Not to toot my own horn, but… I was geek before geek was cool. At least, I think it’s cool now. I’m a geek, how would I know, right?? When you’re a kid, being a geek is really hard. But my worst memories of being a kid turned into the best thing to shape my life. I learned that kids can be mean and that trying to be someone you aren’t is a painful existence.
I learned that at a very young age when none of the girls in my class would play with me. The more I tried, the more they didn’t want to be around me.
“If you had the chance to change your fate, would you?”– Brave
Yep, I stunk like a goat
I can’t blame them. They were kids. I prob smelled bad because I was outside climbing on a horse or chasing goats before we left for school. My hair was usually a disaster. My clothes were homemade or second hand and looked nothing like theirs. I wore tall socks with every pair of shoes, even my dress shoes. No way did I know how to be quiet or gentle. I thought they were idiots for wanting to kiss boys. And, I had no thoughts of changing myself or my behavior. I was an absolutely clueless kid that didn’t realize I was a bull in china shop. I was/is/am a social nightmare.
My sister made friends easily. She was pretty and fun and has some kind of magic about her. Even today, I’m not sure what that magic is. I suppose it’s the entire package. She is just amazing to be around. She’s smart. She’s beautiful. She attracts you to her. You feel comfortable and welcome with her. You feel lucky to be with her. As a kid, and a teen, I was so jealous of her. Now, I am just grateful that she is my sister and loves me to death.
“Perhaps there is a language which is not made of words and everything in the world understands it.”– A Little Princess
As a kid, I accepted that I was just a bit different. I didn’t know why, but I accepted it. The teacher would say, boys and ‘me’, heads down on your desks. So, while I might not have had any friends that were girls, and the boys wouldn’t dare hang out with me outside of recess, I certainly had some good times.
Meet the mean girls
A pivotal point in my life came when 2 new girls, sisters, came to school. Those new girls loudly laughed at my hand me down clothes. These girls, these new girls didn’t even know me. They had never even talked to me. These girls decided to tell me and everyone listening how awful my hand me down clothes were, how awful my hair was, how awful my shoes were. And, how awful I was. Not only did the rest of the girls laugh, but the boys all laughed as well. They felt like they all had permission to say whatever hurtful thing they wanted. Sure, the girls wouldn’t be friends with me, but the boys, who I always hoped were my friends, joined in with those nasty girls. They were all making fun of me and nothing was off limits to them.
“On Wednesdays we wear pink”– Mean Girls
I didn’t cry or run away. I had spent years oblivious as to why I didn’t fit in. But it didn’t matter. I no longer wanted them to accept me. I couldn’t believe that I had ever wanted to fit in with these ass hats. It took 2 mean girls for me to realize they were all posers. They just wanted to fit in too. And, they wanted to fit in with something I never wanted to be a part of. I knew, I am what I am. Take it or leave it.
Bull in a China Shop
Today, I am still a bull in a china shop, but with better toys. My life motto has been, if someone else can figure out how do it, I can too. And it has served me well. And, because of those 2 mean girls, I learned to be unashamed of me.
Sure, I still put my foot in my mouth and totally regret it later. And sure I do some stupid things. But the weight I carry when I screw up is not the weight of judgment from other people. It is weight of the standards that I set for myself.
“Being a geek means you never have to play it cool about how much you like something.”– Simon Pegg
I am a geek. My Robot vacs are named Sam and Dean. And my home office is full of servers and computers. I’m a software developer that tinkers with motors and circuit boards. I own a fabulous, one piece jumper of Link’s tunic. I can quote every line from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Whenever I use a motion sensitive hand dryer that has a sensor on the front, I wave my hand and say ‘these are not the droids you’re looking for’. I have a red velvet cape and I feel spectacular when I put it on.
“If she weighed the same as a duck…she’s made of wood.” “And therefore?” “A witch!”– Monty Python
A friend from jr high recently wrote me a letter that really touched my heart. She said that when she was in a really dark place and needed a friend, I showed up in her life. That my stubborn, stick your chin out, don’t give a crap what anyone thinks, attitude is what helped her get through jr high. She was talking about that very same confidence that I had earned from those 2 mean girls.
What’s Ralph Machio got to do with it?
What she didn’t know was, that her beautiful mind and her passion for writing inspired me to be passionate about my own things. At 13, she could sew together an incredible story. She had/has this amazing and fantastic imagination that has no limits. Adulting didn’t squash her dreams like it does for so many of us. Instead, it gave her the resources to go after her dreams. Today, she has not only captured her dreams, she threw a dang saddle on them and road them off into the sunset. The 13 year old girl, with the Ralph Machio magazine page taped up in her locker and a notebook full of stories under her arm, is now an amazing author.
“Lesson not just karate only. Lesson for whole life. Whole life have a balance. Everything be better.”– Mr. Miyagi
Unfortunately, she left before high school and we fell out of touch. But, in that short time, she taught me what it meant to geek out on something. She taught me to grab your passion and hang on for your life.
No matter what kind of geek you are, it isn’t always easy. A book geek, a computer geek, a board game geek, a magic geek, a Star Wars geek, a garden geek, science geek . No matter what you geek on, that passion is an important part of who you are.
Everyone has a little geek in them, even if it’s not front and center. Appreciate it. The world is full of us. It’s easier to find each other when we wear our geek with honor and hold our heads high and chins out.
Hi-Ho Silver, Away!