When did being a geek become cool? When did we stop caring what other people think about us? One day pleasing everyone is the most important thing in the world, and then one day, it just isn't. It stops. And it's a good thing it stops too, because life would be damn hard if we had to spend the whole time trying to please other people. Even the concept is flawed because as humans we a very inconsistent. What makes us happy one day, we could care less about the next. Look at pop culture, look at pop music. Look at teens. Fads come and go so fast they often leave skid marks (very badly dressed skid marks).
I'm not saying that I don't care what people think of me. I do, a little. I'm a writer and I want people to like my writing. I want them to enjoy my books and short stories. In a sense I am trying to make a career out of pleasing people. Maybe not pleasing the world, but pleasing a group large enough to get a decent royalty check. I care, but somewhere along the road, on the path to growing up, you care less and less.
I think I can pinpoint the moment when I stopped caring. The moment was immediate, the withdrawal, the backlash, that lasted a lot longer. I was in college. It was my freshman year, and I remember sitting in my dorm room thinking, I can do anything, I can be anyone. Something happens when you are pulled away from everyone and everything you know. All of the expectations that family and friends place upon you, they are suddenly gone. In college, no one knows if you were teachers pet, or a drama geek. No one knows, if you were a skater, or a player, a jock, or a homecoming queen. And it's nice to be at that place where you can reshape and remold your personality. I think we do that several times in our lives, until we become the person we want to become. Each new job each new school, each new love. We have a chance to change, and we become a little more free if we are willing.
I love those moments. The moment when you look up and realize that you can get lost in the crowd, that you are surrounded by hundreds of strangers and you can check your baggage at the door. Maybe that is why I love New York so much. Maybe that's why I love writing. It's just one more thing that I can get lost in. Do I live vicariously through my characters, sure I do, when I write, when I read, I get do things I would never do in my own life, for hundreds of perfectly good reasons, but that is what a good story does. It pulls you into the story.
Anyway, if you are curious about becoming a geek check out www.thinkgeek.com I love this site.