It's Time To Own Up To Loving the Things You Love

It's Time To Own Up To Loving the Things You Love

I, Emily Sharp, love Doctor Who and Roy Cohn.

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Recently, I've been revisiting an idea that I wrote about a little over a year ago. After working amongst some unbelievable people in the YA and kids publishing world, I "began to mentally paint myself, my loves, and my fellow fangirls in a new light." And it's true! I did. But then I also stopped doing that and resigned myself to "fangirl," or get excited about things I loved, only in private.

I regret once more falling prey to this concept that girls are instantly cooler when they hide their unabashed excitement for things, or that they're quirky fun when they let slip one thing they're secretly crazy about. In an age that is slowly, hesitantly (but still) growing more accepting of women who don't fit into easy boxes (where might that unfathomable idea have even come from??), I think it's critical to be genuine and truthful as frequently as possible.

With that said, I'd like to take this time with you all here now to make a proclamation re: what brought me back to this concept of pride in our obsessions:

I, Emily Sharp, love Doctor Who and Roy Cohn.

Now I know my demographic of readers: either you're friends with my mom or you're friends with me, which means you didn't realize Doctor Who was still a thing or you've never heard of Roy Cohn unless it was out of my mouth. Don't worry, though; I'm clearly going to break this all down.

Remember Trump's lawyer I wrote a whole article about? He's my thesis now; feel old yet?

Towards the end of last semester, I did a project on the Lavender Scare in the 1950's which loosely involved Senator Joseph McCarthy and his lawyer/evil henchman Roy Cohn. Fascinated in equal parts by how little I had ever heard of Cohn and how bizarre and paradoxical this man was, I continued to do my own research on him well through the summer. When I first started this once aimless project, I told everybody I knew because I was so jazzed up to talk about My New Favorite Villain. But soon, I grew convinced that everyone would think I was crazy if I told them I was light to mildly obsessed with someone like Cohn, so much so that I would consider doing proper academic work regarding him and his life. So I stopped.

That brings us to now, now meaning when I have to start deciding what my time at Emory was really all leading to and pick a topic for my thesis. Despite being months and moons away from Atlanta and notion of the hard work this will entail, I met with my advisor, a very lovely man who very likely thinks I'm very crazy, to discuss potential topics. My first couple of ideas really weren't growing anywhere and I started thinking (or the ghost of Roy Cohn started telling me) to just say it.

Here comes that apologizing/concealing/secret desire bug again: I was so hesitant to tell my advisor that I had even thought about doing work on Cohn because of what I (incorrectly) thought he would think of me. I also set it up in a way that prompted him to say no to the idea, slightly denying myself the opportunity for a yes even before I asked the question. But as soon as I told him my ideal plan (with the slightly maniac excitement I have about it), it was clear that we had a winner.

To be fair, this could all backfire and I could end up with an entirely new topic. But when I was a junior in high school and writing my first formal research paper, I was also told that maybe my topic was too complicated or hard to research. While it's empowering to say I persevered and worked through adversity for the topic I wanted, I really was not interested in putting in so much work to study anything else, which is where I stand once more. I could take it easy, but why wouldn't I pursue something that doesn't get me this excited?

Since I've been in London, I've finished five TV shows (not bragging) and decided I needed a new obstacle to tackle: rewatching every episode of Doctor Who. Full disclosure: when I was in high school, I became obsessed with Doctor Who. Immediately after typing that, I felt the urge to say "but I'm not the stereotypical fan that comes to mind," as if liking something is the only thing that defines me as a person.

Unpopular opinion, but Christopher Eccleston was my personal favorite Doctor

I still hesitate telling anyone that didn't know me in high school about how much I love the show, especially as I try to make friends abroad, because I don't want to be labeled a certain way. No, if you saw me on the street you would not be able to guess that I have a Tardis notebook, that I was once active in the Doctor Who Tumblr community, or that I watched the entirety of season 7 in a night (not bragging).

But that's the beginning and end of it! Why should I apologize or be ashamed of the things I love? Why should anyone? Yes, the things we love are a part of us but they're not all of us. I'm not Emily, Doctor Who Fan, or Emily, Oddly Obsessed with Roy Cohn; I'm Emily who is a fan of Doctor Who and fascinated with Cohn's life and legacy, as well as the literature on him, and how it can be used to understand the post-WWII social and political climates in America. Or something like that I dunno really just a start.

