Yes, I am!

In two separate instances over the last two weeks, people have felt the need to tell me that I am not something I clearly am. 

The first came when I posted a picture of me & my baby girl with the book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. I bought this book while pregnant and it is the first book I ever read to my first child- it was an incredibly meaningful moment to me when we finished it. And this wasn't a small, child's cardboard version. It was over 200 pages, with minimal illustrations and on thin paper pages. 

In the caption of the picture I stated that I knew it was nerdy but I loved reading to my baby. And I truly do. 

Reading has been my passion for literally as long as I can remember. 

And sharing the world of books and written words and imagination with my child is one of the most meaningful things I've ever done in my life.

But my mom commented that it wasn't nerdy, it was great and that she hopes Pumpkin grows up to love books as much as I do. And I totally agree- I would love nothing more than to see my child have the same zest for reading that I do. It would be precious to share that with her, and I also truly believe that a love of reading is one of the greatest tools you can have in life (not just the ability to read, but the true love of reading). 

But a love of reading is nerdy. And reading a 200+ page book to an infant is pretty damn nerdy. It takes dedication and patience- a chapter or two a day for weeks. 

Not long after this, I fell down a small hill on the sidewalk and injured myself. Not just a bruise or small nick, but a fairly significant injury. My hand wouldn't stop bleeding and is very bruised- probably as close to being broken as possible without actually breaking, my arm is scratched and bruised over about 4 inches, and I have a skinned knee. Multiple people stopped to help me but I couldn't even get up, I sent them away because I needed to just sit and remember how to breathe. 

Again, I posted a picture (of my bleeding hand) and talked about my injured pride and body, referring to myself as a klutz. 

This time it was my MIL who felt the need to say "No, you're not!" 

Um, I fell down a hill for no apparent reason (walking to fast? Uneven sidewalk? Who knows). I have multiple inches of scrapes and scabs covering my body- I look like the beginning of a zombie outbreak! Not normal adult behavior (especially considering my husband, who just shook his head and stated "Babe, I have not fallen of my own accord since I was 10 without it involving explosions or alcohol"). 

I AM a klutz! And I AM a nerd. I wonder if people try to say I'm not because they think I'm putting myself down? I'm not. Just stating facts. 

For the nerd part, I've come to love that aspect about myself actually. I use John Greene's definitition where being a nerd is about how you love things. And I like being the type of person who gets nerd level exited over things I love. That's a great thing, and I want to exemplify that. 

I haven't yet come up with a way to love my clumsiness as much- but I am accepting of it. While I would love to be more graceful, the truth is I'm often in a hurry and just don't care. I like being determined and focused and if that means I end up with a few bruises, oh well. Humility is a virtue.

Yes, this particular case was extreme and I am embarrassed- but if I'm being honest, as soon as these scars start to fade I'll likely go right back to my fast-moving self. It is a part of me, and I simply don't hate it enough to change it. 

This also reminds me of how a friend seemed taken aback when I said I don't consider myself pretty. 

I don't exactly think I'm ugly- I just know I don't have the hair/makeup/clothes combination that our society celebrates as beauty. I can be pretty- but I usually just don't like to work that hard. I'd rather be reading or eating or saving money for something I want to get for the house. It was like this friend thought I was putting myself down- but I just felt like I was being realistic. 

I have tons of amazing qualities, just as I have tons of strong flaws- I am a human. I just don't put my looks into the "pros" column, and again I'm okay with that.

Has anyone else experienced this? 
How do you react when people try to deny part of who you are?

1 comment

  1. I actually have a similar post drafted about the word "fat." I use it as a basic fact, not something that I'm ashamed of, and when I describe myself that way, it's to explain why something might affect me differently than someone who is thinner or average. And people ALWAYS rush to reassure me, but you know... I don't think fat should even be an insult and there's no need to reassure me on something I'm perfectly content being. It irritates me no end to use all the bullshit, politically correct terms on myself so that other people don't get offended for me. "When you're [larger, more padded, curvy, etc, etc]..."

    That being said, I think all 3 of these (fat, nerd, klutz) are somewhat subjective terms and everyone's definition is going to differ slightly. I used to get annoyed when people would call themselves nerds if they weren't into sci fi or gaming, because I feel like there's a whole culture of people who have had that term applied to them back when it was still considered a stigma, and now that nerd culture is popular, they have to watch everyone else celebrate what they were once made fun of for and call themselves "nerds" for all sorts of normal, mainstream things, like enjoying school, or reading, or wearing glasses. I still wouldn't define nerd as just liking to read, but I've made peace with the fact that it means different things to different people, so if you consider yourself a nerd, that's fine. I'm sure there's people who wouldn't consider me a nerd, even though I do tabletop gaming and read sci-fi, because I don't like anime, or comic books, or some other such random criteria.