Nerd Life

Get comfy, grab a cuppa, this is a long one!

I’ve been really enjoying Paul’s take on his first experiences and going back over his love of movies that shape his childhood, helped him in tough times or just expressing his love for what he is talking about.
I thought I'd jump on the bandwagon (in a way) and talk about how I fell into this nerd life.

Nerd culture hasn’t always been in my life as long as its been in my husbands. He has been a comic reader and a collector since he was a kid. Actually, one of our first conversations when we met was about his love of the X-Men. We’ve been together for 14 years and lived together for 13, so comics and nerdy artefacts have been a permanent feature in our house, but something I never got into until 2014...that's when things changed.

To give you some context on me, I’m a ex goth/metal kid, who only lived for music. I had no real interests apart from listening to music, going to live shows and nights out with my friends to rock bars. When I got older the fact that I only had music as an interest made my life pretty boring. I was very disconnected to anything and everything and I went into a pretty dark place. This dark existence got longer and by the time 2014 rolled about I was literally at rock bottom. My days consisted of going to work for 12 hours, coming home, trying to sleep, this went on for almost 2 years. When I finally accepted that something needed to change I took some well deserved time off work, told my husband how I was feeling and for the first time in years I slept properly. Once I got the sleeping and eating back to normal, I felt like I really needed to do something with my free time. 

That's when I found video gaming, I can’t stress enough how much video games help with depression. It was the first time in a long time my mind felt clear and I started following a-lot of female YouTubers who were into gaming. These women were massive nerds who not only loved video games but also were into comics and nerd culture. For the first time in a long time I felt very connected to this lifestyle, like I was always was meant to be here. As a kid I was heavy into Star Wars, Ghostbusters, Transformers, basically I was a very nerdy child, but the angst of teenage life made me grow out of it and hide that side of me. That dark place I had been in was finally getting very lighter and I felt more like myself than I ever have.

I remember this night like it was yesterday, the night I picked up my first comic book. I was waiting for my xbox 360 to update and I was trying to pass some time. I took a wonder to our book shelve and asked my husband what he would recommend from his collection that I could read while I was waiting. He recommended “Old Man Logan,” as a perfect read.
I remember finishing with tears in my eyes and walking into our living room from the bedroom (we lived in a one bedroom flat at the time) and giving my husband a massive cuddle. We sat down and broke down the story, he gave me some background to put things into context, this conversation went on for hours. I have a wonderful relationship with my husband but to be able to talk to him about one of his loves, took our relationship to another level.

After ‘Old Man Logan” I needed more and I needed it now! I put my gaming to one side and started pulling out his collection and going through each book. Comics became a new fixture in the my life, it became an obsession and a massive investment, that made me the happiest I had been in a long time. I loved getting lost in these worlds, my imagination expanded, my heart broke, having my feelings validated and overall feeling like these characters were family.

Living where I do it doesn’t have a close-by comic book shop I could regularly visit. I either had to get them digitally or purchase online, which is fine, but I did love it when I would visit our big City centre as they had a great nerdy shop with a comic book section. Any time I had been in there I didn’t go to the comic book side, the first time I did after getting into comics was something I was really excited about. By this time in my comic book journey I have an idea of what I’m looking for, I’ve done my homework on writers and story arcs and feel I can hold my own and if you know me, you will know when I get into something I have to know everything, I don’t half arse it. 

I was actually working for the first website I wrote for but it was more on the movie side of comics and upcoming news. This day I purposely went there as my favourite writer had brought out her new series and I wanted the issue straight from the shop. As I’m pursuing other issues I noticed a group of males around me wanting to get in. I moved around them and wasn’t really paying them much attention. What I didn’t know at first is that they were paying me attention and making comments to each other on what I knew, what they thought I didn’t know, why was I even there and other horrible comments. I’m not a confrontational person but I’m not scared to talk to someone, but after hearing what they were saying I was in utter shock. I’ve heard other woman having this issue but I had never experienced it myself before. I was shook to my core and anything I wanted to say never came out of my mouth. I took to my friends online and questioned whether this was the right place for me. I have a great community of online friends and they convinced me that I did belong and listening to people like that gives them all the power. They gave me it back to me by giving me a documentary on female comic creators and my eyes were opened further to a community I most desperately wanted to stay in. I went to the owners of the website I worked for and asked them to open a comic book section for to me to do reviews and guides to help people getting into comics. They happily agreed, and I started doing reviews like each article was aimed at people like I encountered that day, like I was proving my comic book worth. It really made me look further into the arcs and give me more of an emotional connection.

This was my life for so long, I worked on two websites as a writer, I had my own YouTube channel with my best mate, my nerdy life was quite exciting and full. Things started to slow down a couple of years ago and the websites I worked for had to end. For me, I was a little lost on what to do next. Writing has been my life for so long , but as a writer I’m not a grammar queen, I have only looked good as I had an editor who made me look good. When that was taken away from me I panicked I wouldn’t ever been good enough to do it on my own. I still read comics, I still love nerd culture but I once I stopped writing full time I wasn’t as invested as I once had been. That was until Paul put it out online about starting this site up, I’ve known Paul for many years and knew we always had a strong interest in the same things. When he was looking for writers for his site, I knew I wanted to help out as I’ve done work like this before, but I also wanted to get a part of me back that I felt was missing.

This article was going to be very different, I wanted to do an article about how I got into comics, and a review of the first book I read. As you can tell it didn’t quite turn out that way. As I started writing, these memories started pouring out and almost become a therapy session for me. It may sound silly but I’m very grateful for that dark place I was in, its got me here, its helped me grow as a person, I don’t see things as black and white as I used too. I love the person I’ve become because of the nerdy life I live.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, I don’t know if it will resonates with anyone, I just feel a little lighter putting it out there.

Until next time

Peace, Love & Peanut Butter.

Sammie B