sitting at the lunch table to discuss sports and lip gloss and the latest hot piece of ass on the cover of Tiger Beat?
That’s right Tiger Beat, and BOP.
Alice in Wonderland, Black and White monster movies, especially Godzilla, and of course Batman were all participants, but it wasn’t until I was twelve years old and I saw Star Wars for the first time.
Of course the original trilogy has been torn and burned and changed due to George Lucas and his inability to commit and also the prequels which were very unfortunate. Also as a now comic book fan it was just mere practice to what writers and comic book distributors have done to comic book heroes by mindlessly changing them over and over again. My Star Wars past was just practice for the future. Whenever anything goes amiss in comics, or TV, or film, I just look back to when I walked out of Phantom Menace and went, “what?”.
But I’ll never forget the way I felt the first time I saw Star Wars. It was one of those moments where I went ‘this is what I want to do’. Not a film maker, but a creator, I wanted to be a writer, I wanted to have the power to create characters and put them in fantastical science fiction worlds that are massive and believable. I wanted to tell the hero’s story and create villains that were unforgettable. And when my father turned to me and told me there were two more films after Star Wars, that overwhelming excitement still holds on to this day when a sequel is written or when they decided to continue the Buffy the Vampire Slayer universe with the Angel TV show.
That great moment of excitement when you realize that these characters that you’ve come to love and debate about and understand, their story isn’t done yet. That’s a feeling that I think people who don’t watch movies, or TV, or read great stories, or who are unable to debate and talk about fictional characters as if they are real people, miss out on.
I wouldn’t know what to do with myself if that passion just went away one day. I think that’s always a fear for those who become invested in pop culture. What if one day it just went away? What if one day I just grow up and want to…ick, become my parents? What if I no longer want to drink three martinis and debate about the Dark Tower Series? Or I suddenly find that arguing about the ending of Lost is trivial and unimportant? What if I don’t want to read comics anymore? What if I find that all of the information that I have been putting into my brain about the Disney universe winds up being a waste of time? What if I didn’t get overly excited about the fact that on the Quiz Up app on my iPhone I am the number 1 leader in both Disney Trivia and Lost Trivia in RI?
By the way I’m number 1 in Disney Trivia and Lost Trivia in RI, and heading into the double digits globally. 🙂
But what if all of that just became unimportant one day? What if I just didn’t care?
That was a fear I had when I was eighteen. I thought that after high school I would care more about familial responsibilities, about pushing myself to settle into a job just so I could make money, or just to become one of the mundane who only have conversations about grass growing and politics and the neighbors. That I wouldn’t be brave enough to continue to love the things that other people turned a nose out or thought silly even though they’d never seen it, or read it.
But that just didn’t happen. My brain never stopped thinking and debating and my heart never stopped loving the things that I love. I still debate about Star Wars to this day. I still throw on the occasional Disney film. I’m watching Sleeping Beauty right now. I still read books and watch films and overanalyze and argue. My brain is still a sponge looking for new things but still holding on to the great things that shaped me throughout the years.
So I think that this holiday season what I have to say is, whatever you label yourself as, or whatever it is that makes you love and makes you happy, celebrate it. Take a minute to remember what brought you here as the person you are and enjoy it, revel in it. Take a moment, have a drink, and revere in the fact that you know things that no one else at that holiday dinner table knows. And just have a Great and Eccentric Holiday Season!