I came to terms with my sense of humor awhile ago; my father unfortunately instilled in me a penchant for running stupid jokes into the ground. I can’t stop laughing at puns any more than I’m able to stop wearing my offensive metal and hardcore t-shirts from ten years ago. I suppose I finally got the point where I took a good, hard look at myself and realized that I was tired of putting up a facade. I didn’t want to fear being caught reading Garfield comics or marathon-ing Tales From the Crypt anymore. Now, I never consciously thought there was anything wrong in liking those things. I just wanted to avoid the judgmental stares of the people who always roll their eyes and ask, “Do you really collect toys?”. The answer to that should be, “Yes, asshole. I work hard and have hobbies. Is that a problem?”. But most people experience the all too-familiar feeling of shame. It may be a little pang of it, sure, but it still ends up making good people confused and frustrated. We almost feel compelled to acknowledge the ridiculousness of our interests before someone else points it out, and it’s all because of the too-cool-for-school mentality that pervades our culture. Even if we pay bills on time, take care of children (or in mine and my girlfriend’s case, a particular cat that suffers some sort of extreme teenage angst), and communicate effectively in relationships, we are still somehow expected to have only mature interests because we’re older.
For instance, I feel much more comfortable being a music nerd than exclaiming to the world that I love Mario Bros. now more than I did when I was growing up. One shouldn’t really be more groan-inducing than the other, but we are just conditioned to think that we are supposed to outgrow the “childish” interests. The fact that nostalgia is one of most powerful emotions doesn’t seem to register to the critics in your life, nor does the fact that most people have something like this in their own lives. However, I have found the mysterious formula to solve this issue, and I am about to make you privy to it. It doesn’t matter one bit what your neighbors, parents, significant others, or classmates think of your interests. What you choose to spend your (precious) free time on is your own business and no one else’s. Who gives a flying shit if you choose to sport a Supernatural hoodie to the grocery store because you emotionally relate to Sam? Who cares if you have three Star Wars-inspired tattoos? We only have one life left to live (if you believe in that sort of thing), and after I really thought about how quickly it can be taken away, what others thought of my interest in Funko toys seemed to be small fries in comparison to leading a boring, inhibited life. These days, I bore some friends with my hobbies, and have incredibly nerdy conversations with others. I don’t stop myself from that ever-present silly joke, and I laugh now more than I ever did before. And if there are people in your life that can’t accept that aspect of you, drop them like a bad habit. They don’t deserve your awesomeness.