What are your "nerd loves"? | Your Questions, Day 18 of 30

You’re really open about being nerdy — what specifically makes you consider yourself that?

First of all, I am not “cool girl nerdy”. You know how, I dunno, the last like, five years or so it’s become cool to proclaim how “dorky” you are and proceed to experience absolutely nothing even remotely dorky? No, my friends, that is not my experience:

I was NOT popular in middle school, PERHAPS MAYBE owing to my fevered love of homework and learning. I was pushed down stairs. I was mocked. I was ostracized. It sucked. This was not “tee hee, I’m such a dork” stuff – this was a real and painful experience that shaped who I am today.

behold: a fucking dork.

For a long time, it made me hide a lot of the pieces that made me me. I worried about being liked. About being cool. I’m sure a lot of kids go through that, of course, but I definitely denied certain parts of myself and I hate that I ever felt that way. Fly free, little dweeb!

I don’t think that phase lasted TERRIBLY long, thank goodness, but probably mostly because I have the unmitigated confidence of a middle aged white man and really always have; I like what I like! Deal with it, schoolmates!

So now, today, I think of myself as a bit of a dork for much the same reason I was one all those moons ago: I love reading. I love learning. I devour books. I also really love world building, which lends itself to epic sorts of films, video games, and RPGs (probably my most dorky hobby, but one that shouldn’t really surprise anyone given that I am an ACTOR and a WRITER, I mean…) I could spend the rest of my life in good museums, libraries. I value investing my brain more than I value spending on things like clothes or purses.

So that’s why! I identify way more people who like to read than I do with the club-going sort.

Also, thank you for this question because it let me assault your eyeballs with that photo. My god. Kate. No. Why.

2 thoughts on “What are your "nerd loves"? | Your Questions, Day 18 of 30

  1. Your experiences sound A LOT like mine. Back in elementary school I was heavy, and I was picked on mercilessly for that. I was extremely socially awkward, anxiety-ridden, and just uncomfortable around people (especially with them making fun of me all the time…even my “friends” from that time would join in with the others in the “bullying.”)

    And, much like you, I *was* smart. I loved learning. I legit DID ask my teacher in elementary school if they’d be giving us homework (much to the chagrin of the rest of the class; also didn’t help me with my popularity). But I would always check books out from the library and read things, World War II was one of my main interests, so I read a ton on that and history in general. And, because of how much I was picked on, I developed a bit of a conceited personality; “people are only teasing you and making your life hell because you’re smarter than them, better than them, and you’ll be more successful than any of them.” Looking back, total defense mechanism to try to make SOME sense of why I was treated the way I was.

    But, my interests didn’t really help me with ANY of that. I loved video games, my NES practically raised me. Every day after school I’d get home, and bam, plant myself in front of the SNES, and in later years the N64. I played all evening, it was a nice escape from the constant hell that was my school experience. I also REALLY got into the Star Wars Customizable Card Game. I only knew like…2 other people who played it, so I didn’t really get to play it much, but I always had fun when I did. Science also fascinated me, I absolutely LOVED COSI. I LOVED dinosaurs and learning about them. I loved going to museums; when we took our 8th grade trip to DC I absolutely loved everything about the Smithsonian’s. I actually was super interested in robotics and continually looked in the school library for a book titled something along the lines of “How to Build a Robot.” But…it was NEVER in…always checked out.

    I totally loved choose your own adventure books; again, the fantasy and escape from reality. I LOVE RPGs (JRPGs mostly), and Final Fantasy VII was my favorite game for YEARS. I also really got into the Sonic the Hedgehog comic books. But, as comics weren’t really mainstream then (and come on…NO ONE was clamoring about Sonic books…ever), never really had anyone to talk to or share that interest with. Later on I got into good comic books; Watchmen being my all time favorite graphic novel (fun fact, it actually appears in like, top literature lists, though the specific one and its subject escape me at the moment).

    I was never into sports, wasn’t athletic, and I feel like that alienated me further from the vast majority of folks. I mean, I grew up in a fairly wealthy area and our community wasn’t particularly diverse. So those people fell into their cliques, like any school, but I never fit in with the jocks, the goths, the metalheads, nor the “geeks.” So, yeah, I absolutely understand where you’re coming from; my interests have always just been ME, and those interests just happened to fall into the whole “nerdy” culture category. But yeah, school SUCKED. It didn’t get better for me until I got into fitness in high school and realized that I shouldn’t care what anyone else thinks of me. That’s really how I managed to get over my shyness and anxiety. And that’s why I fell in love with acting. It was an escape from the hell that was my daily life. I was too anxious to really do anything with it till my junior year of high school, BUT i was kinda good at it (I landed the lead in our local community theater’s one show AND won a “best actor” award!!!), it was insanely therapeutic, and it genuinely made me happy/feel fulfilled.

    I’m probably rambling…but…those are my nerd interests.

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