Being labeled a geek hasn’t always been declared with pride. I’m pretty sure there is a school yard bully out there somewhere tormenting a poor kid with the words, “geek,” “nerd,” or “dork” which wouldn’t make any child feel so proud to be labeled as such. For any of us who has experienced being name called or immediately grouped in with the outcasts, we eventually get over the name calling that was once hurtful to us, we realize our own awesomeness, and we grow into adults embracing the stuff we liked that an idiot bully never understood. I’m betting those bullies have grown up to be sad losers anyway.
Back when I used to be an awkward kid who was never really part of an “in crowd,” I tended to retreat into my own imagination and my toys. My head was filled with a “castles in the sky” kind of world view––unicorns, magic, romance, and adventure. Playing with my Barbie dolls and the many other delightful girlie toys I adored, I loved losing myself in the world only I created.
When you reach a certain age, you’re told to stop playing with toys and having a roomful of stuffed animals because it isn’t what a regular “grown adult” should still be doing. Maybe some adults are quick to get rid of their childish objects in a bid to become more “adult” and own adult things, but I believe if you’ve always considered yourself a geek with an active imagination, even in adulthood, you never really do grow up.
Why would anyone really want to grow up? Yes, we have to deal with adult things like getting a job, paying rent, finding a solid relationship with a guy or girl, and maybe getting married and having kids. Despite all those things, we still dream of those days when a little girl wanted to be a princess or a little boy wanted to be a superhero. There’s also a comfort in having a bunch of your stuffed animals lined up in a room for you to hug and kiss on the head sometimes.
Geeks tend to understand this need to hold onto a little of that childlike wonder and joy. Considering the current popularity of the new Pokemon X&Y, I doubt you would find many grown adults getting excited over capturing a certain type of Pokemon and then wanting to tell the world about it. Only geeks who are with or are friends with fellow geeks will consider such elation a normal reaction. Try exclaiming that feeling to a non-geek adult will only reward you with weird looks and thoughts of you having serious issues for liking Pokemon in your late 20s, 30s, or whatever the hell age you are.
There are some of us who still like collecting stuffed animals, even if we may seem far beyond the age of really needing to have something soft and squishy to hold at night. Others like to collect action figures, even though there may be that one adult who doesn’t get your love of collecting “toys” at your age.
We know our hobbies and interests aren’t for everyone. It doesn’t matter. What matters is the feeling it gives you by having these so-called childish objects fill your very grown up home. It’s a reminder that just because you’re an adult now, doesn’t mean you have to let go of the idea of play and channeling your inner kid again. The worst you can do is suffocate it and let those wonderful feelings die with your childhood.
Having a geek identity is a wonderful thing to own up to, especially if you get to keep the kid in you alive and well until you’re old and gray. Besides, if you have kids of your own, you can always pass on those keepsakes for the next generation to cherish and enjoy.