We’ve crossed the one-year anniversary of my blog, Brain Knows Better, and it’s pretty incredible to think how much my life has changed over this last year. It’s been a ton of fun to explore the psychology of sci-fi, but more than anything, this blog has helped me be honest about who I am – a big geek.
I didn’t like who I was in middle school and tried everything I could to blend in.I wasn’t always this open about being a geek. For most of my life, I tried to hide it. In middle school, I knew some kids who wore Starfleet uniforms to class. When they were bullied for it, I stood by silently. Back then, I probably watched as much Star Trek: The Next Generation after school as they did, but I wanted nothing to do with them. They weren’t cool and more than anything else, I wanted to fit in.
I do not often tell others now that my parents rarely kissed or hugged us as children. In today’s heavy judgment on parents of all types, I fear that the ways in which my parents showed their affections would be misrepresented as cruel or negligent. Instead, my parents (surely like their parents before them) were reserved in a classic South Asian manner. Not once had I ever been told that my parents loved me; not once were we hugged for no reason. Still, not once have I ever doubted their love.
The realization that this should be strange or abnormal did not come to me until I was a college student. More than one of my friends used the phrase “I love you” on a regular basis when hanging up the phone with a parent – I simply said goodbye and hung up. Though no one accused me of disrespect, at the time I felt the acute difference between my white friends and me – their parents loved them unequivocally. My own parents were often demanding: I should be thinner, fairer-skinned, smarter, more talented, and so on. As a college student, going through the ups and downs of life away from them, I wanted nothing more than to hear that they loved me.