I saw a tweet while I was scrolling on twitter and it triggered my deep-buried feelings. It was about someone saying how liking anime isn't weird but doing Naruto runs on the hallway is. And honestly, it's this mentality that really ruined me.

I grew up watching anime and became active in the anime community when I was in highschool. I used to share screenshots of my favorite scenes. Sometimes, I even make edits and gifs. I met friends online and became close with them as if we've met each other before. I was really enjoying my time back then. Suddenly, college happened and that's when I stopped enjoying it. Or should I say, forced myself to dislike it. I'm not saying it's because of the people I met at college since my parents are against it way way back. Also, back in highschool, I already had people mocking me for liking anime so I must say, everyone played a part on how I ended up disliking it.

I started to think I am not normal. I felt uncomfortable with myself so I tried my best to hide my past. Why? Because I was so afraid they'll laugh at me for being so weird and immature. I don't want that. I see how they mock my other classmates and I am scared it might happen to me as well. The truth is, I am weak and I won't be able to take it if they do those things to me. I was able to stop myself from caring about anime because of that. Sometimes, just to convince myself that I'm not into it anymore, I even laugh with them at my classmates who talk about anime.

Little did I know, there was a price to pay. I stopped expressing myself. Deep inside, I felt fake. I mean, I had to become someone else just so I could relate to my circle that I even had to change everything about me - from my likes and hobbies. I have nothing against my friends but this is what I really felt with them. Yes, all this time this is what I've been feeling and I've never told anyone about this because I feel like they're secretly laughing at me behind my back so I kept it all in and I managed to stay away from it until 3rd year college I think.

I broke my streak when my brothers forced me to watch with them and that's when I realized there's nothing wrong with being myself when I'm at home so I went to watch with them. After that, I started consuming anime again, but discreetly. I only watch at home, or when I'm with someone who knows my childhood but never in public. And if I must (due to boredom), I only watch and read the popular ones just to be safe. Yes, because sadly, if you're not watching the anime cool kids watch, you're considered weird.

Now that I'm older, I'm starting to open up my heart again because duh, there's absolutely nothing wrong with it. If people can't accept me, then it's their problem. Also, a part of me wants to reconnect with my childhood. I just want to feel complete again. It will take me some time but I know it is all worth it.

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