Today's post is not about writing, well not directly anyway. Today I'm participating in the campaign
Speak Out with Your Geek Out. When I first saw the info about this earlier in the week via Chuck Wendig's blog, I knew I had to participate. Definitely go here and learn what's it's all about. But to give you the gist, it's a week (Sept. 12-16) of celebrating why it's great to be different, to be you, and to be a geek. A week to show that we, the geeks of the world, can be positive role models. A week to share what hobbies and interests make you all giddy inside.
So I know it's going to come as a shock, but I wasn't in the popular crowd in school. I know, it's breaking news. *snort* I was, and still am, the quiet girl who would rather read a book than hang out at a party. I've always kept a very small group of friends (fellow geeks usually) who I can relax and be my dorky self around.
In school, I kind of learned to hide the more "uncool" aspects of myself or my hobbies. I don't think I even told anyone that I was writing a book sophomore year even though that was all I thought about. My goal was to blend in. If you blended in, no one made fun of you, you just went unnoticed, which was fine by me. Well, except when it came to boys, I would've liked to have been noticed by them a little more, lol. But alas, I had no one to take me to junior prom, I didn't have my first date until 16--and even then it wasn't someone I met through school, and I tended to get caught in the "friend" zone with guys.
But even with all that, I never wanted to be someone else or be in the popular crowd. I didn't like what they liked, I didn't understand how they acted, and I knew if somehow I worked my way into that group, I'd be totally bored. So in a way, I've always been pretty damn comfortable with being a geek.
And as I've grown older, I've learned to wear it more as a badge of honor than something to hide. The people I love and respect the most in my life are oddballs too. My parents, my husband, my closest friends.
And that may be part of the reason that when I found out my son may be diagnosed with high-functioning autism or Asperger's (he's still getting evaluated), I didn't totally freak out. Everything I read about Asperger's says things like--they have intense interest in certain subjects, they are often wildly smart, they don't understand or play the social games that others play, they can be brutally honest. And really, I don't wish this for him because if this is what he has, his life will be more difficult. But on the other hand, what's wrong with having passionate interests, with being honest, with not engaging in those social games we use to manipulate each other? It's sounds oddly similar to being a "geek".
So when people find out that he's being evaluated for this and say "Oh, I'm so sorry." I think to myself--don't be, it's going to be okay. He's amazing. My kid has been reading since two and a half, he knows the makes and models of every car that passes on the road at age 4, he has a photographic memory that absolutely stuns me. The fact that he hasn't yet figured out how to have a social conversation is okay. We'll get there.
So when I say I'm proud to be a geek and to know and love geeks, I mean it. Being "like everyone else" doesn't appeal to me at all. Who wants to be generic? *shudders*
Therefore, here is my contribution to Speaking Out with My Geek Out. These are things that I geek out over:
- Books (duh)
- Writing related things like conferences and craft books (also duh)
- Cooking (Don't even ask me how many cookbooks I have. My favorite gift my husband gave me on our first Christmas was a fancy can opener. And a trip to the gourmet grocery store gets me giddy.)
- 80s hair metal (Yes, I'm the girl who is still going to see Motley Crue, Poison, Def Lepard, etc. in concert on a regular basis.)
- New Kids on the Block (yes, still.)
- 80s movies (I'm highly nostalgic in general.)
- Guitar Hero (me on Guitar, hubs on drums)
- Office supplies (hours can be lost in a Staples)
- Romantic movies and TV Shows (Things like pulling out my DVDs and watching all the seasons of Dawson's Creek or Friends over a multi-month marathon or watching Dirty Dancing for the bazillionth time.)
- IKEA (do I have to explain this one?)
- LSU Football (my friends used to want to go to the games to socialize, but I spent my time yelling at bad calls and acting like the boys)
- Weather (totally fascinated by it)
The list could go on, but I won't bore you. : ) Hell, I'm surprised you've read this far.
So if you consider yourself a geek, wave that flag proud. If I hadn't been such a nerd about reading and writing in high school, I never would've ended up with a career I absolutely totally adore. If all the boys had fallen at my feet, I wouldn't have had the need to conjure up romantic fictional stories in my head. My weirdness has served me well.
Do you consider yourself a geek? What do you geek out about? What hobbies/interests did you/do you keep under wraps until you trust the person? And if you decide to join this campaign with a post, feel free to leave a link in the comments!
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--Lorelei James, NY Times Bestselling author of the ROUGH RIDERS series