I turn 31 this month. Yikes! Scary to write down. But this year, I feel as though I’ve finally fully embraced my nerdy side (though perhaps I haven’t embraced my age). Without remorse, embarrassment, or good old-fashioned shame, I now freely share photos of my Scully action figure, the new Star Trek prints I just picked up, and my travels through the mountains of Skyrim.
I’m a nerd. I’m here. Get used to it.
But I wasn’t always this way. As I teenager, I used to apologize for my interests. Worse, I would hide what in reality was a major part of who I was/am because it wasn’t cool or fashionable; because Matt Anderson wouldn’t ask me to the dance.*
I just wish somebody told me back then that everything I liked was okay. That “cool” is relative. That in the future there will be hoverboards and being a nerd will be SO accepted, there will even be a crappy sitcom about nerdom on television! So, as I finish this bottle of wine (RIP, Comrade), I’d like to time-travel/step into the Quantum Leap accelerator and write a list of all the things I’d tell my younger nerdy self.**
- Keep everything! Yes, even your binders filled with interview clippings and pictures of Anderson/Duchovny. They’re your memories. Cherish them. Besides, you spent hours on those damn things!
- Remember when you used to look up re-runs of Quantum Leap in the TV Guide (ON PAPER) and would write down (ON PAPER) which episodes you had recorded with the episode name, air date, and date of Sam’s leap? You prognosticated Wikipedia. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
- Be patient. You will meet Scott Bakula, and he will hug you.
- Esoteric knowledge is hot.
- Scully is hot. It’s okay to think so. All of the internet will agree, especially when Gillian Anderson is cast in Hannibal and The Fall.
- Speaking of which, one day, X-Files will end. You should prepare for that now.
- Don’t be afraid to like math.
- Don’t be afraid to like science.
- Learn how to code. (Hack the planet!)
- Watch Hackers.
- Go to conventions. Meet like-minded people. You won’t feel so weird/alone.
- Whatever you do, do NOT give up your original Nintendo system!
- Same goes for your Game Boy.
- Write more fan fiction. Design your own website on Geocities or Angelfire and post your best crossovers.
- There’s this book out called A Game of Thrones. Read it. Read it now.
- Hang out after school at the comic book store next to the Dimple Records.
- Doodle more.
- Always hang out with the nerdy kids. They get better grades, eat whatever they want for lunch, and they will stick by your side forever…and above all…
- Never, ever apologize for being who you are.
*Matt Anderson is very real. We shared one slow dance in middle school. He’s married now I think, and still lives in our hometown. I am no longer crushing.
**For the purpose of this list, I’ll write to 15-year-old Meg. She had a rough time.