When I was growing up, I didn’t have many friends. And I was okay with that. Apparently, it wasn’t cool to wear your hair bushy and all over the place and wear glasses that Harry Potter wouldn’t even touch. It wasn’t cool to walk around like you were at Hogwarts, speaking in a British accent, and practicing spells under your breath. And it definitely wasn’t cool to read. For this reason, because of my bushy hair, my eagerness to please every authority figure I met, and for my love of Harry Potter, I was quickly shoved into the nerd category. I never really got made fun of, but I did feel a bit lonely at times while growing up. Thankfully, I have a sister who is just as big of a Harry Potter/Doctor Who/Lord of the Rings/former Pokemon and video game lover as I am, so we spoke our own language, as it were. (Love ya sis!)
When I think back on my childhood, there are a lot of fond memories. A lot of Pokemon card battles, A LOT of late night reading, flashlight in hand; a lot of pretending to live in worlds I didn’t. I spent hours on my Sega and spent many trivial hours trying to keep my Tomagachi alive. And I loved it. I loved who I was and I loved my style (or lack thereof.) I never worried about being cool then, because to me, I was cool. I was kind of awesome, actually.
Sometimes, I miss her and I miss the fearlessness of that quirky, big-haired girl. I miss how confident she was, despite how the thought of speaking on stage or getting anything less than a B made her physically sick. I miss how enthusiastic and really over-the-top excited she was. I think everyone goes through this unfortunate thing called high school, where uniqueness is definitely not appreciated. (Thank God for teachers like Mrs. Tosacani!) I think, for myself, I lost sight of who I was because I forgot how awesome it was to be myself. Eventually, I found my way back. I reminded myself that I was my own brand of awesome, and that it was okay to be a bit over-the-top excited about Call of Duty and a new book. I may be a bit misunderstood sometimes, I may laugh way too loudly at jokes I don’t get and I may get WAY TOO EXCITED ABOUT DOCTOR WHO….
But thank God for the people who love me, and for the husband who spends 12,000 hours of his life watching the same Dr. Who episodes with me. You’re awesome. Thankfully, I found my people, and I continue to find people, who embrace the quirk, and love me for it. And encourage it. Surround yourself with people like that, people who believe that who you are and what you do matters. It makes a difference and it is making my twenties that much more awesome.
Encourage uniqueness, quirk, wit, and weirdness. Encourage the difference in each other, because God knows our world needs so much more of it.
To the Harry Potter lovers, the Whovians, the kids who rather read than go to a party. To the writers, the artists, the believers, the gamers, the rockers, the nerdfighters, and the faithful that know that ONE DAY J.K. Rowling will write another HP book. To the misfits, the kid who wasn’t quite understood, the dramatics and the dreamers, I salute you, and you’re kind of awesome.