I call myself a professional geek. I am quite proud to say that. Yet, oddly, I can remember when geek was an insulting term and not the definition–bordering–on–compliment it is today.
Or in short, I remember the 80s. If you don't, you're actually missing quite a lot, but I digress.
Now, being an old geek, I remember when the term was basically insulting, sort of a version of "egghead" and implying a kind of pathology or maladjustment. I remember when it was virtually the same as "nerd".
You're not normal.
OK, technically none of us are normal. Normal is a statistical concept, and if you meet anyone who is actually "normal" then they're pretty abnormal. Normal is for math and stats, averages and estimates. It's not for people because we're usually all not normal.
In fact, if you think of it, abnormality is great. Abnormally strong, abnormally smart, abnormally creative – those are powers, abilities, gifts we can use. You're probably better at something than a lot of other people you know, and you feel pretty good about that.
If you're a geek, and you're reading this so you probably are, I bet you have a lot of abnormalities.
Good. Because they're your strength.
I want you to look at what makes you different, odd, weird, statistically out there and ask yourself what is a strength or can be. Your ability to draw well is abnormal. Your ability to focus obsessively on cosplay is abnormal. Your ability to memorize sports statistics better than most people is abnormal.
All of this abnormality is, in many cases, being pretty damn good at something or damn dedicated to something – or both. It's a strength, a power.
So revel in your abnormality. Identify it and celebrate it. Accept it and enjoy it.
Then? Figure out how to use it in your career. Because what sets you apart is what you can build on to make a good, productive, and satisfying career.
– Steven Savage