Ah, the inner dork. It’s that side of you that gets wild ideas. The dork wants you to spend hours on your embarrassing interests, go on spontaneous trips, and break out in song and dance regularly. The dork doesn’t care about funny looks or criticism. They just want to run wild and free, expressing themselves in every possible way.
There are so many days when we hide behind societal norms, telling ourselves that we can’t be or do that thing we want. We have to present ourselves as “normal” and “perfect” so that nobody knows who we are beneath our skin. Our perceptions of embarrassment cause us to act in a way that we think other people will find acceptable. So instead of being who we really are, we become this watered-down version of ourselves.
I remember the first time someone told me I was “weird.” It was almost as if the term was meant to insult me. I liked to wear dress-up clothes, sing at the top of my lungs in front of the bathroom mirror, and spend hours writing nonsense in my bedroom. There were times I would retreat into my own little world, creating places of make believe. As a young teen, these activities made me seem juvenile, immature, and yes, dorky.
As a young adult, I thought I had to grow up and put those childish things away. Pushing back my desires to write, create, and wear costumes, I became a normal functioning member of society. I would go to work and pay my taxes like everyone else, pretending that I’d put my weirdness in childhood. Adulthood has a funny way of putting all the magic to rest, sucking you into an infinite funnel of reality and mundane tasks.
As much I tried to be “normal” and “perfect,” something about it never quite sat right with me. There was this inner dork, screaming at me to come out and play. She didn’t want to be a boring adult anymore. She wanted to wear bright colors and sing at the top of her lungs again. Little by little, I eventually found my tribe by doing things I enjoyed. I went to karaoke, attended Halloween parties, and went to festivals. I talked to people and shared my ideas. I listened as other people shared their perspectives. I found there was an entire community of people who loved singing, costumes, and art.
We started to embrace words like “dork” or “weird.” There were plenty of activities for adults like us. Once I embraced my inner dork, I learned that though there were some people who didn’t accept me, the most important people would, and ever since, I’ve been living happily-dorky-ever-after.