For most of my life, I have been a very dedicated fan of mythology, fairy tales, superstition, science fiction, superhero graphic novels, and any other form of escapist literature. I love the idea of being transported into a world beyond the mundane lives of mortals – a world where anything that is impossible could very well be possible: magic, gods, superpowers, aliens, love, and all those jazz.
I recall when I was a teenager and already on my way to starting high school that I was lectured on by an older cousin for watching too much anime and “cartoons”. This was the time when my fascination for works by Studio Ghibli and all other iconic Japanese cult series grew. I couldn’t understand why she thought it wrong for me to continue watching all of those “geeky, childish” shows. She just sighed and stated that I’ll grow out of it eventually.
Fast forward to now. I’m 23 years old and I still look forward to watching Marvel movies (yay, they’re actually a mainstream thing now, so I’m less nerdy for being a fan). I still get giddy over the latest anime series and I try my best to keep up with the manga. I have copies of literature that deal with mythology and superpowers. I read young adult literature on mythology and I don’t care that they’re targeted to 12-year-olds! I still get really giddy over toys and “figurines” and, if I could, I’d dive along with the kids into a tub filled with rubber balls because, fuck it, it looks like fun.
I guess this is why I can’t exactly fault Peter Pan for never wanting to grow up. Being a kid is fun. You get to explore so many stories, characters, and places while indulging in your very own imagination. Creativity is highly encouraged and you could choose who you want to be.
When you grow up, you’re burdened with responsibility and adult issues. Point is, it’s not as fun as being a kid.
Fortunately, I have friends who indulge me in my very own flights of fancy. Like me, they also indulge in their childhood fantasies through movies and literature. We allow ourselves to grow, but we definitely make sure to have fun like kids together. On occasions, we have dress up parties or fangirl over our favorite stories because, what the heck, it’s fun that way.
Even my family has grown to accept my love for all things quirky and “child-like”. I can actually relate quite well with my younger brothers since I encourage Reymar to continue reading YA books and manga while I introduce my 4-year old brother to the world of superheroes (he loves Spider-Man). Even my sister who normally acts all mature surprised me with her geek for X-Men (sniff! I’m so proud!) and Marvel movies.
That said, I guess growing up being surrounded by people who just allow you to be as much of a kid as you could be led on to my confidence at being such a weirdo. I have no qualms about posting my love for pizza (and taking it out on a date) on Facebook, nor am I any less ashamed at suiting up into my favorite anime character as I walk the halls of my university. I openly express my love for anime, superheroes, science fiction, and mythology and I openly fangirl over them. I don’t see why I have to pretend to be uninterested in them when my eyes are so expressive, they actually glow with undisguised interest when somebody talks about a new book or a new anime. Why should I pretend to be any less of a geek than I am?
So it comes as a surprise sometimes when people I have just met give me nicknames like magical creature (a friend still calls me “magical” until now), Dyosa (goddess), celestial goddess (trust me, I’m not kidding. Someone actually called me this in college and everyone at my class found out about it), and fairy from the distant island (this is the most recent) because I don’t really think of myself as anything remotely as fantastic. Sure, I love magic and fantasy but I don’t think I’m that magical.
My only conclusion is that I’m very confident about my love for all things fantastical that my enthusiasm permeates to even total strangers. Often I get surprised when people associate me with the color yellow (but I love pink) or with extreme positivity because I think of myself as quite moody and emotional. I sometimes get surprised when my brother would complain about not being as “optimistic” as I am or Jennie commenting on how I’m a walking exclamation point (There’s no inbetween Sheree. You’re either overly happy, overly annoyed, overly angry, or overly excited). Someone has even remarked that I’m always excited when I explained that I was excited about a new project.
I know. That sounds awfully preachy and narcissistic, but I guess – on a certain level – I am pretty narcissistic. So bear with me, please.
Anyway, I guess what I’m trying to say is
Embrace your weirdness.
It’s what makes you so special and oh-so-different from everyone else and that’s a good thing. If we acted like everyone else all the time, then the world would be so boring. The world wouldn’t change for the better because there wouldn’t be people who think so differently from everyone else that they came up with ideas so radical they changed the world. There would be no Steve Jobs, Anne Boleyn, Leonardo da Vinci, Vincent Van Gogh, Picasso, Jennifer Lawrence, Cara Delevigne, etc.
We’re all awesome because we’re all slightly weird. Embrace your awesomeness by embracing your weirdness.