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In high school a boy once asked me what I like to do when I have nothing else to do. Within the list of things I told him I mentioned reading in there. The moment the words left my mouth I was embarrassed. To make it worse was that after all the things I said he asked me what I like to read. He had to mention the reading! No he couldn't ask what music I liked to listen to? Or how I learned to play the piano? He singled out the thing I was most embarrassed out. Reading.

The first thing that came to mind is what the hell do I say. Do I just suck it up and tell him the types of stuff I read? Or do I just play it off? And like every freshman girl in high school who was spending time alone with a boy she liked for the first time I played it off. At the time I couldn't have told you why I even did it. It was such a natural thing to brush it off and act like it was whatever. Now looking back I know the real reason I did it.

I didn't want to look like a nerd. I wanted to seem "cool" in his eyes. I wanted him to see me as another cool girl. That right there was the problem. See he was a boy that most girls liked. It wasn't hard to see why cause clearly I liked him too but the types of girls he liked where the ones who seemed so cool. At that age I wanted to be one of them.

Looking back now I want so bad to grab my freshman self and shake her. To tell her that being cool is a matter of opinion, that the truly cool people in life never have to say they are cool or strive for it. They are just being themselves. That being unique makes you cool. I want to tell her to go ahead and tell him the types of books you read. To not be ashamed that you read all the twilight books in one week. To not be ashamed at all.

I realize now why instead of asking about what music I liked or about me playing the piano, he asked about me liking to read. Because it was different. Because girls that he hung out with weren't likely to say something like that. Because it genuinely interested him, he was curious.

I didn't know that then. I thought I ruined any type of chance I had by looking like a nerd. If only I knew then what I know now.

1 comment

  1. Yayy for the nerds! I know what you mean about feeling ashamed to be geeky as a younger teen, but I definitely agree that as I've gotten older I've become more comfortable with it too. More people seem to realise the value of education as they get older, so being a 'nerd' has less of a negative stigma attached. The world is ran by nerds, at the end of the day!
    lily x


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