In 9 days I will be leaving my job of 16 years, and the area in which I have lived all of my 38 years. Granted, my family and I will only be moving 2 hours away, but that distance is enough to permanently sever some relationships, for better or worse. Friends and family that we already see sporadically will now most likely trickle to obsolescence. To be honest, I am not sure it really bothers me that much. A fresh start is a welcome addition to my life, and perhaps what I need to repair some of the many damages to my brain. I am a creature of habit out of necessity; being one of the millions of people afflicted with an anxiety disorder has caused me to become somewhat of a hermit. I’ve become stagnant, but not comfortable. I am hoping that moving to our new town will spark the old fire of creativity inside of me; I have not felt that welcoming warmth in many years, and I miss it. The past few years spent here have caused considerable damage to me mentally, which in turn has wreaked havoc on me physically, as well. Mental illness cannot be cured, but there are multitudes of scientific data that proves that it is not a lost cause, there are ways to rewire your brain, and in turn alleviating your misery. With a new location, and coveted solace, I hope to begin anew.
I will keep this short, since I have a tendency to ramble. This will be a nice exercise in self-restraint. I went to school during the 80s and half of the 90s, as I am sure a lot of you did. Popular kids, jocks, druggies, skaters, and of course, nerds. I know I am leaving a few labels out because I don’t want to be here all day listing the subcultures of high school. Guess where I fell in? No, not popular kid, but thank you for the compliment. Of course, I was a nerd. Why was I a nerd? I really don’t know. I wore glasses, I had pimples, I read books (although how anybody would have known that is beyond me.) I did not wear this label as a badge of honor; no, that word was what separated me from being part of the community as a whole. In my mind, it was almost better to be labelled anything else other than a nerd. I wonder if you see where I am going with this…
I hear and see (on social media sites) people use that word today in a totally different way than it was ever used before. Is this a good thing? Perhaps. For me, hearing the word just takes me back to some not so pleasant times in my youth. I wonder, the other kids that were going through it with me, how do they feel now when they hear Johnny Six-Pack Abs talking about how much of a nerd he is because he watches Game of Thrones. In 1990, if you were walking around with a book similar to George R. R. Martin, it would have been endless ridicule. Now, it appears that the tables have turned. Of course, I imagine that this nerd label only applies to popular culture. It’s one thing to admit you like Game of Thrones, it is another thing entirely to talk about your love of League of Legends. Therein lies the problem. People use the label because they feel that they are enjoying something that is outside of popular culture. The popularity of the very things you are calling yourself a nerd for liking are calling you to the carpet for being a hypocrite. Nerd culture is an outlier. You may have some crossover into the world of mainstream, but it is rare.
I may be coming off here as an arrogant prick, and that is fine. I know what I am. I know that I am not a nerd, and neither are you.