The latest assignment from the League of Extraordinary Bloggers asked us to introduce ourselves and many who follow The Batcave Toy Room know exactly who I am. So much so, I feel like we're the same soul split up into different physical vessels.
However, those who don't know, it's okay. There are others just like you who don't. In fact, my own relatives I live with don't know.
This year has been a year of soul searching for me. Not only for what resonates deep within my soul, but what exactly is my truth and who is John Sholtz really.
I've always related to my childhood hero, Batman. Not because I'm a billionaire playboy that's a masked vigilante who beats criminals to a pulp with my bare hands, but the fact that I wear a mask. Not a mask like for Cosplay. Well, I guess I do, but I've come to the realization that I've been hiding behind a mask.
From the time I started high school to well into my adulthood, I've been embarrassed to let people know my interest. I was ashamed to let people know I collected toys and comic books. That I had an obsession with movies and television series that inspired the toys and the fact is I hide behind a mask.
Most people know me as:
- A loving husband and father.
- Having a passion for music. In an alternative reality I could be Dick Clark or Casey Kasem.
- Everyone's phone a friend on 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire' for pop culture questions.
- I love to read. I could spend hours in a book store or library.
- A banker, financier, and entrepreneur.
- I think retirement is wasted on the old.
- At times religious, but tend to be spiritual and I'm fascinated with how the universe works.
- Loyal to the end.
- I like to cook.
- I am interested in history.
- Ghosts, Entities, or 5th dimensional imps are always trying to get my attention.
Reasons for Hiding
I remember when I bought my Super Powers Batman and Green Lantern years ago. I was probably 14 at the time and the cashier at Montgomery Wards kept asking me, "Are you really going to play with something that little." She repeated that over and over. I tried to explain to her that I collected toys, which by this point was true. I no longer really played with toys by this point, but I still bought them and I had the same thrill then that I do today.
However, there was another cashier there that stood up for me. Telling the other it was none of her business what I was going to do with the action figures. That was so long ago, but I remember it like it just happened.
At this same point in time I feel my family began to question my continued interest in what was considered childish. Wondering when I would grow out of comic books, toys, Batman and Star Wars. Obliviously never. As I am the same as I was then.
I decided to share more of the real me this year with clients and associates by usually striking up a conversation about events like the Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con or the Las Vegas Comic Expo to find them responding with, "Oh, you're going to hang out with those weirdo's."
It's examples like the ones above that have me behind my mask. Not to protect my loved one's, but protect myself from getting upset.
I started the Batcave Toy Room in order for me to be myself and in hopes in finding others who were just like me and this site has lived up to those expectations. I've met some of the most creative and generous people in the world through this site and I hope to expand on that even more.
Can anyone else relate to this? Or am I truly crazy?
Say it Proud and Loud!
"I am your father."
"I'm your goddamn partner!"
"I'm Luke Skywalker. I'm here to rescue you."
"I'm Iron Man."
"I'm a Jedi. Like my father before me."
The above quotes are from several of my favorite movies like Batman, Iron Man, Star Wars, and Raiders of the Lost Ark and each one those characters proudly state who they are and back it by living in their truth.
I've never been bullied at anytime for liking the things I do, but I worry that my daughter might one day as she continues to follow in my footsteps. Stories of little girls being bullied for liking Star Wars and taking a Star Wars water bottle to school is absurd. Geek or not, no child (or adult for that matter)should be bullied for their interest. I have a project that I have been developing that I hope will change how "geeks" are viewed. We'll see how that ends up panning out.
However, from now on whatever life holds in store for me, I will never forget these words, with great power, comes great responsibility. This my gift, my curse. Who am I? I'm John Sholtz and I'm a geek and proud of it.
Others making themselves known: