A few days ago, I was texting Ashley, a friend of mine from grad school, that I had fallen a bit out of touch with. We’re not on bad terms; we’ve both been very busy and just haven’t crossed paths in a long time. When she asked how I was doing, I admitted that I’ve been exhausted the last few months. Writing has at times been put on the back burner as I focus instead on trying to relax. And then I admitted that I’ve been getting back into computer games.
I instantly braced myself for some kind of backlash. A grown man spending time playing games rather than chasing the almighty dollar? Picking up a comic book collection even? There’s got to be something wrong with that, right?
Then Ashley surprised me by simply saying that was nice. On the other hand, one of the designers I work with got a pretty good laugh hearing about my hobby.
Now, to be clear, I don’t game obsessively. Most of my weekend was spent catching up on reading and getting in a little sleep every now and then. And no, I’ve never been to Comic Con. I took a vacation to San Diego last year during Comic Con weekend and didn’t even know about it until the last day of the trip. Plus, having earned well over $16 billion so far, Marvel Studios has made geeking out mainstream.
But here’s the thing to keep in mind, the point I’m meandering towards (give me a break; it’s late): it is okay to like something other people might trash. You into gaming? Host a LAN party. Like Dr. Who? There’s a very active Whovian community in North Hollywood. I have no interest in football, but I have friends with major man-crushes on Tom Brady, and other friends with an almost frightening analysis of horse races.
People geek out over all sorts of things, and you’d be surprised who you find in various hobby communities. It doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor, famous or obscure. Johnny Depp plays with Barbie. Paris Hilton chases frogs, while Taylor Swift makes snow globes. Tom Holland is a talented acrobat (apparently, that was a major reason for his casting as Spider-Man). Nick Offerman has such a love of woodworking that it’s actually relaxing to hear him talk about it.
The lesson here is to enjoy whatever it is you’re going to enjoy, and just be happy with yourself.