Lindsay Kriz: How I’ve basically been a nerd all my life

Lindsay Kriz

This idea that I’m about to share isn’t new by any means.

It’s been quoted by Nerdfighters, Tumblr and people on Facebook who claim to be nerds because they watched Star Wars Episode III with their significant other one night when nothing else was on TV. The reason I want to place emphasis on it is because it’s a truth that applies to my life and has done so for many years.

And that truth is this: Being a nerd just means you’re passionate about something. Which totally blows a hole in my statement about a guy claiming to be a nerd because he watched one Star Wars movie, because hey, he could be passionate about archaeology or meteorology or beekeeping. Does that make him a nerd? Why yes, it does. Like the quote says, I truly believe that passion is what drives nerds to do what they do, no matter what that is.

My actual point is this: I’ve always been a nerd. Whether I realized it or not, I’ve always focused on something in my life. Something that made me feel whole, in a sense. If I didn’t always hover on that thought, I would feel lost or antsy. I needed something on which to focus my attention.

The earliest obsession I can remember was computers. Not how they functioned, or what they were capable of, but how they looked. I would sit in class and stare at this one Gateway computer and how pretty it was. Then I became obsessed with outfits, particularly outfits in music videos. How would they look on me? How would I feel in them? I fully admit, I was an odd kid. But you know what? Overall, I was a happy kid.

While at first I obsessed over items, my first real obsession was Pokémon. All the boys in my third-grade class would huddle around before the day began, trading and discussing things I still don’t understand. Then one day, I was hooked. It was my world. I bought the cards (though I never played), bought the outfits, bought the Pokeballs and even held my stuffed Bulbasaur as I was put under for my tonsillectomy. Of course that obsession died out, but not much has changed.

While the subjects of my fascination change, the fascination itself will always remain. In particular, I thought my obsession with movies would eventually calm down, and I’d direct my interest in journalism towards political affairs. While those subjects are important, and often frustrating, my love for everything pop culture overshadows my desire to drop that love and begin a life solely devoted to which politician said what. When I was younger I thought this feeling would go away, but instead it’s only grown stronger. When my mother told me last week that one day I’d probably fangirl less, I only half-agreed with her. Yes, I do want to have a lovely and busy life, but I’ll never give up my passion for pop culture. If I’m writing a story about a fish market in Japan, I’ll keep my eyes on the Hollywood headlines. While they may not be the most important thing in the world, movies, books, music and all that is pop culture have enhanced my life, I honestly don’t know where I’d be without them.