Recently I was talking to some people and I was shocked to find out that not everybody embraces their geek side. Some people, even though comics and geek culture are very popular right now, keep it a secret that they collect comic books (or anything else geeky).
We’ve talked about geek culture many times on Comic Book Daily. But I want this article to be a bit different.
Being true to yourself is important. Hiding a part of who you are isn’t a good thing. It can cause stress in your life, and who needs to get stressed out over something like comic books.
I always try to write about my life in this column. You have seen my basement where my comics are kept. I’ve talked about my wife and kids. If you read this column, you know what I collect and where my interests lie. So let me tell you how my life changed when I came out of the “geek closet” and embraced who I am.
I have collected G.I. Joe for most of my life. Even through high school I collected G.I. Joe. Back in those days it wasn’t cool to collect toys. I had to hide it from the world, and I always felt horrible that I had to hide a piece of myself.
My Joes were all on display in my bedroom. Even when I was in college, my Joes were still out on display. One night I was setting up a battle scene on my shelf and I couldn’t think of an idea for the scene. It stressed me out and I was in a foul mood that night when I was out with friends. They asked me what was wrong. I didn’t want to say, then after several minutes of them prodding me. I finally told them that I was stressing out over my G.I. Joe collection. To my surprise, they didn’t judge me or make fun of me. They tried giving me ideas for my battle scene.
Years later, I met my wife and I kept it a secret that I collected action figures and comics. I didn’t want her to know I was a geek, but eventually it started to stress me out that I was hiding a part of who I am. One night I couldn’t stand it anymore and I told her everything. I told her I collected G.I. Joe. I told her I loved comic books and I was a collector. At first it scared her. She hadn’t been around someone like me before. Eventually she embraced my hobby and would call me when she would find something new.
I fully embrace my geek personality. I write here and tell the millions and millions of readers my own personal stories. I also have two G.I. Joe tattoos, and they get always get noticed. It happens all the time. I will be somewhere and somebody will come up and tell me my tattoos are awesome. If I didn’t embrace being a geek, I wouldn’t be showing them off.
I just want you to know, that being honest with yourself is a good thing. For me, it was a huge positive experience to myself to be out there and admit that I am a geek. If you are hiding it, trust me, be honest with yourself. Come out of that geek closet. It will make a huge improvement on your life.