thank you, no, i shall not reflect on what makes me different.

The Prompt: “Beautifully Different. Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different—you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful.” (Author: Karen Walrond)


I have lived with what makes me different all my life. There’s not a lot of beauty that comes out of those things; at least not for me. So, no, I shall decline to reflect on that, as first, I don’t need to (I know them); second, no one needs my differences delineated for them; third, this would be in the service of talking about how awesome I am on the inside or whatever (or awesome at all?)? No thanks. That’s not my way.

[And yes, that is how I interpreted this prompt. Feel free to interpret that as you will. ]

I would like to reflect on what it is about you (people in my community) that lights me up. In the long run, all I really want to do is match that. For all my bluster (which isn’t terribly blustery, you know) about “winning” or “everyone go be awesome today” or whatever, all I want is to witness and be part of something continually moving forward (including in iterations of stopping, thinking, building, reflecting). What lights me up is when my friends geek out, period.

The oldskool definition of the “geek out” is simply to “to temporarily enter techno-nerd mode while in a non-hackish context.” For the people firmly part of the non-hackerish context, the person geeking out would definitely be marked as the Other, but the other Others? Radar is invoked, gravity and magnetic fields come into play, and all of a sudden you find yourself listening intently to a conversation about flux capacitors—maybe something about which you had no previous interest—just because that person is all lit up about it.

Geeking out doesn’t have to be technology; it just has to be some passionate discussion (or explanation), usually occurring outside of its typical context, probably a tangent, and always with some unfettered intensity behind it. It takes guts to geek out, sometimes, depending on the context.

So, what lights me up more than anything is when you, dear reader, geek out about whatever it is that you want to geek out about. I learn things—content, sure, but also a little bit about the person behind that content. If there’s something about you that is different, that makes you geek out, that makes for intense conversations out of typical contexts, that’s always going to be the part of you I like the best, because it tends to be the most generative. Also the most real.

edited to add: tell me what you geek out about! safe space.


[This post is part of Reverb 10 “an annual event and online initiative to reflect on your year and manifest what’s next.” This is my post #8.]

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Posted in Misc Life
10 comments on “thank you, no, i shall not reflect on what makes me different.
  1. vika says:

    I had no clue that “geek out” had a formal definition! *love*

  2. Jill Smith says:

    Heh – when I geek out about a rather arcane legal topic (federal civil forfeiture) which I happened to write my law school thesis on (which came about sideways: because I was already researching the topic in my capacity as a research assistant for a professor and didn’t know what else I wanted to write about), people (well, lawyers and law librarians) get that “oh, crap – she’s going to talk about THAT?” look and then after about 30 seconds they realize why I find it fascinating and get (reluctantly) enthusiastic.

    (oooh – parentheticals)

  3. vika says:

    Hey, Julie! How about we come up with a glossary for DH/digilib?

  4. JM says:

    @Jill: yes! like that.

    @vika: why, that’s an excellent idea.

  5. Amanda says:

    I love this, in no small part because “lighting up when one’s friends geek out” is my favorite thing about the blogoTwittosphere. And because that prompt bugged the living daylights out of me and all I could come up with was a cynical rant rather than something as encouraging as this post. So now *I’m* feeling lit up.

  6. Linda Ford says:

    The prompt totally irritated me…I later learned that I’m just a bit irritable this morning. Nevertheless, it’s a bad prompt in my opinion, so I just skipped it altogether. You, however, took a nice turn with it. I like it.

    I’m farmy geek.

  7. JM says:

    @Amanda: good!

    @Linda: i love your farm geekery. you know that, right?

  8. Sheepy says:

    I think it would be easier to tell you what I *don’t* geek out about. Which is, er.. meat?

    3:P

    Re: the prompt– outside of any interpretations, it’s just *stale*

1 Pings/Trackbacks for "thank you, no, i shall not reflect on what makes me different."
  1. […] ugh. I’m not sure I really want to go there, nor do I really feel like reflecting on why. Julie managed her deflection wonderfully, but I’m just not sure I’ve got the energy for it. […]

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