For those of you who know me, I proudly wear the mantle and title of being a Geek! When I sit and reflect on what that means to me, how it has defined me? I come to realize that being a geek can teach you some of the best life lessons imaginable… for FREE. Welllll almost free, it may cost you a movie ticket and popcorn, or the price of an entire Series box set… but for the most part it’s FREE!
Being a geek isn’t just watching Star Wars and playing Dungeons and Dragons… don’t get me wrong those are two amazing aspects of it, but that is not what it is all about. The reason why we are geeks is because something within our Fandoms, be it Star Wars, Doctor Who, Star Trek, our favorite fantasy novels, or Firefly, resonates with us.
It strikes a chord within our souls.
One day, I hear my Dad call to me from the family room of our home.
“Patrick, come in here and watch this movie. You have to see it”
When you are 7 years old, sitting down to watch a movie just you and your dad, is one of the best moments in the world. So I excitedly bound into the room and hop on the couch. For the next two hours I sat mesmerized by the flying spaceships, colored lightsabers and the allure of Jedi Powers. The movie Dad called me into watch was none other than…
Those two hours spurred an urge within me to ravenously read Star Wars books and spawned conversations with new friends. It drew me out of my comfort zone, teaching me how to read better and how to socialize with new people.
These conversations with my new friends led me to read fantasy books and participate in roleplaying games (RPGs). This sounds innocuous by itself, yet as a child people bullied me. By reading fantasy books or pretending to be a character in an RPG allowed me to escape reality for a few hours. It allowed me to safely express the person deep within me.
The person that society (albeit kid society) tried to stifle and shut down. Playing Dungeons and Dragons taught me about morality and how being lawful good is no fun but chaotic good can allow you to achieve some pretty remarkable things. It taught me that normal dies are boring and that not much is better than rolling a critical hit!
Living in those worlds, reading all those books, and watching so many science fiction shows provides great life lessons. Here are a few highlights of what some of my favorite novels, TV shows and movies taught me.
The Sword of Truth
a.) The Wizard’s First rule which states that “People are stupid. They can be made to believe any lie because they want to believe it’s true or because they are afraid it is true.” When I sat and thought about that I began to realize how many “truths” I believed without ever investigating to see if they were true! It taught me to stop blindly accept things as presented to me and to instead challenge/investigate everything… to be inquisitive at heart.
a.) That curiosity counts; life is long and if you aren’t curious, it will be BORING!!! So go out, find something, and as the Doctor says “poke it with a stick”
b.) That people and Life are amazing; the world is full of joyous wonders. Thru the relationships you make and the things you do. You just need to be unafraid to go against the status quo (see Wizard’s First Rule and Curiosity counts!)
c.) To embrace new experiences; when life presents you a new experience GO FOR IT! It will take you places you would never imagine or at the very least teach you something brand new about yourself.
d.) That you can always recreate yourself; the future can be re-written and you don’t need to be a Time Lord to do it. Remember that your future is wide open. What you have done doesn’t define what you will do. You don’t need to be on the cusp of death to regenerate your life… if you feel like you’re stagnating. MAKE A CHANGE! Go get curious and embrace some new experiences.
a.) That you Can’t Stop The Signal; you have a purpose beating inside your soul and no matter what society may try to do and force upon you. You can’t… you CAN’T STOP THE SIGNAL! You are you and you are valuable and wonderful and nothing can stop you
b.) That just because you were on the losing side, doesn’t mean you were on the wrong one; in life you may fail. You may go for broke and lose. It doesn’t mean you were wrong. It means you had the guts to fight for what you believe in and that makes you mighty.
c.) That “When you can’t run anymore, you crawl… and when you can’t do that you find someone to carry you”; life is a long journey. You are going to get banged up, beaten down and a whole slew of generally unpleasant things will happen. You don’t have to go thru it alone. Find a crew to help you out and you’ll keep flying.
a.) “Do or do not, there is no try”; in life trying won’t get you anywhere. You either have to do the work to achieve your goals or you do not do the work and stay where you are.
b.) “Don’t tell me the odds”; when you look at what successful people have accomplished in life… the odds were almost always stacked against them. Nobody believed they could do it. So don’t listen to the odds… don’t even look at them. If you want to do something just DO IT.
c.) “I can’t believe it”-Luke “That is why you fail”- Yoda; if you are pursuing a goal, a dream or a passion. You need to BELIEVE in it, with all of your heart. If you’re not 100% committed to the actions you take in life you will fail. No amount of intelligence or hard work will ever be able to compensate for believing in yourself and that you are doing.
Being a geek taught me to embrace myself for who I am, to learn that ordinary people are capable of EXTRAORDINARY things, that my future is mine and can be written to my exact specifications, and that anything is indeed possible!
May you find inspiration in these words and the courage to be unafraid to let out your…