If there’s one thing about myself that I take pride in more than anything else, it’s the fact that I’m a geek. I read fantasy books, I play video games, I love Harry Potter, I’ve written fan fiction, I’ve attended a convention, I’ve collected action figures… The list really just goes on and on. Now, there was a time when I thought my path through life was going to be much different. I can remember being 7 or 8 years old, thinking that my elite baseball skills would get me to the next level, would make me a high school hero, and would only end after I single-handedly carried the Yankees to back to back World Series championships.
By the time I entered middle school, all that changed. I wasn’t playing baseball any more. Instead, I had opted to join the orchestra. Not because I had any real want to play an instrument, but for the most obvious reason a 10 year old would make such a socially detrimental decision; a cute girl was in the orchestra, and I’d be damned if I wasn’t going to be right there next to her when I finally made it to middle school. Fast forward a year later and imagine my surprise when I was told that the orchestra was split up by grade, and I wouldn’t be sitting next to the girl I had dreamed about all summer. FRACK! Regardless, I stuck to my decision of playing the violin, mostly because my mom had threatened me with my life if I even DARED to try to tell her I didn’t want to play the instrument she had spent hundreds of dollars on just weeks prior. But with that, I cemented my ‘anti-cool kid’ status, and never looked back.
And in hindsight, I’m damn happy that I didn’t. High school is one of those rites of passage parts of your life. When you get there, you know it’s serious. You know that the next 4 years of your life are going to make or break you (at least, that’s what you think) and if you aren’t one of the ‘cool kids,’ this is when you go from wonderful outlook to holy shit I’m doomed. You think that if you don’t fit in, you never will. Thankfully, at some point, I think most of us realize that just isn’t the case. That the cool kids aren’t really cool, they’re just a bunch of assholes who will be sending you friend requests in the future to hopefully bask in your failures beyond your early years, just to be surprised to know that you actually did something with your life. Their parties don’t matter now, and they never really did.
One thing I’ve had many people tell me in recent years is how special my group of friends is. We’ve been together ever since high school. Sure, most people keep a friend or two from the hallways they passed through as youth, but rarely does an entire group of friends stay that way for long. Not my group. Not my friends. We’ve been together since we roamed the halls of good ‘ole Osborne High. And while we may not see each other as often as we did 5 years ago, we all keep in touch. We all know that if anything were to happen, there’s a support group better than any other right there waiting.
As my daughter grows older, I hope and pray she becomes a geek. A nerd. Or more affectionately, a Goonie.