Geek-brains are wired differently than non-geek brains. We hyper-obsess over strange things, we remember obscure details of inconsequential events, we have little to no shame when it comes to the things we geek out over. We might be firmly opposed to going in public in just our bra and panties, but paint them gold and call it a Leia Slave-Girl Outfit and we are game.
This same geek-brain, so gifted in its own way, has trouble with things that non-geek brains breeze through. Things like remembering daily tasks without needing six alarms and a post-it stuck to the steering wheel, the ability to determine the difference between a pink sock and a black sock in the dark, and the desire to control public outbursts of obsessive behavior all come naturally to the non-geeks.
At one point, before I understood what it was to be a geek, I thought I was going insane. At least a little bit. My geek-wired brain operated on a whole different wavelength, I just couldn’t figure out why. When combined with mom-brain I was pretty sure I’d spend my retirement (and early 30s) in the sanitarium. My salvation was granted by a certain book-loving friend of mine who seemed to suffer from many of the same afflictions I did. She was a self-proclaimed geek and loved being so.
Perhaps many of you have a few geek-brain moments. For me, knowing that others had the same problem helped me reconcile my own. I offer you the same chance my book-geek friend unknowingly offered me. My list of ten things my geek-brain makes me do is as follows:
- While driving on the interstate I’m prone to panicking because I cannot find my car keys. (Don’t get it? Think harder.)
- I often have an uncontrollable urge to crouch and whisper while reading an email I know I’ve been blind-copied (BCC’d) on.
- I’ll get my phone out to check the time, do seventeen other things on it, silence it, and put it away before remembering that I wanted to check the time.
- It seemed a perfectly healthy trade to endure two weeks of ramen noodle lunches because EA Games was having an App sale over Christmas. Blood pressure and sodium be damned, Boggle is only $0.99!
- My mind goes entirely numb at 2:30 every afternoon and I can never remember if it is 2:30AM or PM.
- I repeatedly light and then blow out candles just to watch the whispy smoke curl from the wick.
- As part of a chemistry demonstration, I blow things up in frighteningly close proximity to my body on a daily basis. I light huge columns of flame within inches of my hair, eyebrows, and skin to explain the science behind explosions. But I’m scared to pull baking dishes out of the oven.
- Although I know it’s wrong and I should be a bigger person than this, I lose a little respect for people who confuse “your” and “you’re” and “to,” “two,” and “too” in professional emails.
- Spending three hours re-organizing my digital filing system on my laptop is fine with me. Getting caught at an intersection for more than one red light cycle makes me want to curse.
- I tend to get carried away in subtle ways.
- When I encounter a stranger in some brief way such as the check-out line or in traffic, I assign them names in my head and then create backstories at will. These are often integrated into my writing. I do this simply so I can say all of my characters are based in reality and only be partially fabricating.
May this be a comfort and boon to you in your geekiest geek-brain moments.