Being a Nerdy Fangirl

If I had to fit myself into one of those teenage clique stereotypes, I would probably be a nerd.

The majority of clothing in my wardrobe is from places like Redbubble and TeePublic. It comprises T-shirts with Splatoon graphics or quotes from Star Trek

I have a Tumblr page, which I will not link to. I'd estimate my Tumblr features 10% pop culture references from the 80s, 10% news about video games targeted at middle schoolers, 5% celebrity crushes, 25% fan art of Rainbow Rowell's Carry On, and 50% memes about how in love Kirk and Spock are. 

I stopped working out when I discovered Animal Crossing. When I was twenty, I spent my
Me on my way to C2E2 2017
dressed as Isabelle.
You can't see it that well, but
there are jingle bells in my hair.
summer drawing comics about a cat who knows how to solve physics equations. In my home office, I keep my pens and pencils in a Starfleet-gold mug with Worf's face on it. My secretary is a little plastic figurine of Isabelle from Animal Crossing, whom I've cosplayed as at a comic convention. For my 24th birthday, I asked my boyfriend for a nearly 700-page book of manga.

Almost everything on my Kindle comes from an independent author. And probably a third of the items on my Kindle are novel-length pieces of Star Trek fan-fiction that I downloaded as .mobi files from AO3. Most of my left upper arm is covered by a tattoo of a time-traveling DeLorean, with the last line of Back to the Future written below it.

Oh, and I'm a writer.

When you add up all these stereotypes, it really, really seems like I'm supposed to be an introvert. But nothing could be further from the truth.

I host parties at my apartment nearly every other weekend. A few years ago, I was in a sorority. In college, I was one of those "party girl" types who went out three days a week wearing crop tops and huge hoop earrings, bar-hopping, and frequenting house parties.

I make friends with strangers on trains, strangers in bathrooms, strangers on airplanes, and strangers on the street. I get excited to go to networking events. Most of the new friends I've made in the past year I met at networking events.

So this post is for all my fellow extroverted nerd girls. We exist!
I love this book.
But the stereotypes in it are
10 kinds of inaccurate.

Unsurprisingly, one of my favorite YA novels is Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. But I never really identified with the main character, Cath. I'm much more like her sister, Wren, who I'm so sad didn't get more screen time. She was a nerdy girl who wrote fan-fiction on the Internet about her favorite fantasy novels, but also went out to parties and made tons of new friends in college. However, she was also shown to have given up on fandom once she became a "popular girl" in college. Cath was seen as the real "fangirl," who had such high levels of social anxiety, I started hoping she'd see a professional. (Which, to be clear, seeing a professional is a good thing. Leaving Cath's level of social anxiety untreated is not.)

Growing up, it was hard to feel like there was much of a community for people like me. Now that I'm an adult, I don't worry about those things as much. But in high school, it was hard to find a group of friends.

A lot of the other "nerdy" people I knew who shared interests with me found me kind of intimidating. Which is fair. I've been told I'm an acquired taste, since I can be pretty in-your-face. (I'm a hugger.) And when I hung out with other "social butterfly" type girls, I often felt like I was boring them with my interests.

Even now, when I form a group of friends based on my nerdy interests, many of them don't want to go out to the club with me. And when I make friends who do want to go out to the club with me, they don't want to hear my encyclopedic facts about Star Trek history. This isn't true for everyone, of course. But I guess extroverted nerd girls are a minority.

In conclusion, if you're an extroverted nerdy fangirl, and you live in or near Chicago, email me, and we'll go get drinks.



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