The entire arena is filled with throbbing dance music and cheering dancing people, wearing costumes and waving streamers. The rise and fall of the chants and fight songs is reminiscent of a High School Friday football game against archrivals.
However, this event is louder, more colorful, brighter, sparkly-er somehow, and pulsing with actual brilliance. This is the State Robotics Championships – and the competition is fierce.
Becket is swept up in the swells of excitement and joy, and jumps with glee when “his” team (The Raptors) take the field. All the members of each team are decked out in matching T-Shirts, beads, buttons, funny hats, hair dye, face paint, crowns, and even a few capes. The more outrageous the outfit the more confident the wearer.
I could not help but think of David and Tim. The two smartest and most dorky of the Dorks in my high school. I was one of the lucky few who managed to mix and mingle with all the facets of my class, and when I hung out with David and Tim, I learned stuff. Stuff like how to play Dungeons & Dragons, how to write basic code so I could get my name to blink on a computer screen, and that “intellectual humor” was only funny when you actually did your homework and knew what the joke was about – because when you say “Oh, I get it” and pathetic half-laugh, everyone knows you have no idea. And David and Tim don’t “do” sympathy – they level a hard sardonic stare.
Today, I have no doubt David and Tim are the most successful and wealthiest members of our class, and may have even invented something I use every day. But back then, they had a social circle of two, very short pants, and no dates to Prom.
Watching the exuberance at the Robotics Competition made me feel such joy for the Uber-Smart kids of this generation. Not only are these kids celebrated, and rewarded publicly for their brains, these kids in the T-Shirts, and Funny Hats, and Flowing Capes are COO-to-the-OOL! They are a Tribe, they indentify with one another completely, and they share a common and concrete belief in all things Cerebrum.
And if you told any one of these kids they could trade this Robotics Event for two free tickets to Prom, complete with polyester Tux and convertible Camero? They would tell you, “Osculate my Gluteus Maximus.” (google it)
We live in a wonderful age where we can find the people with whom we connect and actually connect with them!
Take a look at the people you interact with every day. Are you surrounding yourself with people who “get” you? Are you constantly being elevated as well as challenged by your current Posse?
Figure out what you like to do; grow veggies, turn dryer lint into quilts, rescue Tsetse Flies, lay under the flight path of landing jets, whatever it is, there are others out there who enjoy the same thing – start by looking on the internet. The relief you feel when you surround yourself with people from your Tribe will be palpable. And that feeling will allow you to spread you own Dork wings and fly.
So the next time you find yourself feeling like a Square Peg, it might be time to look for a New Tribe, screw the Prom and get yourself a good Cape!