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Happy Anniversary Geekdom!
For some reason, the 5th recurrence of a thing is a pretty big deal. It is a big deal to turn 5 and get to kindergarten. A 5th Wedding Anniversary is a pretty big deal. 5 years is considered a threshold in business; if you get there and get past it you are in good shape to continue. And as this blog turns 5, I've been trying to figure out what to say for so auspicious and momentous an occasion. And honestly... I don't know what to say. I don't want to do a clip show of posts. I don't want to recap the last 5 years like I am writing about my Summer vacation for the umpteen-millionth time. I haven't any words of wisdom. I haven't made any grand discoveries of self or society but merely have had what I already know reinforced to me. In some ways it is a private thing as there is a part of me that has settled quite comfortably into the skin I so desperately tried to shed or deny in turn since I was a child. And in some ways....
Oh... no. You know what, I have made a grand discovery that should be shared. I just realized the fact that I am finally able to feel comfortable and confident in my own skin is quite a big deal. I am 43. 42 was a really big deal for me to begin to accept who I am... you know, meaning of life stuff. And it has taken me the whole year of being 42 and these few months into being 43 to be able to say I am pretty damn comfy here. Me. Being Me. Except for the kidney stone... that was not comfortable. But I am comfortable. I am not so embarrassed to let me Geek Flag fly.
That bravado, team pride, was a long time coming. One of the reasons that I am comfortable has a lot to do with my hero, the 2009 Secretary of Geek Affairs, the Kid Who Flew the Enterprise, blogger, tabletop geek, Wil Wheaton. I've been following his blog since 1999. With each post about being who you are and finding the community to which you belong instead of the community which you were born to I grew a little more. Finding my own voice, my hand in writing and my style in art has been about following his advice to be who you are, bravely and unabashedly. He says it best in this video
He says "Don't let anyone tell you that you can't love the thing that you love."
My dad didn't understand a lot of what I loved how I loved it. And my brother, the surviving male member of our family is even worse at understanding the things that I love and the way that I love them to the depths that I love them. And most of those things are things that Wil listed in this video. I'm sad that he failed to mention Doctor Who since he is WEARING TOM BAKER'S SCARF! But oh well.... it's like an acceptance speech. You can't remember who all the little people are who helped you get where you got. But I digress... I still find people who just don't understand.
Mostly it happens at work. I've mentioned this before. I fold laundry for a living. It is incredibly hot in there in the Summer even with air conditioning. And we are incredibly busy. When I first started working there and needed adrenaline fueled tunes I listened to Rammstein. They are a German metal band that everyone has heard of here in America. And they appeal to a certain class of rural American. It was my only option for German music. And it is definitely adrenaline fueled. I jammed through so many log jams of laundry that first Summer. But it has a side effect. It is angry German music. And I slid into angry German mode.
But I love German music. The Valentine Massacre of 2010 happened. And I needed music from my happy place. The only thing that I could think of was that cassette that I had as a child. Wil said Latvian Surf music on Youtube and I was gone. Surely if there is Latvian Surf music on you tube there will be the songs of my youth. I found almost all of what had been on the old cassette and then some. The"and then some" was, as most of you know now, Matthias Reim. And I have listened exclusively to German music for the last 3 years, especially at work.
A lot of people don't understand why I listen to it. One of the maintenance guys teases me that I am listening to The Hoff or he says that my radio is broken. I used to take it personally. But why should I? I love the music. I love the man. With all that I read about him, I am a Geek after all.... we research the stuff we are into, I appreciate him even more. It helps that he looks a bit like Sir Knight of said Valentine Massacre. But it is the way that he is generous with his fans and the things that he sings about that I really appreciate. So, I continue to be me and love what I love the way that I love it. And if that is not good enough for people like the maintenance man or my brother then they can find other people to hang out with.
I fly my Geek Flag rather obnoxiously. If you don't then the people who belong with you in the same circle of the Geek Venn Diagram won't be able to find you. Technology just makes it so damn easy so why not? So I keep ordering music. I keep posting comments to his facebook fan page. And I like whatever it is his website publishes. Why?
Because good things happen to you when you love a thing with all your heart and enthusiastically. My friend Michelle is a huge fan of the group HIM and has met them. Met the Him in HIM. Nothing good and positive can happen to you if you don't get excited about things. Your life ends up luke warm like your feelings. It's called Apathy. Avoid it. Michelle always has such magical things happen to her. And I used to be jealous. But I realized that the difference between us is that I kept holding myself back. I was afraid to love the things that I love the way that I love them because I have been rejected by people who were supposed to love me for being me. And because we are family. It took a lot of talking into to get me to this place.
And this past week, loving the things that I love with all my heart the way you are supposed to love things led me into a Michelle moment. Actually that happened about a month ago. Another fan saw me posting from the States. We started a conversation. She asked how I was a fan in America. And we have been communicating regularly ever since. Which led to my Michelle moment which for me was a kin to her meeting Villi and Wil Wheaton meeting Nathan Fillion...
I got a video greeting from Matthias Reim himself. I do not know that I can post the video here. I am afraid to post it and then have my friend inundated with requests that she could not possibly fulfill as the families only visit once a year together. And Matze is not a circus pony who should perform on command. It was a freak thing really. But it meant so much for him to spend 30 saying hi when he was with his family before the concert. And... I'm not the tech savvy Geek others are. Oh sure, I can embed a video from youtube. They make it easy. But I don't know that I can manage that with one straight from my hard drive.
Be who you are. Fly your Geek Flag high and proud. If people can not accept it then those are not the people you are looking for. And when you fly the flag of Geekdom magical things will indeed happen. You will eventually find your tribe.
May 29 edit
and with blessing I can update this post with the following video:
What a happy way to celebrate a Bloggiversary.