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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

SpeakOut with your GeekOut

This is SpeakOut with your GeekOut week, the week to let your geek shine. As I've read some of the blogs out there, I know that I'm not as geeky as some. I'm making up for lost time. The thing about my geek is that I refused to let mine come out to play for a long time. I was a closet geek.

I was raised in the 60's on comic books. When I was young, we would go to Lake Erie during the summer, and my brother and I were each allowed to get one comic book at the market on Catawba Peninsula. We read anything from Richie Rich and Little Lotta to Superman and Batman. When I think of the file cabinet filled with comics that disappeared when we moved, a little of me dies inside. I try not to think about it.

In my teen years, I was a Trekker. I owned the novelizations of the episodes. I had lists of the titles and the synopsis (typed, no less). I also was a huge fan of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. These are the things that shaped my perception of the world. These are the things I set aside when I "grew up."

I remember selling my Trek stuff and my LOTR books in a garage sale at our first house--a move I've come to regret. Looking back, it was like selling myself out to who everyone thought I should be. I have photographs of those years where I look every bit as much the insurance salesman's wife that I had become. No matter how much I tried to deny it, however, the geek lurked within.

When STNG appeared on the scene, I dodged it for the first year. We had a couple kids and we weren't big TV watchers beyond kids shows. The second year, though, I started watching with our middle son. We were hooked. His 12th birthday party was scheduled the day the last STNG episode aired and was Trek themed. By then, I didn't mind letting my geek show because my kids were joining me.

At this point in my life, I wear my geek colors proudly. After many years of working with computers in one capacity or another, I have a computer job I love. I telecommute to work daily. My job is to help organizations with their online fundraising using social media and our company's software. It's a perfect fit. When I'm training people on how to use our product, I have been known to have a mini geek out. I love this technology stuff, and I love sharing how to use it. Most of our clients aren't even sure what a browser is, but I admit to having an almost evangelical zeal regarding using computers and social media. It evens out.

I have regrets, though. I regret letting my brother talk me out of studying computers in college. As a young woman in the 70's, it was easy to allow myself to be talked out of a career requiring math and science. I've spent years teaching myself how to use computers out of necessity and interest (which has its benefits), and there were many years the locusts have eaten. I'll always be playing catch up.

I recently realized how out of touch I am with the comic book world as well. A friend of mine makes sure I see most of the comic book movies that come out and patiently fills in the gaps for me, but I recently had a TV writer reply to my tweet about a comic that appeared in a episode of NCIS last season. When I asked the significance of the issue, he replied, "You'd know if you'd read it." Ouch! He was kind enough to hint at the significance. I went to Ebay and bought a copy.

The point being, love your geek. Feed it. Care for it. This is who you are. Don't discover in the back half of your life that you've denied who you are because it was expected of you to conform.

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