Be a Nerd for Something, and Be Okay With It

I’m going to tell you a secret.

I’ve been staring at this blank text box for fifteen minutes.

I know what I want to write about. Heck, I have my title in the text box above and everything. Ellie, pull yourself together. I have not been doing so, or brainstorming brilliant opening lines to this post. Nope. Instead, I have been reading other blogs, because I am at the epitome of lameness.

I’m being lame because I’m feeling weird about writing this post, and the entire POINT of this post is to not feel guilty about being different or liking different things. And, of course, that is exactly what I’m doing right now.

But NOW IS THE TIME, and I’m going to swallow my fear of judgment and write the darn thing.

My favorite tv show is Avatar: The Last Airbender. No, not the blue-people-crappy-movie-with-great-effects Avatar. The other one with the boy with the blue arrow thing on his head. The animated one.

Image

If, after seeing this picture, you thought, “It’ll quench ya!”, we should be friends.

Now, I could tell you why I like it. I like it because it’s got an original plotline. I like it because it is hilarious. I like it because its humor largely does not consist of potty humor or crude jokes. I like it because it has an entire episode that makes fun of its own show. But, I don’t think that’s quite as effective as the story behind how it came to be my favorite show.

The thing is, I didn’t really have any idea it existed. I knew it was an animated Nickelodeon show, and that was all I knew about it. I also knew some people who liked it at school, but they were people who didn’t share my tastes in other things, so I didn’t ever really consider watching it.

So, when someone close to me suggested I watch it, my first thought was, Yeah, okay. Suuuure. And I said I’d maybe watch it, and immediately dismissed the idea. I think my reasoning behind it was because it was animated, or from Nickelodeon, or something. I was clearly much too high-and-mighty for a show like that. I was ABOVE Nickelodeon, for crying out loud, and my friend wasn’t seeing that.

Thankfully, though, he kept bothering me about it. For months. And, eventually, out of boredom or annoyance or who knows what else, I said okay, I’ll watch it.

So I watched an episode.

And another one.

And another.

And, before I knew it, I was drawn in. I knew the characters. I loved Sokka, shipped Aang and Katara, kept an eye out for the cabbage seller guy. My favorite character was Suki, followed closely by Sokka. I laughed until I cried multiple times in the duration I was watching that show.

And I never would have known how great the show was, if I had kept up my act of being “better than that.” This isn’t a matter of standards. It’s a matter of being arrogant and snobbish.

My question is, how did that unachievable standard of coolness come to be, and why does everyone think they have to succumb to it? Is watching a tv show you hate going to solve all your social problems? I personally think that if someone’s going to think you’re uncool for watching something you love to watch, or if you have to watch their favorite tv show to be friends with them, they’re not going to be a good friend by any means.

I used to watch a bunch of tv shows that I didn’t really enjoy in order to have conversations with my old friends. And I’ll come right out and say it – I hate Pretty Little Liars. I think Bones is boring, Criminal Minds scares the crap out of me, and I can’t really get into the whole idea of all the fairy tales interweaving like Once Upon A Time implies. New Girl was a show I wanted to enjoy, but it just has too many sex jokes for me to be comfortable with. I don’t like these shows, and that’s okay.

In fact, I don’t even watch that much tv in general. When I do, it’ll be Psych or Castle or my beloved ATLA. Those are shows that I do like. I like them a lot. I like them enough to to be geeky about them, and that too is okay.

I think it’s sad that people feel like they need to hide what they like if it doesn’t fit the “cool” mold. I’ve been doing that since circa 2005, and as you can see from the beginning of this post, I still have some trouble being a nerd about things that other people might not like. But I’m ready to be done with being ashamed. If I’m going to be ashamed of my favorite things, how much trouble will I have being unashamed of the Good News, something that EVERYONE needs to hear?

Be unashamed. Geek out about your favorite shows. Wear that midi-length skirt to school. Carry a lunch box. Start a blog. Run through the pavilion fountain. Street-corner evangelize. Be different. And be okay with it.

-e

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