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Being Truthful with Myself

Around twelve years ago, my buddy Jimmy, who co-writes with me at Middle-Aged Fat Kids, gifted me a wallet. The wallet featured a Ghostbusters emblem cover in slime. I don’t recall his exact words, but it was something along the lines, “It’s okay to like what you like.” That moment has stuck with me for all these years.

Jimmy, saw something that I didn’t see at the time, which was a cycle of accepting who I am and then regretting it. The image of masculinity I was raised with was not healthy and my family’s disapproval of my interests fostered an insecurity inside of me that I still struggle to shake some thirty years later.

It’s a shame, because I’ve surrounded myself with friends and a wife, who are really accepting of my interests and share most of them with me. Still, for some reason, when things get a little difficult for me, I tend to blame my interests for my lack of growth or success. I’ve repeated this over and over for decades now and am currently going through it once again. I’m frustrated and a bit disappointed, that I keep falling into this same cycle.

When I had my little health scare last year and found myself unhappy in my job, I thought I needed to get into shape and let go of all the things that were holding me back. I boxed up most of my collectibles, books, and DVDs. I changed up the books I was reading and even the shows I was watching. It was all or nothing for me, so I went all in on becoming someone new, all because I’m terrified of turning forty and feeling like a failure.

It’s true, I needed to eat healthier and begin working out, I just didn’t need to completely cut off my all of my interests for it. Instead of saying, “This is the new me and let’s burn down the old me” I should have worked on just reprioritizing my time and adding healthier habits to my life. In a way, by cutting off my interests, I shamed myself for liking things that a nearly forty-year-old man “shouldn’t” be into. “Horror movies, science fiction, comic books? Come on Brandon, it’s time to grow up” I’d tell myself. And once the excitement of my new hobby of working out wore off, I found myself angry and feeling empty.

I wouldn’t go as far as to say I hate myself, I just struggled to accept who I am, even when it makes me happy. For some reason, I tend to think that if I spent less time indulging in pop culture, I would be a happier person. I’d have more IRL friends and life would be grand, but this is all illogical and I know it. It’s just a lot of old messaging that’s been imprinted one me stirring up trouble.

I enjoy chatting up pop culture and old horror movies. Most of my interactions on occur because of discussions around video games or TV shows. It’s not like I’m suddenly going to wake up and be a sports junkie who wants to chat about the latest game or worse, politics. Unless you want to discuss the politics of during the Fall of the Empire or the Earth/Minbari War, I just don’t have much to say on the topic.

I reverted the name of my blog back to Brandon Writes. I don’t need a mid-life reset. What I need is to find some space in the middle for who I am and who I want to be. This isn’t Fight Club; I don’t have to hit rock bottom and be rebuilt. I just need to accept that regardless of my station in life, my relationships, and my job, I am enough. That and I’m not my f’n khakis.

Published inMental Health


  1. pikapal91746 pikapal91746

    I will probably end up being an old lady who wears pikachu shirts. You know what might work for you if you talk to somebody older like 20 years older to help you put things in perspective. But not like your parents somebody else.

    • That’s some good advice. I also need to find a way to catch myself when I start spiraling. I’m more frustrated with the fact that I keep repeating this same behavior every few years.

  2. I am your friend because of who you are, not for expectations.. I’m proud of you for being who you are..don’t change, don’t compromise..
    it’s ok to like or love what you like and love!

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