A few weeks ago I was having dinner with my girlfriend. Accidentally she showed me a treasure trove of hidden potential.
While munching our dinner, we thought it was fun to play 36 questions. A get to know your date questionnaire.
You’d reckon you would know each other after 3 years. Nope, still learned a lot. When I asked her; “honestly tell me what you specifically like about me?” She replied:
“How you love your stupid nerdy passions. It’s amazing how you geek out and don’t care what other people think about it.”
I looked her in the face and started grinning. Hahaha. Did she really just say that? Where is an engagement ring if you need it!?
In the back of my head, 12-year-old-me just went: “WTF happened! Girls dig I like nerdy shit?”
Apparently(!) people are attracted to you because you are passionate. Because you are proud to be a nerd?! Proud to be yourself.
Huh? So how did this happen?
In the past, I never flaunted my geeky hobbies. Hiding my Magic cards and not exactly bragging about my 100 episode Naruto binges.
When friends or family would find out. They only pointed out how lame I was. Leaving me with shame and resentment. It is not a place you like to be. But over time I started to care less. Eventually giving no more fucks to what other people thought about it.
I found arguments and courage by reading Nietzsche, Seneca, and Buddha. As well find inspiration in fiction and anime. Like one of my favorites: happy-go-lucky characters Monkey D. Luffy. He just does whatever the fuck he wants!
"Being a geek is all about being honest about what you enjoy and not being afraid to demonstrate that affection. It means never having to play it cool about how much you like something. It’s basically a license to proudly emote on a somewhat childish level rather than behave like a supposed adult. Being a geek is extremely liberating.” - Simon Pegg
That’s when I truly stopped giving a fuck.
It felt liberating! Haven’t regretted it since.
So yes, people still call me out. For example when discussing ASOIAF conspiracies at work. But I don’t care – and just revel in my geeky pleasure.
Everyone has his or her strange little quirks, passions, and style. So what?
No reason to define your passions by (pop)cultural standards. Which are totally arbitrary social concessions. They don’t define real value.
Especially not what is valuable to you!
Embrace what you love. Your passion is a keystone to who you are and thus your self-confidence. Apparently, it can even be a major turn on!
Stop hiding what you love. Express it and share it. So from now on:
Be proud of your passion
Take pride in what you love. It is YOUR passion, right? You have all the permission in the world to be proud. Start giving yourself that permission as well! Let your joy shine through.
Don’t let others define what is cool for you
Because other people, or the mainstream (ooooh the mainstream), don’t recognize your hobby as cool. Does not mean it isn’t!
There is no international coolness committee that decides what is hip or square. If you think it’s cool, then it is! Don’t waste your time wondering what ‘most people’ think.
Don’t compromise your passion
When you meet someone new. You might be inclined to hide your geekdom. But there is no reason you should hide what you love.
Being a lawyer doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy Warhammer. Define yourself with all your quirks features!
Does someone try to make fun of it? Tell them you don’t care. Especially not about his conformist standards. You have your own values and opinions!
Don’t expect everybody to understand
Though you can thrive through your passion. A lot of people won’t get it. No problem. You won’t get other people’s passions either. But that’s cool.
You can still talk enthusiastically about it.
Keep enjoying and sharing your passions
Whatever you do, keep doing what you love. If something is just good for you, enjoy it. Start sharing your joy with like-minded and new people. What better way to share the wealth and have fun. Display your fiery passion.
ASoIaF, LOTR and Star Wars would never have huge audiences. Not if some hardcore geeks hadn’t stayed true relentlessly. What a waste would that have been! Maybe by sharing your passion – you will enlighten much more people as well!
Show your pride! People have respect and are attracted to your uncompromising passions. These are your strengths. This is what makes you who you are! This is a big part of your confidence!
So share the wealth. Tell me what is your passion?
And how do you let it shine through? Or where do you regret not showing it more?