You Got Me, I Got You: Nine Years of NGN

Today, Nerdy Girl Notes turns nine years old.

Nine years. Almost a decade.

So much has changed in those nine years—the kind of writing I do here, the number of posts I write, and the version of me who’s writing those posts.

But today, I’m not really thinking about what’s changed.

I’m thinking about what hasn’t.

And that’s you—my friends, my fellow fangirls (and fanboys), my NGN Family.

No matter how long I go between posts, no matter what crazy new obsession I try to drag all of you into, no matter how much I overshare, you’re still here.

And this year, more than any other, that knowledge saved me.

I have made no secret of the fact that this year has been one of the hardest—if not the hardest—years of my life. And for a long part of it, I actively stayed away from NGN, despite the extra time I had and the fandoms I could have written about. I stayed away because I was afraid that I would come back to this place and it wouldn’t feel the same. I was afraid that this would become just another online space where I was screaming into the void. I was afraid that this little corner of the internet that had been my most fulfilling source of connection for so many years wouldn’t be that anymore at a time when I needed connection more than I’d ever needed it before.

I was so afraid.

But then I did something that’s really hard for me to do when I’m scared—I stopped running away. I wrote one thing and then another (and another…). I opened my eyes after keeping them shut for so long because I was afraid that I’d see that even this—my safe space for the last nine years—had changed in a year that felt like it had changed everything else.

But when I opened my eyes, there you were.

And I knew—even though things still felt bad and I was still scared and every post was an exercise in trusting that I wasn’t going to chase all of you away with my vulnerability and obvious clinginess—I knew things were going to be OK.

Because I have you.

Because I came home.

Home means different things to different people, but to me, home has always meant safety.

That’s what NGN has become for me over the last nine years. It’s the place where I feel safe enough to be myself, to share hard things, and to trust that I’m not alone in whatever I’m feeling.

And that’s what I hope it is for you too.

This has been a hard year. Not just in a global sense, but in very personal ways for so many of you. And all I can hope for is that when you visit this site and see these pink borders, you feel safe. I always want NGN to be a place where you can feel whatever you’re feeling—whether it’s all caps excitement or something deeper and scarier—and know you’re safe to share those feelings here.

You’re not alone.

In the words of the Korean boy band that has taken over my life (aka BTS), “You got me … I got you.”

That’s why I write. One of my least favorite pieces of writing advice is, “Write for yourself.” It works for a lot of people but has never worked for me. And that’s because even from the first days of NGN, I wrote because sometimes it can feel like we’re all alone in whatever we’re feeling—excitement about a ship, sadness over a storyline, or the deeply personal reasons why we relate to a character or need a piece of media at this exact moment in our lives. But when I write, maybe I can make one other person feel less alone. Maybe I can make one other person feel like someone else understands. Maybe I can make one other person feel seen.

That desire for connection—the desire to see and be seen—fuels everything I do here. And for the last nine years, you’ve given me that connection at times when I’ve felt adrift in every other part of my life. You’ve made me feel less alone. And it’s my deepest hope that I’ve done that for you sometime over the last nine years too.

Thanks for being there for me. Thanks for letting me be there for you.

So much has changed over the last nine years.

Thanks for being my constant.

12 thoughts on “You Got Me, I Got You: Nine Years of NGN

  1. Congratulations on nine years!! Thank you for being you and for building this community of people who want to talk about the things we love and also ourselves and our lives. Thank you for giving us a place to be excited but also a place to be vulnerable and cry when necessary. I can’t wait to see what this next year brings for you!

    And now I’m going to go watch a Mikrokosmos performance and have feelings 😉

    • More things that will never change:
      You being my first comment. You making me smile (usually a smile with tears in my eyes) with your comments. The fact that I am so lucky not just to have you as a part of the NGN Family but as my best friend. ❤

      And I fully support any and all Mikrokosmos feelings! I was going to try to work "Shine, dream, smile" in here somewhere, but maybe that's just for us. 😉

  2. Happy Birthday NGN!! 9 years, holy cow. This is such an accomplishment. Honestly I would like to see the statistics on how many blogs last 9 years, it’s can’t be many!

    Congrats on this amazing accomplishment. I feel like year 10 might need an epic party.

  3. Woo Hoo! Party time! Break out the Doctoberfest mugs with hot chocolate and cinnamon! Put on your Peggy Hats and BtS! Happy Birthday NGN! *throws confetti*

    I’m constantly impressed by how you keep the spirit of NGN going, allowing it to evolve, trying out new things, revisiting old ones as needed. It would be sooooo easy to let the blog drive you to where this became a drudge and obligation. I’m so proud of you that you feel confident and comfortable enough to try new things here. Yet you ALWAYS keep the essential spirit of the NGN alive. This is place where we could work through problematic issues of episodes, celebrate what we enjoy — and be goofy if we wanted to. (Ok, maybe that last was just me, but I appreciate that there wasn’t the blog equivalent of rolled eyes and heavy sighing at my posts.) In a time of SO MUCH CYNICISM it’s nice to have a place where we can be snarky — or, Shauna and I can be snarky — but still maintain a foundation of kindness.

    Looking forward to celebrating year 10!

    • Tempest!!! I’m so glad you’re here with our Peggy hats and Doctoberfest mugs—it wouldn’t be a party without you!

      You’re such a huge part of the support system that keeps this place running, and I feel so lucky to count you as part of this little family. You’ve been there through so many changes and have never stopped bringing the fun, the spark, and the snark (I LOVE THE SNARK!) when we need it. Your joy is infectious, and it makes this place more fun to be around. ❤

  4. Congrats on 9 years Katie, that’s so amazing! I’m so glad to have had this little corner of the internet around for so long. Thank you for creating this space for all of us to share our thoughts and feelings, and here’s to another year ❤

    • Thank you so much Leah! You’ve been here through it all, and I feel so lucky to have you in my corner. Here’s to another year of fun and fangirling!

  5. Pingback: Right in the Feels: “Magic Shop” by BTS | Nerdy Girl Notes

  6. “But when I write, maybe I can make one other person feel less alone. Maybe I can make one other person feel like someone else understands. Maybe I can make one other person feel seen.”

    And this is EXACTLY what you do, my darling friend. It doesn’t matter if I don’t watch the thing you’re writing about or if I don’t know the song, or even if I’m not as invested as you are. There will always be something you say that’ll hit right in the feels. Which is an appropriate title for that column of yours that you are bringing back because it’s you and it’s beautiful and I’m so grateful for it. I can’t believe it’s been nine years since NGN and (six?) years since I’ve came into your orbit because I saw your words and thought, “I want to be friends with this girl.” And look at everything now. You are one of the people I know I can text with any opinion I have and you’ll never once judge me, even if you don’t understand or you don’t agree, you will make me feel less alone and I’m grateful for that. I’m grateful that you brought forth this idea that community really is part of it. Fangirling is an experience and even if all the other person says is: dafkljsdfakldfjasdlkf! It’s still something for us to know that our words resonated and they matter.

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