My Google Drive is full of drabbles, short pieces I’ve written and quickly abandoned before they got anywhere significant. This one was called “My Life as a Nerd,” and I totally forgot I wrote it last summer. I will never finish it, and I wanted someone to see it, so Here, Blog! Enjoy.
I’ve spent my whole life being a nerd because I learned, from the very youngest of ages, that fantasy is better than reality. It’s not like I had an oppressed, horrible life. I grew up in a firmly middle-class family: not rich enough to fly somewhere for vacation, but rich enough to afford the newest technological gadget that interested my dad (a case could be made for inherited nerdiness).
The thing is, I was an introverted, extremely shy kid. Life was hard for me, even when “life” just meant standing in front of the preschool to show off a possession for Show & Tell. I would agonize about what to bring, worrying about what each possibility would make people think of me. My stuffed animals seemed to baby-ish, I would probably lose my Polly Pocket, and people would laugh if I told them my Scar action figure was my favorite character in The Lion King. I couldn’t handle a 30-second presentation designed to create opportunities for tiny children to make friends.
In addition to being terrified of people, I have also always been desperate to impress them. Reading was a great way to do both. I could sequester myself in my room for hours at a time, and when I finally emerged to socialize with human beings, nearby adults would always coo and say things like, “Wow, you read more than me! You’re so smart!” To prove them right, I would pick up a new book and head back into hiding. Continue reading