I want to be genuinely me, and the only way to get there is to be honest about the things I love. We all love things we're too scared to share with other people, so why are we all hiding them? The things that we're passionate about are only a part of us; it's how we carry them and portray them that defines who we are.

Own it.

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Stop Discourging Future Teachers

One day, you'll be thankful for us.
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“What do you want to be when you grow up?" It seems like this is the question we heard from the time we were able to talk. Our answers started out as whatever movie or action figure was popular that year. I personally was going to be Cinderella and shoot spider webs out of my wrists at the same time. The next phase was spent choosing something that we read about in a book or saw in movies. We were aspiring to be actors, skydivers, and astronauts.

After we realized NASA may not necessarily be interested in every eager 10-year-old, we went through the unknown stage. This chapter of life can last a year or for some, forever. I personally did not have a long “unknown" stage. I knew I was going to be a teacher, more specifically I knew I wanted to do elementary or special education. I come from a family of educators, so it was no surprise that at all the Thanksgiving and Christmas functions I had actually figured it out. The excitement of knowing what to do with the rest of my life quickly grew and then began to dwindle just as fast.

“Why?"

"Well, looks like you'll be broke all your life."

“That's a lot of paperwork."

“If I could go back and do it again, I wouldn't choose this."

These are just a few replies I have received. The unfortunate part is that many of those responses were from teachers themselves. I get it, you want to warn and prepare us for the road we are about to go down. I understand the stress it can take because I have been around it. The countless hours of grading, preparing, shopping for the classroom, etc. all takes time. I can understand how it would get tiresome and seem redundant. The feeling a teacher has when the principal schedules yet another faculty meeting to talk an hour on what could've been stated in an email… the frustration they experience when a few students seem uncontrollable… the days they feel inadequate and unseen… the sadness they feel when they realize the student with no supplies comes from a broken home… I think it is safe to say that most teachers are some of the toughest, most compassionate and hardworking people in this world.

Someone has to be brave enough to sacrifice their time with their families to spend time with yours. They have to be willing to provide for the kids that go without and have a passion to spread knowledge to those who will one day be leading this country. This is the reason I encourage others to stop telling us not to go for it.

Stop saying we won't make money because we know. Stop saying we will regret it, because if we are making a difference, then we won't. Stop telling us we are wasting our time, when one day we will be touching hearts.

Tell us to be great, and then wish us good luck. Tell us that our passion to help and guide kids will not go unnoticed. Tell us that we are bold for trying, but do not tell us to change our minds.

Teachers light the path for doctors, police officers, firefighters, politicians, nurses, etc. Teachers are pillars of society. I think I speak for most of us when I say that we seek to change a life or two, so encourage us or sit back and watch us go for it anyways.

Cover Image Credit: Kathryn Huffman

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14 Honest College Things The Class Of 2023 Needs To Know ~Before~ Fall Semester

Sit down, be humble.

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To The Class of 2023,

Before you start your college career, please know:

1. Nobody...and I mean nobody gives a shit about your AP Calculus scores.

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" I got a 5 in Calc AB AND BC, a 5 in AP Literature, awh but I only got a 4 in AP Chem"

2. THE SAME GOES FOR YOUR SAT/ACT SCORES + nobody will know what you're talking about because they changed the test like 10 times since.

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3. College 8 AMs are not the same as your 0 period orchestra class in 12th grade.

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4. You're going to get rejected from a lot of clubs and that does not make you a failure.

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5. If you do get into your clubs, make sure not to overwhelm or overcommit yourself.

visual representation of what it looks like when you join too many clubs

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6. It's OK to realize that you don't want to be pre-med or you want to change majors.

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7. There will ALWAYS ALWAYS be someone who's doing better than you at something but that doesn't mean you're behind.

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8. "I'm a freshman but sophomore standin-" No, you don't have to clarify that, you'll sound like an asshole.

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9. You may get your first ever B-, C+ or even D OR EVEN A W in your life. College is meant to teach you how to cope with failure.

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10. Go beyond your comfort zone. Join a theatre club if you're afraid of public speaking. Join an animal rescue club if you're afraid of animals. College is learning more about yourself.

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11. Scholarships do exist. APPLY APPLY APPLY.

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12. Don't try to brag about all the stuff you did in high school, you'll just sound like a weenie hut jr. scout

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13. Understand and be sensitive to the fact that everybody around you has a different experience and story of getting to university.

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14. You're going to be exposed to people with different opinions and views, don't fight them. Instead, try to explain your perspective and listen to their reasoning as well.

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