Geeks, Nerds, Gamers, etc. Buy a Dictionary or a Thesaurus

I read a post on Facebook today that a friend commented on that really made me step back and think for a minute. I had sworn an oath to myself that the next post I wrote for this blog would be about Teen Wolf (TV show), but now I find myself forced to delay it once more to speak out on a topic that I think needs addressed - labeling.

I really like sci-fi, fantasy, computers, cats, and... (wait for it)... (wait for it)... CW TV shows (other TV shows too). I read tons of articles, posts, and reviews or memes of all of these things. I think about them all the time. I talk about them with such enthusiasm that people have labeled me a "geek", a "nerd", and who knows what else. I have news for everyone - I AM ME.

It's as simple as that. Most people have a desire to find commonalities with others and to belong to a group. While I definitely enjoy talking about things I like with people who like the same things, I could care less about whether or not I belong to any given group. Period.

The human brain enjoys patterns and classification. Primarily because these instincts help determine survival. Being able to spot something out of the ordinary can often prevent danger. As our everyday dangers have shifted, people began to apply this mechanism to other people. Stereotypes, nomenclatures that define cultures or groups, and assumptions are easy. It's much more difficult to look at an individual as an individual. To accept someone as uniquely the person they are requires additional brain power and efforts that most people don't want to be bothered with. People want to belong, so they hold tight to these terms and redefine them to fit themselves. We all do it. I even do it. In fact, I referred to a person as part of a culture and remarked on a trait they possessed that in my experience is not the cultural norm (and it was only a half hour before I read this random post). What I am suggesting is that my life and everyone else's might be enriched if we refused to do this.

When I think of all of the people I know, especially those I know really well, I don't immediately classify them as anything other than who they as an individual are. I don't think of my friends as "gay", "straight", "geeks", "gamers", or whatever else. That would be limiting, and at times absurd. They are "Tom", "Sally", "John", or "Suzie" (not referring to real people, but you get the gist). I have no issues with people forming groups, but in my experience there is usually more to a person than just the collection of groups they belong to.

To define yourself by one or two words or characteristics is a travesty in my opinion. There are over a quarter of a million words just in the English language (the derivatives, denotations, and connotations of these words, plus the evolution of language, propel the meanings of these words into the millions). You and I can be multifaceted, conglomerations of words. That way I can be singularly me, and you can have the same luxury.

Don't get me wrong - I understand the need to belong, the euphoric feeling you get when you feel like a part of a group, and the power of people working together toward a goal. All good stuff, really. I'm just saying don't let one or two words be your definition. Even words have multiple words to define them. Use a dictionary or a thesaurus. See what other great words out there fit the uniqueness that is you.

With that, I will end this rant with three thoughts:

  1. My next post will be back to normal, and will involve Teen Wolf.
  2. Walk Unafraid.
  3. Read to the end of this (even if you skip the next section).

 "Walk Unafraid" ~ music and lyrics by R.E.M
 As the sun comes up, as the moon goes down
These heavy notions creep around
It makes me think, long ago
I was brought into this life a little lamb
A little lamb
Courageous, stumbling
Fearless was my middle name.
But somewhere there I lost my way
Everyone walks the same
Expecting me to step
The narrow path they've laid
They claim to
Walk unafraid
I'll be clumsy instead
Hold my love or leave me high.
Say "keep within the boundaries if you want to play."
Say "contradiction only makes it harder."
How can I be
What I want To be?
When all I want to do is strip away
These stilled constraints
And crush this charade
Shred this sad masquerade
I don't need no persuading
I'll trip, fall, pick myself up and
Walk unafraid
I'll be clumsy instead
Hold my love or leave me high.
If I have a bag of rocks to carry as I go
I just want to hold my head up high
I don't care what I have to step over
I'm prepared to look you in the eye
Look me in the eye
And if you see familiarity
Then celebrate the contradiction
Help me when I fall to
Walk unafraid
I'll be clumsy instead
Hold my love or leave me high.
Walk unafraid
I'll be clumsy instead
Hold my love or leave me high.

PS - That's right T.J., I freaking quoted R.E.M. to end this post.

PPS - Friend who commented on the post - I thought your comments were insightful, and I thank you for giving me a chance to use some brain cells today.

PPPS - This writing reflects my natural train of thoughts (haphazard as they may be), and is a not reflective of what I know to be proper grammar.


“If you don’t turn your life into a story, you just become a part of someone else’s story.” – The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents