From when I was a young little Jeffrey people have called me things like Nerd, or Geek. I was never bothered by any of those poor attempts at name calling. Usually I found a way to return the favour by countering with a snarky, sarcastic remark, or completely agreeing with them. That way you’re not giving them the satisfaction of feeling good about themselves and you nullify their poor attempt at insulting you.
What it means to be a geek, or even a nerd
I’m 38 years old now and I’ve always considered myself a geek, or even a nerd. Most people would probably say the latter, since I also work in the field of data management and I’ve always held IT-related jobs. If that’s a requirement of being called a nerd, then I suppose I’m guilty as charged. Do I care? Not really. And why don’t I care what people call me? Well, because usually when people feel a need to call you names in a non-affectionate way, it’s their own insecurity talking, or they have a need to put others down to make themselves feel better about their unfulfilling lives.
I’ve always loved playing video games and besides that I always had a big love for LEGO. The latter is a hobby I’ve taken up in recent years again, after figuring out that it’s nonsense to say you’re too old for something you enjoy doing. Plus a lot of people I know always think it’s cool to see LEGO. I have an ever growing collection of Star Wars LEGO, and recently started collecting the Hidden Side sets with Bren, because they’re perfect to create a Halloween themed town! It’s awesome when your significant other is into the same stuff as you are!
In my late teens I always tended to take quite a stoic stance on things and over the years I’ve managed to let most of what people say about me slide and just think that it’s not my fault that they do this, but their own. Usually it comes down to insecurity issues and I can’t help but feel sorry that they have lost the “spark” they had as a child.
What it means to be mature
Truth be told, I’ve been called childish many times for loving Nintendo, LEGO, and Star Wars. People often seem to connect these things to their childhood and at some point life took over and they grew older and thought they weren’t supposed to enjoy those things anymore, because society expects us to be mature and adult. But what does it really mean to be an adult? Does it mean that I should let go of my passions for the aforementioned things that I hold so dear? Hell no! Whenever someone accuses me of not being an adult, or not being mature, I always tell them this:
Being an adult, or mature, isn’t about not playing anymore. Nor is it about not loving things that make you happy. If LEGO makes you happy and makes your inner child scream with joy, then why should you not enjoy building something with it? Being mature is about taking responsibility for your own actions, being able to create financially stability and being able to maintain yourself in all important aspects of life. It never is and never should be about whatever hobbies you have, or the things you love that make you happy.
Simon Pegg once said it best when it came to being a geek, so I’ll happily quote him here:
So, never let anyone tell you what you can, or cannot love. Be who you are, no more, no less. 😉