I don’t know if I’ve indicated before, but I have a long history of being a huge nerd.
Or rather, a geek (yes, there is a difference). I wasn’t the techy “build your own computer and digs math” type, which would have classified me as a nerd (by stereotypical standards). No, I have always preferred pop culture and literature, preferring to spend my time playing games and dabbling in a bit of anime. But the biggest highlight of being a geek was going to conventions.
The two biggest conventions I went to were Wondercon, which functions as a mini-Comic Con, situated in Anaheim, and Anime Expo, the largest Anime convention in North America. I went to these conventions every year from when I was thirteen until I went to college, when scheduling began interfering. It got to a point where I kind of got sick of them.
But in college, things changed. For some reason, I had it in my head that I should “grow out” of my geekiness, or at least keep it more private. Perhaps it was because I looked around and saw all the other geeks around me at school made me uncomfortable. They were just too stereo-typically geeky. That’s not to say that some of my high school friends weren’t, but these guys just fit the bill too well.
The disassociation might also have been partially influenced by the fact that I never fit the bit for someone who was geeky. Yeah, I wear glasses and at one point cut my hair short and dressed less-than-pleasantly, but I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about my face, my figure. I looked more like the kind of person geeks and nerds would wish would be into the same stuff as them. And this isn’t out of an inflation of my own ego. I’ve had enough creepy experiences to know exactly what position I was in. I look more like I belong in a Starbucks.
This was a factor that had always plagued my adolescent years. Especially during the height of gamer gate, where you could get called a fake gamer or fake nerd for just about breathing the “wrong way”. They never judged the people that looked like (stereotypical) geeks and nerds. They judged the people that didn’t.
It didn’t help that my Mom and sister would make fun of me for being a geek. My sister has become more involved in the culture herself in recent years, which has lightened her take on it, but my Mom would always roll her eyes. She still thinks I’m into things that I’m not (i.e: she thinks everything I watch is anime for some reason). She didn’t stop me from being a part of geek culture, but she didn’t much like the fact that I was so into it, either.
So for most of my college years, I kind of kept things under wrap. I stopped investing myself in geek culture for the most part, although I couldn’t help having my closest friends know what I was into. Everything was going fine.
But then, I started to miss the geek world. I started to miss being involved in the newest game, and missed going to conventions. I missed being a geek. I wasn’t going to suddenly stop dressing decent, but I didn’t want to let go of something I actually enjoyed. It was a big part of my life, and it was something cool to do. I got to see artists I follow in person, discover new artists, and find new things that I didn’t know before in geek culture.
So I’ve decided to come back. My Dad says he can get us into Comic Con, and I am planning on going to Anime Expo, so I guess that’s a good start to breaking back in. While I don’t have much time to be “full geek” (I have school and work), I do plan on enjoying the things I once did.