For whatever reason, ever since I was a kid, I had many strange eclectic interests. For instance, when I was eight-years-old, I became obsessed with the Titanic. I would memorize a bunch of random facts about the Titanic – facts that were of no use to anyone and made me seem weirder than I am. Instead of drawing ponies and flowers, I drew pictures of the Titanic and placed them proudly on my fridge. Wasn’t I a charmer?
As a child, your weirdness never seems to strike you until you hit your teenage years. Then, you spend a few years trying to prove to the world that you are, indeed, cool. But then, mysteriously, once adulthood arrives (like a large slap in the face – in a good way), you suddenly cease to care about how the cute guy at the café thinks of you. For me, my realization of my own weirdness occurred when I was twelve-years-old.
For nearly my whole life, I have been a bookius wormius glassius (a bookworm who wears glasses). I seriously read anything and everything that was in reach of my stubby little arms.
When I was eleven-years-old, I developed a new obsession… Tudor history. I had read a novel called Beware Princess Elizabeth by Carolyn Meyer which ignited my obsession from within the depths of my soul. Well… not exactly, but close. I do not know why I connected so much with a queen who lived in the 16th century in England. For one, I am not a queen, far from it. For another, I am Canadian. For whatever reason, I began to collect as many useless facts about Queen Elizabeth I as possible. I remember, even, asking my Dad to print out black & white pictures of Tudor portraits. I collected them as if they were trading cards.
Portraits have never ceased to intrigue me. I would
study the clothing, the face, and posture, and (very badly) try to recreate these portraits). My best creation was that of Queen Mary I of England. She ended up looking really mean and sour – though she probably was in real life seeing as her nickname was Bloody Mary. Of course, my favorite portraits were that of Queen Elizabeth I. Queen Elizabeth’s face was impenetrable. I would wonder, what is she thinking? Behind that cool and collected façade, was there fear of living up to her people’s expectations?
When I was in the seventh grade, my obsession knew no bounds. I had bought Royal Panoply: Brief Lives of the English Monarchs by Carolly Erickson. Each section is a 10-page biography of each of the English monarchs beginning with William the conqueror. I remember pulling out the book on one of my bus rides home. Someone had tapped me on the shoulder. This guy, I’ll call him Blake, asked me what I was reading. As a bookius glassius wormius, I was extremely self-conscious of how people perceived me. Basically, I behaved like a typically shy middle schooler and I began to babble.
“Um… it’s a… book….about… um……………” I trailed off. Well, we’ve established that it is in fact, a book. Who knew!
“Cool…” said Blake in his I’m-so-cool-and-popular tone of voice.
After then, my perception of self seemed to crash down on me. It was then
that I suddenly realized… I’m a nerd. Those people that I had seen on television with strange interests that didn’t seem to make sense to anyone, that was me! It was as if I had morphed overnight into some sort of strange creature that everyone else (but me) could see.
If I could go back to my preteen years and give myself advice… I would probably tell myself to embrace my inner nerdness. Years later, my obsession for Tudor history really came in handy when I took Renaissance literature, and studied Shakespearian plays in university. Anyway, long story short, a history obsession or a book obsession is never a bad thing.
Until Next Time,