It’s a word that echoes through any school hallway and into our ears, branding us. From a young age, at least when I was growing up, being called a nerd was nothing less than an insult. Well let me tell you something. It shouldn’t be. Because being a nerd? It’s WONDERFUL.
But let me be honest for a minute; truthfully, it took me quite a while to be comfortable with my own nerdiness, to be able to share it with others. I was always a book-worm, and as a teenager I took up writing both fan-fiction and original pieces. I was always excited about both reading about and creating new worlds. I loved fictional characters almost like they were real people, felt what they felt, cried with them, laughed with them. Stories danced in my head, begging to be written down, and I couldn’t refuse them. I read books dozens of times, listened to songs on repeat, went to midnight premieres of movies. (Yes, dressed up. Don’t.Judge.Me.) But still, I wasn’t always ready to share this with the world. I toned down my enthusiasm, afraid people wouldn’t like me if I didn’t. About halfway through college and into graduate school, however, that changed. I got comfortable with myself. I fan-girled out loud and in front of people. I realized that the people who really mattered? They wouldn’t stop caring about me because I was a “nerd.” In fact, they loved me because of it.
I bet you’re wondering now about the premise of this blog (you’ve probably been wondering for a while). The idea actually started while I was on gchat with my dear friend and fantastic roommate during the early hours of the work day. We were discussing books, and writing, and things like that, and lamenting the fact that it seems like most people will simply read, watch, or listen to whatever shenanigans are put in front of them rather than searching for forms of entertainment with real substance. I’d just finished reading Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables (yes, you’ll be reading about it) at the time, and it (along with the musical) made a significant impact on my life.
“BUT PEOPLE ARE READING FIFTY SHADES OF GREY INSTEAD OF CLASSICS LIKE LES MIS!” I typed in all caps. “WHY?””
“I just want to go out on the street with baskets full of amazing, thought-provoking books, movies, whatever, and hand them out to people,” I continued. “I’m not asking them to like things because I like them, I’m asking them to expand their MINDS.”
“We’ll call them culture baskets!” Katy exclaimed ” We’ll put them in little wicker baskets and just hand them out to people.”
It’s like the internet version of a culture basket.
This blog is about the beauty of reading and creating. It’s about sharing those things that I nerd-out over, because those things have helped me survive all the different stages of my life, they’ve changed my perspective, and they’ve changed my life. Some are books, some are movies, some are TV shows…there might even be some music.
And I’d like to share those experiences, because stories are capable of having a wonderful, life-changing power over us, and I think that’s easy to forget in the rush of everyday life.
Really, there’s a nerd inside all of us.
So here’s to wearing nerd t-shirts, reading until two in the morning when you have class or work the next day, to jumping up and down in a movie theater seat out of pure, unadulterated excitement, to imagination… to being passionate about something you love.
And here’s a link to a video by fantastic young adult author John Green, explaining why nerd-life is so awesome: