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.