Hello again readers. Today I am back with you to discuss something a little lighter. It’s not a struggle with my mental health, about my crushing health anxiety or traumatic past.
No, this time I’m here to talk about things I like, and how I can get a bit wild when I like something a lot. Why? I don’t know, I guess I just found myself wanting to share something about myself, so that’s what I’ll do.
When it comes to being interested in something, I tend to go all in or not at all. It’s for this reason, that when someone tries to introduce me to something, or discuss something relating a topic I’m unfamiliar with, I can seem less than enthusiastic.
If it hasn’t drawn me in almost straight away, I find it hard to give something the time of day. Inevitably too, even if I’m a fan of something, I’ll always go back to the same things.
Without a doubt, the biggest interest I have in my life, is wrestling. It consumed me as a kid and I’ve been obsessed ever since.
I have a tendency to, if someone says they have heard the name of a wrestler before or even show a slight possibility that they know about this thing I love so much, I will jump straight into a rant about storylines, booking of talent, stories about things they did in the past and so on.
For most who hear these rants, they actually have little to no knowledge on the matter and probably are hoping for me to stop as soon as I’ve started.
My fascination with wrestling started as a kid. Enamoured by these big, muscly, sweaty men in pants, throwing each other onto canvas and smacking each other in the head with big metal chairs, wrestling soon took over my life.
I have been known over the years to dress up like certain wrestlers, collect and play with wrestling figures.
Despite the warnings, I would 100% try it at home. Hitting Rock Bottom’s on my friends on a trampoline, attempting a Five Star Frog Splash from the top of a bouncy castle, or even that time I shoot-wrestled a guy who was a year or so above me in school, just so I could pretend I was the United States Champion, despite at this point being like 12-13 years old.
As an adult, not much has changed. I still collect toys, I watch wrestling every week, I listen to wrestling news and podcasts every other day and if I could somehow get into the business, I absolutely would.
Rather than title this section after a specific band or genre, I decided to cover music as a whole. Much like wrestling, my life is surrounded by music.
Whether I’m walking, working, showering, sat at home doing nothing or even when talking to others, at some point during the day (and for the majority of that day), I’m listening to music.
The bands have changed over the years, but there are always specific groups I become fixated on and I will listen to them until the point where I am completely sick of hearing them.
Notable bands throughout my life include Busted, Metallica, Finch, Madina Lake, Don Broco, Mallory Knox, Starset and most recently, While She Sleeps.
Going off the most recent case with veteran Sheffield-based band While She Sleeps, it went as follows. I’d listened to them on and off for a few years anyway, deeming a lot of their music too heavy for even me to listen to.
As a part of my jumping down Spotify rabbit holes whilst working experiment (best I could come up with as far as titles go), I decided to push through and listen to their existing albums. I was a big fan.
Fast forward to a pandemic and literally everything shutting down. One of the more devastating blows was dealt to the music industry, with venues across the country shutting (some for good).
Couple this with an already unfair industry that underpays and underappreciates it’s talent, and you have the catalyst for the Sleeps Society. A fan-funded project that allows supporters to directly pay the band, in exchange for various perks and a chance to discuss with them and other fans in a Discord channel.
I was sold. From there, I pledged £5 a month, joined their Discord, downloaded every song they’ve ever done and it’s now all I’ve really listened to for the past couple of months, bar a few moments where I indulge in some other genres.
When payday comes it’ll be time to buy a boat-load of merch and rep them everywhere I go, such is how it is when I get hooked on a particular musician or band.
Food and Drink
When it comes to food or drink, I can get very much the same way. I will try new things, but for the most part I will eat the same foods and have the same drinks. I guess for me it’s a little bit of a comfort thing, but also I tend to just go nuts.
Good examples of this include Watermelon, Créme Caramels, Ham & Pineapple Pizza, anything with Chicken (my go-to for wraps/sandwiches/pasta when there’s a meal deal) and a bottle of Oasis (which I’ll usually buy every time I’m out).
Where things really get out of hand is with tea and grape flavoured sodas. Now I’m sure one of those you guessed, but the other one? I shall explain.
Both of these were always interests of mine. I could never turn down a good cuppa, and Grape Fanta at the Burger King vendor was my favourite thing to drink. Then I went to America and everything changed…
Trying generic cups of tea with American water was not a great experience, it definitely made me appreciate the tea back home.
Then there was the time I went to New York and had an Earl Grey, as well as a trip to the Tea Party Museum in Boston, in which I refined my taste buds and became accustomed to some high quality, unique teas.
Fanta has always been one of my favourite drinks anyway, so when I went to America I had to try some. The bright colours, the large bottles, it definitely wasn’t a healthy option, but it was magnificent.
Grape quickly became my favourite and I consumed far too much. Nowadays, whilst I do still enjoy Fanta, I get very excited over any grape flavoured fizzy drink.
Another that I couldn’t just put into one specific thing, because this varies. When I like something, I will collect as much merchandise for it as I can, whether I need/want it or not.
Like I mentioned earlier on, this has included a lot of wrestling figures, something I always try to cut back on but end up with more of…
That category also includes Pokémon cards, which for the time being I have cut back drastically on, despite owning far too many.
The big ones for me however tend to be custom Lego minifigures and playing cards.
Lego was always a favourite of mine anyway, but due to the cost of the sets, I rarely got a chance to build anything noteworthy.
In a world where people collect pop vinyls and take up endless amounts of shelf space, I’ve become quite fond of displaying minitures of my favourite superheroes and villains.
Playing cards are fun, though I’m not quite sure where the fascination started. I think it’s a combination of family games and a love for magic.
As a kid we always had some sort of cards laying around. Top Trumps were a common game to play, but I particularly enjoyed a game of Clock Patience, something my Mum showed me.
I also loved magic tricks. Trying to figure out how they were done, how the audience was fooled, it was amazing to me. I could never do it myself, but I loved myself and others being confused as to how it happened.
As an adult I saw a pack of playing cards in a charity shop, remembered my love for them and I’ve gone on to collect nearly 40 packs. I plan to collect even more.
In various points of my life, I felt like I had to suppress my love for certain things. I was embarrassed and didn’t want people to know.
There’s even more than I mentioned here. I didn’t even go into collecting coins on holiday, records to listen to, Dan Brown books, comics, video games (I spend a LOT of time engrossed in these) and more.
Now, at the age of 25, I could not care less. I have things around me and in my life that make me happy. After everything I’ve been through, I think I deserve that.
Find something you’re passionate about and don’t be afraid to embrace it. Let your true self shine and be happy.
Post by Michael Sallabank