Geekdom

John Siracusa, writing on his personal blog:

Geekdom is not a club; it’s a destination, open to anyone who wants to put in the time and effort to travel there.

In recent memory, few articles have invoked such an immediate and visceral emotional response as "The Road to Geekdom."

Focusing on John's youthful fascination with remote control cars, it's difficult not to feel the heart-warming resonance. For as long as I remember, I've always fallen down similar slopes — particularly those which are otherwise deemed odd, immature, or outcast by broader society.

As a young man, I was deathly afraid of admitting that side of my personality to my friends and family. I was self-conscious regarding my care for — and admiration of — things I perceived as existing outside the bounds of normality for someone my age.

These days, I'm much more open about these interests. Most people know, for instance, that I'm a regular reader of comic books.

The persistent trouble for me, though, is the fact that geekdom is, as John puts it, a destination.

For me, geekdom is me and I am geekdom. It's less of a place to eventually reach and more of a persistent, intangible reality. And, as such, it's something I still struggle to tout as part of my person. It's a characteristic that resides far below the surface and, without explicit acknowledgement, is not readily apparent for those around me.

In other words, I'm adept at camouflaging, hiding, and masking my so-called geekdom. And, most troublesome, I have yet to discern precisely how to tackle that intense sense self-consciousness.

Sadly, I have no resolution for such issues. I doubt you have any either.

The best thing I've found, though, is that people — like John — exist and inhabit the same realm of fears, anxieties, and concerns as me. That, although I haven't quite worked out how to articulate and share the extent of my geek-side, there are others who are tackling such issues publicly, triumphantly, and admirably.

And that's a wonderful, encouraging thing, at the very least.