Last night on the train, I overheard a girl talking to her friend about a first date with a guy and the impossibility of a second one with him. I heard her say the following:
“He was really sweet and really cute, but he was just too into Star Wars.”
First of all…no. There’s no such thing as being “too into Star Wars.” Give me a guy who can identify a clone trooper based on the color of helmet any day2.
Second of all, I understand that there is a line where obsession stops being endearing and instead can be dangerous and consuming, but I want to know when we started making fun of people for being passionate about things. When did that become a deal breaker? I don’t think there’s anything more attractive than someone who is passionate about something—anything—even Star Wars—and then uses that obsession to elevate their own life and the lives of those around them. That’s something I love about the communities I am a part of, both the young adult community and the wider world of being a total nerd2. I love being part of communities who value passion and knowledge and excitement, and who let me be unironically giddy over the fact that I got an advanced copy of Robin LaFever’s new book, and that the set designer for Sherlock has been sending cryptic tweets about their season 3 shooting locations.
I am grateful to be part of groups that understand when I stay up all night writing this weird little steampunk novel that may never see the light of a bookstore but man, I am enjoying myself. Sometimes I get so caught up in the race to get published3 I forget that I am here in Boston at Simmons because I passionately love writing. It’s fun. And I am passionately enthusiastic about it.
To quote, as I so often do, John Green, “When people call people nerds, mostly what they’re saying is ‘you like stuff.’ Which is just not a good insult at all. Like, ‘you are too enthusiastic about the miracle of human consciousness.”
So I would encourage you to go out into the world and strive to live passionately and work towards something that moves you. This world was not shaped by those who were kind of interested in things. Jump up and down on your chair and scream about how much you love whatever it is you love. People will listen.
- I was really close to leaning over to this girl who did not know how good she had it and asking, “Sorry, but if you’re not going to call this guy who is too into Star Wars, mind if I take a crack? He may have met his match.”
- Let’s call it nerdfighteria.
- Which sometimes feels second only to the Space Race in importance.