Nerds SHOULD Be

[Dutch Lock Down Day One Hundred Forty Four]

Photo by KOBU Agency on Unsplash

The other day the life coach said to me AND I QUOTE, “You’re so technical, I want you to do this writing exercise to tap more into your creative side.”

I took it as a compliment.

But first the news:

There is a stereotype that a nerd is a certain way and that if you don’t fit the mold, then you’re not a real programmer / engineer / technical person / nerd.

#FuckTHAT

Let’s break the mold.

Let me get one thing out there first – I *LOVE* the nerd label.

It’s always been a term of endearment for me – that you’re so passionate about something that you know as much as possible about that something. That’s a nerd.

Theatre nerd. Gamer nerd. Pokemon nerd. Manga nerd. Python nerd.

It’s all beautiful and passionate and intense and knowledgeable.

I’ve always been SUPER hyper aware of what others thought of me, going back to needing affirmation, which, sure, is no bueno, but also means having empathy and insight and one of the things, which I wish I weren’t so aware of, is that I do NOT fit the stereotype of a nerd.

Thankfully, that stereotype is FINALLY shifting.

We have so many people out here like Chloe Condon with a musical theatre background and spectacular fashion who is a Senior Cloud Advocate at Microsoft. And we have Kelsey Hightower who has worn every hat possible throughout his career and is a Staff Developer Advocate at Google. And Dr. Sue Black who left home and school at 16, married at 20 and had 3 children by the age of 23 is now world famous for Saving Bletchley Park, a stellar academic career and using her influence to campaign for more recognition and support for women in computing.

And me.

We’re shifting that stereotype and expanding possibilities and encouraging so many more people to join us; especially those who think they don’t fit the mold.

Fuck that mold.

Yesterday when I was totally flattered that my life coach insisted I do a creative assignment because I’m “so very technical” I also took a step back.

What’s wrong with being creative, Leander?

What’s wrong with liking glitter and having pink hair and dancing whenever you accomplish the thing?

#NOTHING

So here I am – pink hair, mental illnesses, life long dancer, unique glasses, quarter Japanese, non-binary queer, happily married mama to three minions, Packet developer advocate, open source community liaison, weird, wonderful, perimenopause, soft spoken, introvert, escape room addict, bare metal, cloud native NERD – breaking the mold and screaming into the void that #FuckYES that’s just fine.