Sunday, 7 October 2018

Post 491 - Naturally Zach - a wild life journey

Hey everyone,

A bit of a different blog today about something I've been thinking about for a while but I've finally decided to do. It may not seem like much to some people but it's been something I've thought about a lot.

Ich bin ein Nerd! - I've always embraced a love of science
This was a primary school Easter project :-)
Most of you reading this will know me from twitter. It's where I post a lot of my wildlife activity. Over on there my handle is @nerboy386. I don't know if I've ever explained why I chose that handle. Well it stemmed from primary school and from being a bit different. Most of my class, in fact most my school, was into football, celebrities and lots of stuff that I didn't care much about, and still don't. As you probably know I've always been more interested in science and nature so I used to get called a scientist, professor and of course a nerd. Being a fan of things like the Big Bang Theory and science fiction that didn't bother me much so I decided to use it, acknowledge it and not let it be a bad thing.  So I was a random nerd boy, hence the 386 - some random numbers.

The nature community has always been very supportive and encouraging. I've suffered very few trolls or unpleasantness at all online, but I do try to stay very positive even when I speak out about stuff I don't like. So it's not mattered what I've called myself and the handle has been fine.

As I've grown up though people at school seem to be less accepting of people that are different. You have to look like this, you have to like this stuff and not that, it's cool to shoot stuff (lots of farmers and pro-hunt people at my school!). I've been given a hard time for just being me and not liking all of the same stuff other people do.

Well all that led to me thinking about things. I've always thought that it's good to be different, that it's important that people follow their interests and passions and that we aren't all clones of each other.

Whilst it's not common in my school I've realised it's important and not strange to love nature. I've also realised there's a need to emphasise this is normal, that it is important that everyone should care for nature. So whilst I'm ok if people want to call me a nerd, I think I need to change my handle to emphasise that I'm not different, that it's not unusual to care for our natural world, that in fact it's probably the most important thing to care about.

I found out something else recently too that has had me thinking about this. I'm Autistic, I have what used to be diagnosed as Aspergers Syndrome. So on one hand again I could think I'm different to other people, that I'm wired different. But then I started thinking about the term Autism Spectrum and how people with Autism can be very different in how this affects them. Thinking that through further, well everybody is different when you think about it. We're all good at different things, we all have different things we like and don't like, however much the 'clones' at school like to think otherwise and seek to fit in.

So I am different, but so are you, and so is everybody. I'm proud of following my passions and it has given me some interesting and wonderful opportunities. So I've decided not to single myself out as different any more. 

I'm @NaturallyZach :-)

Hope you enjoyed,


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