Nerd Shell.

It's amusing. I spent the first 20+ years attempting to shed my nerd shell. I was scrawny, endured frizzy hair, and sported coke-bottle glasses. Until my orthodontist tortured me with headgear and braces (without the attractive colorful rubber bands that adorn today's teenage teeth), I had huge buck teeth with a big gap in the front. From third grade until my sophomore year of high school, I was the poster child for nerd. I was so dead on the playground. And in band. Imagine a skinny Ugly Betty. Yep, that was me. In college and beyond, I was determined to lose the nerdness and achieve perfection. I lost a lot of weight (too much at times), always wore contact lenses, made sure the tresses were perfect, and obsessed about looking good and fitting in. I made certain the nerdy persona was a shadow of the past. In fact, I sported a haughty look-at-me-now-bite-me chip on my shoulder at my ten-year class reunion. In the past year, I'm putting the nerd shell back on. Except it's an adult shell. It's a better shell. It's a curvier shell. It's a healthier shell. It's an intellectual shell. It's a sexier shell. And I just returned back from Indianapolis: Gen Con 2010 AKA Nerdapalooza the Sequel. And now I am spending my second life feeding my inner nerd. I'm actually going back to school in hopes to earn a second master's degree. And if someone refers to me as a nerd, I will wear my shell with pride. Because in 2010, nerds are cool.

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