Diary of a Geek Girl

Every nerd, geek, and fangirl has a unique story that tells how they came to love the things they do.

This is mine.

Growing up, I didn’t really have anyone in my family that was into the geeky things of the time: no D&D playing cousin, no Trekkie uncle, no fantasy novel reading sibling.2149756c64f6024b4f865078193a690f

Even though I often trailed after my big sister, wanting to do everything she was doing, I was also perfectly content on my own. I had a vivid imagination and could entertain myself for hours. Even from a young age, I was headstrong and a bit eccentric. I definitely marched to the beat of on my drum.

The first time I can remember liking something that no one else around me did was early in middle school. That was when I discovered Sailor Moon. I was in awe; it was like nothing I had seen before. It wasn’t long before I ventured online (something that was still novel as we had only had it home for four years or so at this point). I didn’t know what I was looking for but I was eager to find anything I could related to the show. A whoThe_Inner_Senshi_Under_the_Moon_-_Crystal_-_Yukie_Sakole new world was about to open up before me.

Soon, I was reading fanfiction and looking at fanart long before I knew those words existed. I also started to look for other anime as I found the sci-fi and fantasy undertones absolutely fascinating.

As I transitioned from middle school to high school, my interests started to shift more into sci-fi. Reading was where most of my attention was focused, but I also started to watch more movies in the sci-fi genre. I devoured the classics, I searched for the new. There was also a book within reach at all times, a habit which continues to this day.

It was during my sophomore year that something monumental happened which honestly changed my life. I was finally introduced to the world of Harry Potter.

The funny thing about this it is, that by the time I came around to it, the first three or four books were published and the first two movies had been released. But for whatever reasons, I wasn’t interested and I didn’t have anyone around to try and convince me otherwise. Then, as fate would have it, on a lazy Saturday afternoon, the Sorcerer’s Stone was on HBO and I finally convinced myself to watch. The rest is simply history.

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I was completely and utterly entranced. Within the next two weeks (if that) I bought and read the first four books, catching up to where the series was. Since I was still in high school, I would spend what time I could reading fanfic and participating in various online communities. I was in a fandom, even if I didn’t know it at the time.

From then on, though high school and into college, I attended every midnight book release and movie opening (fun fact: when the Deathly Hallows book was released, I got a warning for speeding at 1:00 in the morning in my race to get home and begin reading). My love for the series has never, and will never, diminish. I may not be as present, but it was my first fandom and I will always carry it close to my heart.

My horizons were still pretty limited at that point. I found comfort in the things that I knew and loved. I had control over them, something that I was lacking in many other aspects of my life.

Then eight years ago, after a monumental shift in my personal life, I was finally able to really come into my own as a geek. It was always there, simmering away quietly beneath the surface, but rarely did you see it manifest outwardly. This event forced me to focus on myself and discover what I wanted in life, to define what success and happiness were to me.

I didn’t become a different person, I finally became myself. The transformation was subtle and gradual but ever so wonderful. As I became more confident in myself my desire to delve deeper into all of geekdom intensified and there was nothing that could stop me. tumblr_n5aa9w8SpE1tsbjzoo1_500

It’s been a windfall of geeky, fangirling awesomeness ever since then. Doctor Who, Sherlock, Supernatural, DC, Marvel, Lord of the Rings, Firefly, Star Wars- the list goes on. I wasn’t new to them all, I was late to the party on some, and others I’ve been along for the whole ride. Regardless of when I came around, I was going to be there until the end and beyond.

Until recently, with a few notable exceptions, I was mostly alone in the majority of my enthusiasm. And that suited me just fine. I was happy to keep to myself in the perusals of Pinterest, Tumblr, and Twitter.

But as my confidence grew, so did my desire to finds others who loved the same things I did. One of the most enjoyable things in life can be excitedly sharing a mutual interest with another person. So for the last two years I’ve worked on expanding my network. But even with newfound confidence, it’s been slowing going. The fears I thought I’d overcome were still there: will they like me, will they think I’m weird, will they dismiss me or not understand what I’m trying to say.

It seems like such an easy thing to be able to do but the reality is that is for many it’s not. I’ve come to realize that, regardless of my age, I will always have these social apprehensions. The important thing is to not let them stop me from forming connections with some of the amazing people that are in the world. It hasn’t been nor will it ever be the easiest thing for me, but I’m nothing if not a determined person.

And so there you are. That’s my story.

