"There is no beauty without strangeness." ~ Edgar Allan Poe
Anyone who knows me can't deny I'm a different kind of girl, a different cup of tea, always have been, always will be. I was born in the south, the daughter of a southern gentleman and a Philly girl. Yes, seriously I'm the kind of girl who wishes "it was socially acceptable to wear beautiful corset dresses or wizarding cloaks every day." I'm just weird that way I guess. I love the Ren Fest, Harry Potter, Star Wars, Marvel and DC comics, Sci-fi, Lord of the Rings, Disney and the list goes on. I was born during the silver age of comic books. The Flash, Captain America and Wonder Woman are dear to my heart in ways you probably wouldn't understand and may honestly think are crazy. To me, being a comic book nerd is just normal. I am absolutely a bit of geek with a hint of nerd and a southern accent mixed in if you want to get technical about it. And you know what, I'm perfectly happy being different. I've always had an imagination and a nerdy, geeky side that describes my personality best.
I was taught to be authentic, to be an original in a world full of copies. This meant understanding,"The world can be amazing when you're slightly strange." As a little girl I was simply encouraged to be myself, the real me. Not the Christie the world wanted to see, but the girl I was deep down underneath what society dictated. That meant capes, masks, wands, tiaras and swords. It meant wearing my sassy pants, singing at the top of my lungs, building forts, wearing costumes to the store and hosting tea parties with imaginary friends on a daily basis. It included jumping off dressers, soaring above my parents bed while they slept no less, a cape on, yelling "Wonder Woman". But it also meant being rejected and misunderstood still that never detoured me from being the girl I was or becoming the woman I knew should be. Despite the teasing or even the shunning, I persisted. As a grown woman, I'm still the same girl I was back then. I've raised my boys in much the same way, encouraging them to embrace who they are, not who the world tells them they should be. I may have married the high school football linebacker, but he married the wallflower, the nerdy, geeky girl whose nose was always stuck in a book. And yes I am the e-card mom who said to her kids, "One day Mommy is going to teach you all about muggles,dire wolves, the one true ring, and wobbly timely wimey stuff. Why? Because Mommy is a nerd and nerds are cool." The biggest thing I was taught, and what I'm most proud of for a lack of a better word is knowing our boys understand, "Love is being stupid together." Being yourself and whatever label you give it, be it goofy, silly, a nerd, a geek, a jock or anything else in-between is perfectly acceptable as long as you are authentically yourself. Personally I think Shailene Woodley says it best, "No one is just a nerd. No one is just the cool girl. No one is just shy or popular."
See, I was brought up in a home where Colossians 3:1-2 was repeated to me often,"So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective." What I took away from this,what continually resounded in my ears daily, encouraging me were these thoughts,"Who I am in Christ matters more than what I think or what other people tell me about myself." Now being a nerd, a geek and a southern bell you can imagine the combination was not exactly the norm. But then when has my life ever been normal? Understand, being brought up a southern girl has been a blessing, not a curse even if I was sitting on the bleachers reading a book during Friday night games. Being a nerd, a geek and a southern woman, is who I am. If I have taken anything away from my childhood and the way I was raised it's this,"Growing up Southern is a privilege, really. It's more than where you're born, it's an idea and state of mind that seems imparted at birth. It's more than loving fried chicken, sweet tea, college football, Coca-Cola and country music. It's being hospitable, charming and respectful while having strength, grace and a genuine love for our family and our land. We don't become Southern, we're born that way."
Life Lesson #125 ~ My Life as a Nerdy 40-something, Geeky Southern Bell hasn't always been easy, but it's definitely been worth every mile. I can assure ya'll of that. Sure I may be a bit of a rare bird, but I'm happy being me. Oh me, oh my, oh yes, I'm absolutely a crazy, strange, odd, peculiar, unusual southern, nerdy, geeky mess of a girl with light sabers, cloaks, and a library of her very own at home. But truthfully, I wouldn't have it any other way. Evel Knienvel was about as unusual as they come, but he was 100% himself, no apologies offered. He was correct, "You come to a point in your life where you really don't care what other people think about you, you just care what you think about yourself." You see labels don't define you, YOU define YOU. So remember that the next time you're shamed for being authentic, different or unconventional. It's perfectly acceptable to be a one of a kind, to be eccentric and a bit wacky. Besides normal is overrated anyway. That's what my kids have always told me and I think they hang the moon.
"For what it's worth: It's never too late to be whoever you want to be. I hope you live a life you're proud of and if you find that you're not, I hope you have the strength to start over." ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald