being yourself

Bravery in the Blog

I may not know much, or hell, even that much at all, but at least I know I’m brave.

I’m brave enough to speak my opinions, whether my readers will agree or not.

I’m brave enough to show my humanity through happiness, anger, sadness, bitching, etc. because I won’t pretend to feel a way others deem “acceptable” just to make said folks comfortable.

I’m brave enough to keep going, despite so many people telling me to stop because “nothing will ever come of this space.”

I’m brave enough to disconnect from people, no matter who they are, who don’t get why I would choose a blog over a career that doesn’t accept what the blog has to say.

I’m brave enough to say e.x.a.c.t.l.y. what I’m thinking.

I’m brave enough to come here and write anything–even the uncomfortable stuff–and sign my name to it.

So why, why, why, is one of you hiding behind the anonymity of the Internet, trying to infiltrate my life? Why are you wasting your time? I will always be here whether you want me to be or not. I may change the blog’s interface or subject matter or header 89 times, but I, the author, will still stand behind it, no matter those changes. I will be here, tall and unwavering, no matter what warfare you’re inexplicably trying to start. In fact, many of the things you’ve tried to accomplish over TWO ENTIRE YEARS have never, ever worked. Let it go or stop reading, plain and simple.

I’m brave enough to say without hesitation that you are a coward. You are someone who has some great void in life, and you fill it with hate instead of newfound interests or love. You are someone who has nothing better to do with your time than to type comments or send emails from behind a veil.

I get it. I certainly would be bored if I couldn’t say precisely what I desired to or confront someone face-to-face. But maybe, just maybe, you could try to be brave. Whatever your problem is, you will never solve it behind that curtain of hate, that security blanket of secrecy, that misdirected keyboard thrashing.

I’m even brave enough to forgive you if you ever want to join us in the Land of the Free Thinkers. If not, just stay in your lane, and let the rest of us write and live our lives to the fullest.

Geek Love

There’s no such thing as a fake nerd, or geek, or even just a fan. You know why? Because you can’t fake love.
There are few photos in my archive I love more than this one. It’s not because I think I look great or because it was taken by one of my favorite photographers; it’s because these kids were so excited to merely be in my presence. And instead of instantly seeing the 20 extra pounds and adult acne of days past, I see the joy in their eyes and remember how enthusiastic they were to meet a complete stranger who simply wanted to dress like someone both she and they admired.
I was Lara Croft that day. The costume wasn’t anything special, just a simple riff off Angie’s movie stills. I knew some of the hardcore VG fans would glare a hole right through me, but I didn’t care. I was there to have fun with my friend for her birthday and to get a chance to wander around as a pretend badass all day.
As I suspected, there was a group of “real nerds” who scoffed at my get-up, but there were always many more accommodating folks to jump into a group photo with or give a knowing glance toward. These welcoming people are the ones I call my own, the geeks and nerds and oddballs who just want to have fun doing what they do and loving what they love. I was mostly content, enjoying the frenzy of energy around me.
So as I passed by a delightful version of VG Lara and smiled at her, I was pretty caught off guard when she made what I imagine is her “vomiting violently into a dirty toilet” face before turning her eyes elsewhere. I was about 10 seconds away from getting angry, cursing this small but pointed group of people for ruining my day! For ruining a fun time, for ruining so many others’ day, for RUINING EVERYTHING! …
… When the cutest little boys (they’re probably 30 – I have no age-o-meter) I’ve ever seen came barreling towards me, their eyes filled with a fire I can still recall three years later. The first to reach me squealed a little and sputtered out “CAN I HUG YOU?!”
I laughed.
“Of course!”
He gingerly put his arms around me before going full nerd-hug and squeezing ‘til his con sweat had thoroughly drenched me. His friends all asked the same question before also asking if they could have photos taken with me. I tried to pose in character, but it was impossible to wipe the smile from my face. They were so undeniably happy, and I had brought them that joy in way no one else could. That feeling is one I haven’t had often since, but one I’ve never forgotten.
What I felt that day is what I’ve come to realize is what I want my life to be all the time. I want to be among my people, whoever they are, and give them that feeling again. I want to make a living making other people happy, arriving in a room, and just hugging them until they feel like they’re okay to let go again. And I don’t want those precious people or myself or anyone I’ve yet to meet feel alienation ever again from a group they thought they were safe with.
I don’t know how I’m going to do it, but I do know I’m gonna… and I’m gonna soon.
(All photos by the fabulous Dawen Huang)

My Definition of Fun

… is not the same as yours. I don’t mind that notion one bit. I like liking what I like, not what someone prescribes me to like. I like being myself and even more so, feeling free to be myself. What I don’t like is being told I’m not fun based on a fabricated charade of fun most people follow. That’s not my idea of fun.

 

My idea of fun is getting up early and walking on a lake shore or up a mountain trail. My idea of fun is working hard on something I am passionate about. My idea of fun is marathoning good television and film, sometimes all day. My idea of fun is making a home and spending a lot of time there. My idea of fun is a game where no one cares about winning, only being clumsy and having a good time. My idea of fun is writing, reading, acting, singing, dancing even when I’m bad at it. My idea of fun is creating new things, relaxing with my pets, and holding the hand of the person I love while doing it all.
You see, my idea of fun is incredibly internal. It has everything to do with me because at my core, I only need myself to have a good time… well, except for when I want my partner there to just smile and be there as I have that fun. So when someone tells me I’m not fun, not only are they insulting my right to define for myself what is fun, but what makes up the 99% of that definition: me.
My idea of fun is not drinking as much as I can as often as I can. I enjoy a drink from time to time, but I more enjoy being able to wake up the next morning and work out or do something else I love. My idea of fun does not require many people. I do enjoy hanging out with pals, but I don’t like having to justify that I’m simply ready to be alone or I’m feeling overwhelmed when I don’t want to hang out every single time someone asks. My idea of fun is not having to go out. I do like to adventure to new places, but I don’t require it to feel alive, to feel some desperate sense of newness; I already hold that awe and wonder inside me every day. I hold it in mind when I’m doing my fun things, and I hold it in my heart.
My idea of fun is being able to have my own version of fun without being chastised. My idea of fun is finding people who understand the same kind of fun I do, or at the very least, understand we don’t have to have the same ideas to both be fun in our own ways. My idea of fun is one day being understood. My idea of fun is my own, and though its definition may change over the years, I will always be the same. I will always be me.
And me? I am fun.