I have no intention on slowing down in my relentless quest to read, watch, and experience everything that this marvelous explosion of geeky wonderfulness the world has to offer.  

Because right now, the sheer number of genre shows, blockbuster movies, new comics, and expanding franchises is unprecedented. There really couldn’t have been a better time for me to embrace and cultivate my geeky side.

And as Simon Pegg and John Green have both said: being a geek is the best thing ever.

So call me a nerd, call me a geek. Because it’s not just a name or label or style, it’s a way of life (oh god that really does sound corny but it’s true!). It’s a huge part of who I am and I’m unbelievably proud to be one.

XO,

Lindsey

Allons-y!

I recently read a blogpost by Tony Kim (https://crazy4comiccon.wordpress.com/)  that struck like lightening and finally gave me the desperately needed clarity I had been unknowingly seeking.

You see, for months now I’ve wanted to start a blog. (late to the game, I know). But each time I have struggled from the get-go. I don’t have the expectation to be the next hit on social media, but I want a place for my thoughts and opinions that would hopefully add some value to the tremendous amount of online content. I knew what I wanted the basic focus to be, and there are a million ideas and opinions zooming around in my head, but when I would write it just didn’t feel right. Start, write a few good paragraphs, dither, quit, begin again. That’s been the unending cycle. It was starting to get me down.

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That was, until this simple yet glorious post came across one of my feeds, in which Tony outlines his 5 core blogging values: create a unique interaction, focus on your distinction, inspire a tribe, develop a deep domain knowledge, and be good at it.

It was serendipity.

What am I doing that differentiates me from the hundreds of other geekcentric blogs on the Web? How can I inspire a tribe who cares about what I have to say?

Looking back, it was so simple. It all comes down to where and how I live.

The Midwest. A good-sized town in Indiana where you can go a mile in any direction from any point and you’re guaranteed to see a corn or bean field.

Just to give you an idea, the nearest metropolitan city is Indianapolis and it’s just over an hour’s drive, while Chicago, Louisville, St. Louis and Cincinnati are three hours.

This might sound awful to some but me its home and it’s wonderful.

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This is the place where I live a relatively stable and comfortable life, supported by a career in wealth management that I love. But there is definitely no surplus of dollars in my bank account. I have to pick and choose the trips I take or the things I want to do; even then it can be a struggle if it happens at all. On a simpler level, between work, family, and other commitments, I’m unable to devote as much time as I would like to my geeky pursuits.

Here is where a disconnect is sometimes felt between myself and other bloggers.

On one side, the permeation of geek culture where I live. My city is not the smallest or the most rural, but its roots are in farming and manufacturing, and change is slow to happen. As it was mentioned before, it’s an hour drive to the nearest big city, so some planning is needed to attend events. You do feel like you’re missing out sometimes but you become resourceful and make up for it in other ways. You also learn to pick and choose what is most important to experience at the time as con and travelling costs can be downright outrageous. There are times you just have to miss out because you can’t make it work.

On the other side, the time commitment it can take to make an impact. I am by no means a casual geek. Beyond work and family, it is what consumes my time and energy. But even then I cannot contend with those who have made it their main focus (nor I am I trying to). 

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I am not diminishing the work and effort they have put forth to get where they are; they are hardworking and talented people whose collective geek knowledge is astounding. And through that they are able to do what they do. Whether it’s moderating a dedicated fan account or a full-time writing gig, I give kudos to the people that are able to preserve and maintain the intergrity of those accounts or sites; it is not an easy thing to do. It’s one of the main worries I have about my own endeavor here.

There are no qualms with saying that there are days I’m envious of that, especially when there are so many amazing movies and events happening right now. I mean, who wouldn’t want to research and post and talk about the things they love most all the time? Yet, whether by timing, providence, skill, or some other mystical force, I am left to eke an out an existence for myself little by little, hoping that I have added value to geek culture.

That being said, living where I do combined with the experiences I’ve had, leaves me hoping that I can offer up different opinions and commentaries. I’m not saying my words or views are completely novel, but I wholeheartedly believe that your environs affect your perceptions just as much as your social background does. And I feel that small town Midwestern is definitely underrepresented.

So I’m happily making do with I have and appreciating the chances I get; I take nothing for granted. I also fully realize that my situation is neither the most isolated nor the most beleaguered. But it doesn’t matter who you are, what you do, or where you’re from, it’s always nice to have a voice and express yourself. And I’m putting myself out there to hopefully resonate and connect with other nerds and geeks.

So here I go!