So, when thinking of what to write for my second post I sat down at my computer and began to hash out ideas. While I have had a few, I found myself drifting back to the same idea, one that gave me the inspiration to start this type of blog.
Why am I a geek?
If you are as old as I am, you have been a geek for more than a few decades now, and while my view no doubt will apply to those younger, well, I can only write from my own experience.
You see, I became a geek when geeks weren’t cool…or sick…or rad…or whatever term you want to use to describe someone popular or mainstream. I loved the odd, sci-fi, horror, fantasy, whatever. I tried to “fit in with the norm”, like many of us do. Never stuck, and it was obvious that I was trying to be someone that I wasn’t. This was because, when I was growing up, you never would admit that you were a geek. I didn’t really have friends until high school, so my stories, movies and such, allowed me to feel like I found a place that I did fit in. If you were to give me a stereotypical name, it would be “teacher’s pet”.
While I had classmates, the only ones in school that I even closely related to were my teachers, and I had some awesome ones. Ones that encouraged me to be creative, to be myself. Unfortunately, that type of thinking doesn’t always translate well to the real world of childhood. So, I was bullied…or ignored. Oddly enough, I don’t know which one I preferred. That said, I stayed true to myself, even if I didn’t broadcast it.
So what does that have to do with me becoming a geek? Well, it was in high school, that I, like most kids, found my footing. It was with the other misfits that came from different areas and somehow we all found each other. We were the GEEKS. It was the stereotypical story. We found a common love of things that “weren’t cool”, and for me, that is what is so awesome about being a geek (or if you are more inclined, a nerd, or a neek, or gerd…you get the idea).
What is a geek to me? A geek is a person who loves difference. Who loves being someone who doesn’t fit into the norm. Whether you are the full out, cosplay-loving, convention going, “let me tell you about the latest comic book”- loving type, or the office suit in the corporate world who can talk about the latest Arrow episode or Star Trek movie (I have a coworker who describes himself as a closet geek) with a thrill in your voice, it doesn’t matter. You love the creative. You love the fantasical. You love the fact that despite the grey hair, wrinkles, mortgage, school tuition, exam-cramming aspects of your life, you are still an 8 year old kid that gets excited over the next Marvel movie the way that only another 8 year old would understand.
I have spoken to people who are not geeks, who see what I love as juvenile, as if I am trying to keep or relive some part of my childhood that I lost. NOT EVEN CLOSE. I am a geek, not because I didn’t want that part of me to “grow up”. I am a geek because there is no reason to “make” that part of me grow up. I am still responsible. I have a job, kids, and can hold a conversation (though it extremely difficult for me to do it without slipping a geekism in there somewhere). When I was growing up, and I think that it still holds true, you were expected to give up that part of yourself to become a productive member of society. Being a geek for me means that you don’t have to. If anything, you embrace it.
So, it feels odd that we now live in a time that being a geek is so celebrated, to the point that we (meaning geeks) complain about its move to the mainstream, as if our sacred secret society of oddness has somehow become tainted. What are we afraid of? Are we concerned that somehow, we will lose that part of ourselves that made us so different growing up? Are we afraid, after all this time, of being “normal”? I say, let those who have “found their inner geek” enjoy it as much as we have. My experience has been that those who I’ve met, are finally allowing themselves, at whatever stage of life they are in, to reveal that part of themselves that they have always downplayed. I fully embraced my geekiness. Met my husband, and many of my friends, through a university sci-fi club, was proposed to during a gaming session (complete with props), and am proud parent of two young geekheads.
After all, at the end of the day, we are all the sum of our parts.
So, I want to know, were you like me, who found the “geek side” to escape, or did you find a group early in life who welcomed you in? Or did you just not care what anyone thought, and are the type of person that has always lived by their own rules? If this is the case, I give a Wayne and Garth “We’re not worthy” bow to you (and if you have to ask who Wayne and Garth are…well, ask an older geek).
Leave a comment here, or find me on Facebook or Twitter (@writteningeek1). Share a story or thought about how much you love being a geek. I’d love to hear from you.
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