No really, I am. Now, this is going to seem a lot like some of my friends’ experiences when we were younger. I had friends who “came out” to us, their friends, and we all said, “Oh, really? You think we didn’t know already?” And I think anyone who has known me for, oh, five minutes or so, will have a similar reaction.
But I find it necessary here, to make some kind of public announcement. I’m a big nerd. I like to do nerdy things. I thought that as I got older and/or made more time to really look at my life and my interests, I would somehow find more “adult” and “sophisticated” versions of the favorite activities of my younger years. To some extent, it’s been true. I am able to do things now that I wasn’t able to do when I was younger. So what do I do with my time now that I have a little money and I have finally reconciled myself to the fact that I do have more time, and that’s ok? [editor’s note: This is a very long entry. It is also very self-absorbed on my part. You have been warned.]
I knit my own socks. I brew my own beer. I learn and try to make people play complicated board games with me. (No, they’re not really like Monopoly or Risk.) I teach English. I’m not really a language teacher: I’m really a Lit and Writing teacher, but I like teaching English. Even just the language. I go to Renaissance Festivals, even though they are really just weird theme parks. I read a lot. I watch a lot of Sci-Fi. And now, I’ve registered on a D&D website, Gnome Stew (http://www NULL.gnomestew NULL.com).
I don’t currently play D&D, but I would like to start playing again. Solving problems in RPGs is a weirdly creative activity: yes, it’s creative, but the rules, tools, boundaries, and framework of an RPG give structure to the creativity. RPGs also have cool social dynamics about them that I won’t go into here. (Incidentally, the group dynamic is also one reason I like boardgames.) In any case, RPGs are fun to me.
Which brings me to the point: why do I feel it necessary to “come out” with all of this? Well, I’m glad I asked. Upon registering for the Gnome Stew website, I had to decide if I wanted to link myself to it publicly: did I want anyone who knew about my Facebook account or whatever on the interwebs to be able to link me to this D&D website? At first, I thought, “no way.” And then I thought, “What the hell are you thinking, self?”
We can only be what we are. It’s really too bad that I’m not thinner, smarter, more interesting, or obsessed with my health or socio-economic status. I don’t have a “cause” or a movement to identify myself with, but I believe in a few things. I don’t care if my towels match. I have some ugly furniture in my house pending newer, more stylish purchases that may never occur. the other day I was going to go to the gym but not only did I not go, I ate a cheeseburger for dinner. It was an awesome cheeseburger. Still and all, I’m a hell of a cook. I probably drink too often, but I know what wines taste good with what food. I’ve traveled a bit, so I know a little about doing things differently. I’m also pretty damn smart, even if I’m not a genius. I might have a few hangups, but I’m fun to be with. I have a closet full of homemade beer, so I’ve got that going for me. And yes, I like nerdy things!
So I decided that I’m going to be “out” about it. I’m going to talk about all of my interests, not just the ones I think are somehow respectable or intelligent. Ren Faire and RPGs are not exactly porn or prostitution rings or anything. If some prospective employer Googles me and decides not to hire me based on the fact that I know the AC of a gelatinous cube, then so be it. I mean, it’s not like I can possibly be invited to fewer parties or anything, at the moment. But even in that vein, I have a variety of interests and the experiences that come with being a complex person, so I’m good company: I can converse on many subjects.
So yeah, it may seem strange coming from me, but I am not going to worry about “what people might think” anymore. Because I suffer from anxiety, I have plenty of other things to worry about! As for my personal development, I am also looking to establish a more active routine instead of just randomly hiking, biking, or going to the gym every couple of days. I’d also like to continue my glassblowing and one day try scuba again — two money-dependent activities. Finally, I’m going to get something to grow on my Northwest facing shady balcony. And my new cat will eventually come out from beneath the coffee table even when I am in the room! You’ll see.
[edit: for typos and a weird negative that should have been a positive](http://www NULL.linkwithin NULL.com/)