Nerdfighteria, I am amazed!
So yesterday was, an adventure,I went to Birmingham AL., to the school where Looking for Alaska was written and met Hank & John Green and Katherine, Hank`s wife(IDK if she took the last name). We had the wrong address, traveled through a crazy storm,and got there late. But that was ok because we saw Hank just standing in the hallway with his guitar(I gasped, I am pretty sure I scared him). Also, if we weren`t late we wouldn`t have (literally) ran into Hank and John on their way out,after they sang “500 miles”. It was awesome, and admittedly, awkward, mostly because none of us knew where we were supposed to be(and I think I said “hi” twice). Hank pointed out my friend`s snort during his performance. And then John signed my copy of his book(and said,and spelled my name correctly,which is a big deal to me), and he and Hank signed my giant squid of anger, and The Katherine said it looked like a squid/bunny, then my cousin ignored Hank Green(she didn`t mean to , my friend told him that I was a big fan, and he thought she was referring to my cousin) and Hank gave me a high-five, and I talked to him, and his wife, and I told them how much the Vlogbrothers mean to me(and maybe cried, a little). Then we lost my car and were stuck in the rain, but we found it eventually.And finally when I was almost home at 3am I got pulled over and had to describe Nerdfightearia to the police officer. BEST.DAY.EVER.
I just want to explain my emotional response(I am most definitely not someone who cries often) to meeting him(Hank specifically(not to lessen my love for John)) I was home-schooled, in a tiny town(population of 600) and haven`t had many opportunities to make friends, until I started college.I have always been, odd, at the very least. The thing that made me even weirder, was the fact that I liked being that way.All the nerds I ever met were unhappy with it, they acted like it was a plague, like being different was a punishment for a past life.That very fact made me feel like I was programmed wrong, because I liked being different.I was an oddball to the oddballs, someone who felt comfortable with, and embraced my geeky-ness. Though let me be clear, I was never a super confident person, it was just the only thing I was confident of,my nerdy-ness, seemed to be something I shouldn`t be.When I was introduced to Vlogbrothers I felt, for the second time(The first being at a RHPS) as though being different was celebrated, and that it was a safe community to voice ideas, and listen to others.
For a few years now Nerdfighteria has been a comfort zone, a safe place for me. While I knew it was real, and there were real people involved, It never felt truly real to me, I`ve only met 1 Nerdfighter, (very recently) so every time I geek out about something awesome the community has done, like P4A, or the well, or Hanks songs,(that are on constant repeat in my car), I have no one to share my excitement with IRL that understands.Because of that I always felt as though the entire community, that I spent so much time invested in, watching, conversing about,laughing with,singing along with, being cheered up by,thinking complexly about, was my own little bubble, that it was a perfect place, an intangible state of happiness,inside jokes, and nerdy-ness. When it all came together, and the people watching were in front of me, not their computers, and Hank and John were live, not edited, it was surreal.
The reason I was particularly touched by meeting Hank was because I identify with Hank in a lot of different ways (not counting the general nerdy interests) I am a biology major(Pre-vet), I am a RHPS attendee, I have mostly friends of the opposite gender, and speak really quickly and over exaggerate my hand gestures when I get really excited(which is a lot, and mostly about the amazing-ness of science,and nature, and how the universe works). Basically, I was really lonely on some level because I thought I would never find someone to relate to, and ever since I have become a nerdfighter, that loneliness is gone, and in it`s place an amazing, beautiful community.Also, because I found nerdfighteria I have become the version of myself I am today, I am not socially graceful, and I get far too excited for things, and sometimes my jumping,or squealing scares people away.When I first meet people, I give them an “adjustment time” to get used to me. But because I see them put themselves out to the world,(in video), as their “alone in front of the computer” self, I decided to, as well, and for better or worse, I am the real me,all the time, thanks to The Vlogbrothers.
D.F.T.B.A. Best Wishes, and thank you for your time - Rini.
(Oh and I apologize for any mistakes, I wrote this at around 4a.m.)