Something happened to me that I didn’t expect when I got older. I embraced my inner geek.
I knew from female friends and family that when you turn 40, it’s just a wonderful time to be a woman. You come into your own, you embrace who you are, and you don’t care about what anyone thinks about you or about pleasing anyone. I was ready for that. And I love that. But who knew that people would flock to movies and clamor for things that I secretly watched and read as a kid? Back then, it was just weird to like both X-Men and The Smurfs cartoons, or Star Trek TNG and The Babysitters’ Club books. But I did. And I never fell into the Barbie, Hello Kitty camp, but I did have a Cabbage Patch doll. I think this is the first time I’ve said that out loud.
But now, I fully accept and love the fact that both The Usual Suspects and Pretty in Pink are my favorite movies, that I should own shares of stock in Marvel Studios because I’ve seen every superhero movie I could, and that I’ve always loved to write, and I love books (even before blogging and Ereaders). I am a nerdy geek, and I love that about me.
Part of the reason it’s been easy to embrace this part of me is because it’s actually being mainstreamed right now. It’s like watching everything you loved as a kid grow up with you. GI Joe and Transformers were only toys and cartoons for me on Saturday morning. Now they’re big time movies with Dwayne Johnson (always “The Rock” to me) and Mark Wahlberg. Star Trek went from dinky 60s series to major 3-D JJ Abrams pimped-out stuff. It’s amazing.
Also, I think I’ve realized that EVERYTHING I liked when I was a kid and a teenager is now lopped into one big moniker: VINTAGE. There’s something really fun about being vintage.
Remember when the “Hello Kitty” girls were in a different clique from the “Nancy Drew” girls who were different from “WrestleMania” fan girls? Now, all those girls are women in the VINTAGE “clique.” Which for teenagers now that means you’re out of touch, for college students now, you’re cool in a “historic/ironic” kind of way (ironic Breakfast Club T-shirt from Spencer’s or Torrid anyone?), and for young kids now, you’re just old. But overall, vintage is interesting. It’s in this space between ancient and trending. It’s a magical place where the past is still alive and can be asked questions about itself in real time. And you’re the expert on the part of it that you liked. Cool, huh?
So, I embrace my inner geek. Not just because I’m secure enough in myself to do so–the most important reason–but also because it’s finally “hip to be square.” (millennial translation: “geek chic.”)