For as long as I can remember, my hobbies and interests have navigated towards what society would say are ‘nerdy’ or ‘geeky’. Of course, being interested in hobbies that are ‘nerdy’ or ‘geeky’ has become the ‘in’ thing. Everywhere you look someone is sporting a marvel shirt or talking about a popular video game. The culture is viewed differently by those who 10-20 years ago would have judged its participants negatively. How the tides have turned.
Two weeks ago a new Teaching Assistant at my school approached me and asked me if I was a gamer. Which led into a conversation about Pokemon Go. I’ve avidly been playing the Pokemon games since 1999. It ended up being a conversation about what Pokemon Go was. I dare say, a coworker and I went on a few excursions after the students left to track down nearby Pokemon.
Where am I going with this? Simple. My previous entries have revolved around thoughts and reflections. Talking about my hobbies is a topic I haven’t hinted at (though my “About Me” page discusses it). My interest in Marvel/comics, video games, board games, card games (looking at you Magic the Gathering), Doctor Who and others give me joy. My ‘geeky’ hobbies give me joy, but they don’t define my life, that’s left up to friends, family, helping others etc.
….I mean my living room is decked out in movie posters, geeky decor and a shelf of video games.
Reflecting back on my coworkers comment, I’ve had others who meet me and claim they get the same vibe. At my school, multiple coworkers shared the same interest and it made me feel at home. How many times did I use my classroom smart board to watch new movie trailers? How many times did I have to force myself away from a conversation about video games?
When I lived in Charlottesville, the opposite was true. Charlottesville has a different culture than Northern Virginia, if that makes sense. I could dedicate a book comparing the two! In Charlottesville I never found my niche. I still talk to my best friend in Charlottesville and her husband several times a week and a few other friends on occasion. Perhaps the reason I never found my niche (aside from being far from close friends and family!) was that I never found a group to fit into….only 5-6 people shared my interests.
In Northern Virginia, its different, not just in my workplace, but several college friends live here. In college, we had multiple game nights a week and that’s still true. Listening to Zelda music while we game? Check. Making references to shows that most people wouldn’t get? Check. Outside of work and friends, there are more places to enjoy things like board games, comics, video games etc. than Charlottesville could ever offer.
(there is a video game themed restaurant after all!)
…I’m not even going to talk about my hometown which is cow central. My friends and I were the geeky kids who hung out in the corner talking about Zelda and Pokemon.
While my geeky hobbies are important to be, they don’t define me. I have plenty of outside interests, but I wouldn’t trade my nights of playing Magic the Gathering, going to a midnight showing for a Marvel movie, playing board games until the dead of night OR my memories of meeting celebrities who played my favorite characters for anything. They’ve grown with me and without my love of ‘geeky’ things, I wouldn’t have met or befriended the people important to me (outside family).
Thanks geeky life for making my life great. I wouldn’t trade my interests for most things and not for the memories and joy it has brought me.