I was that kid who brought his D&D books to school “just in case” somebody might be interested in playing.
And I found people who were interested.
And I really didn’t care what others thought, unless it was a teacher who told me put the books away. I was a fanatic about it.
I started my first campaign when I was 11, and it lasted for about 10 years with friends I’d met in middle and high school. In that time I started and ended much shorter campaigns. I got to be a player once in a while.
Sometimes I wonder: “should I have done something more productive with my time?”
And the more I think about it, the more I realize I don’t know what that could have been:
Because of D&D, I read more books, and my vocabulary, writing, and even mathematics and science improved. (I would never be a math whiz but calculating probabilities and wrapping my mind around Thac0 was good practice.)
So now its years later.I’m an adult (more or less). And gaming is as much on my mind back then as it is now.
And that’s nothing to be ashamed about.