Geek.

This weekend was my very first time at Emerald City Comicon! I honestly had no idea what to expect, but after looking back at this last weekend, I’d have to say it’s one of my most favorite weekends I’ve experienced in my adult life. To think that I’ve lived in Seattle for five years, yet never took advantage of the fact that Comicon is IN SEATTLE!

I had the pleasure of sitting in on the Guild panel on Saturday. It also was my first panel I’ve sat through, and I left glowing with inspiration and felt extremely enlightened by the conversation (Part 1 of the video of the Guild panel is at the top, if you haven’t already clicked on it).

Why was I so inspired about the panel? Felicia Day touched upon a subject that I have struggled with for most of my life: identity.

For the longest time, I’ve tried to figure out how to categorize who I am: Am I a nerd? A geek? What’s the difference? Can I be both? Or only one? Can I be one of them only part of the time? The questions rolled on and on. At one point, I remember a friend telling me that “I don’t do things that are geeky enough to be considered a ‘geek'”, which actually upset me. But, it got me thinking, “Why is it so important to me to be able to categorize who I am within the social realm?”. I even wrote a blog entry that showed a Venn diagram of ‘geek’ and ‘nerd, as if showing that diagram would make my ‘geekiness’ legitimate. Further, I kept thinking, “Am I betraying myself and any ‘true’ geeks by not fitting into the ‘geek’ role??” I was constantly worried that people would open up my blog, read it, and scream, “Why is her name Geeky College Girl? There was absolutely NOTHING geeky about anything she wrote.” I even wrote a post about how I wasn’t writing as my true self; I was writing in a way that I would like people to see me.  It was a constant struggle that I thought would never end.

Enter: Felicia Day. During the panel, Day said something that just about changed my life:

“…that’s what’s cool about the definition of ‘geek’. It’s not exclusive; It’s inclusive to anyone who’s really passionate about something.”

Finally. A definition of “geek” that I could live with. No, I don’t exactly spend 20+ hours of my life playing WoW, or Final Fantasy, or Gears of War, but I am passionate about video games, learning about new technology, reading comics ,watching The Guild and writing about music. That’s what makes me Geeky. And that’s what makes me, me. Who cares if I don’t fit into the exact mold of a “geek”? It’s not how you are labeled, but what makes you unique. And in the end, the label the doesn’t really matter, because if you TRULY accept who you are, you’ll stop trying to label yourself and you’ll stop caring about how people are labeling you. (Which, by the way, is something that I’ve learned that everyone SAYS they’ve learned in Middle School or High School, when they only say it because that’s when you’re “supposed” to figure yourself out.)

Day continued about the struggle with identity later on in the panel:

“…as an artist, you have to be very specific about what you do. Because if you start betraying yourself and trying to be everything to everybody, and begging as an actor, that’s when you just lose your compass. And it’s took so long to find my compass, that I’m like, ‘Hey I want to keep my compass’.”

Felicia, thanks for helping me find mine.

See part II of the panel below: