Celebrating Geekness Day at Chic Pixel

The other day, I was approached by the cloud storage provider SingleHop to participate in some Embrace Your Geekness Day festivities by sharing a little bit about how I celebrate my geekness with the world. Imagine that! I had no idea July 13th was an international geek holiday, and having them reach out to me specifically was quite the pleasant surprise! I’ m more than happy to use Geekness Day as an excuse to talk a little bit more about myself than I usually do on this blog.

Me being… geeky, I guess?
First, I have to get this out of the way – not that it really matters much in the grand scheme of things, but I’ve never once considered myself a “geek”! In my mind, a “geek” and  “nerd” are two very different things, with “geek” usually having the connotation of someone who is more into computers and tech, for whatever reason. On the other hand, I’ve always considered “nerd” to be someone who is just really into one or more, probably obscure, things, kind of like the Japanese term “otaku.” But that’s all silly semantics (and probably my own made up definitions at that), so and I’m happy to be thrown in the geek camp if I get in on this cool holiday!
So, when did I start to become aware of my own “geekness”? I don’t think I’ve ever really been “mainstream” with my interests, but I didn’t really have a name for my weirdness until I got into anime through watching shows like Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball Z as a young kid. Games were in my life from a young age, to an extent, too, but I didn’t really fall in love with gaming until I played Final Fantasy VII and realized the potential games had as a storytelling medium (what a cliché!). It soon became pretty apparent that everything I was into was coming from Japan, and I quickly fell into the colorful world of otaku. Soon I was searching the internet for fanfiction of my favorite series and trying to teach myself Japanese words and phrases with a rudimentary English – Japanese dictionary. I was (and probably still am), the textbook definition of a weeaboo, your friendly neighborhood Japanophile.
Book from a shōjo manga event I had the opportunity to present at
This can be interpreted as a good thing or a bad thing, I think, but from that point onward I was always driven to find ways to allow my hobbies to cross over with my school endeavors, whether it be analysising a Japanese song for my high school English class (true story) or grabbing a group of friends and convincing the librarian to offer a special one-semester course on graphic novels so I could do a presentation on manga for credit (also a true story). I was also highly driven to study Japanese as much as I could, so once I’d burned through the Japanese my high school had to offer, I started taking college courses in Japanese so I could be as far along as possible when I entered university myself. My parents were always very supportive of my interest in Japanese, probably since it crossed over with my academic pursuits, so I also had the wonderful opportunity to go to Japan to study not once, but twice in high school.
Some people say it’s bad to mix your hobbies with your career, but that’s one thing I’ve always been really passionate about, personally. As a result, I’ve pushed forward in my pursuit of Japanese “fluency” and managed to be a perpetual student up until this point, where I’m currently writing this on a plane to Japan for a intensive workshop related to my PhD topic on boys’ love manga! It’s hard to believe how far I’ve come, and though I’m not exactly sure what path my career will head down once I finish my thesis, I know that my love for Japanese popular culture and media will be essential to whatever it is I end up doing.
Me with my host mom in Sydney. I’ve meet so many wonderful
people through my hobbies that I would’ve never met otherwise!
One of the questions SingleHop asked me to consider is what my proudest moment as a geek has been, but I honestly don’t think I can pick just one. I’m extremely self-critical and a perfectionist at heart, so it’s hard to say I’m genuinely “proud” of anything without heavily critiquing myself, but I think I can say with utmost sincerity that I’m proud that I stay true to myself in pursuit of my interests, as well as my attempt to share those interests with all of you through this blog. If I could give any words of advice for Geekness Day, it would be to never let anyone make you feel bad for liking what you like, and to pursue what makes you happy with all your heart, whatever that may be (as long as it doesn’t harm anyone else, of course!). If I keep doing that for as long as I live, I don’t think I’ll have any regrets!

What about all of you? Do you have any geeky stories you’d like to share? I’d love to hear them, so please sound off in the comments! Again, thanks very much to SingleHop for inviting me to celebrate Geekness Day, and I hope you all find a way to celebrate your hobbies in your own unique way. If you’re interested in learning more about SingleHop, have a look at their private cloud hosting page.

About Anne Lee

Also known as apricotsushi. Anne can be written with the kanji for apricot (杏), and sushi was the most quintessentially Japanese thing I could think of when I was 13, resulting in my goofy, albeit memorable, nickname.