Today, I was explaining the nervous system to a friend, and he commented that I’m a “fake dits.” He meant that, most of the time, I act like I don’t know very much—even though, in reality, I know a whole lot. I explained that I don’t like to sound like a smartass and ended the conversation there.
However, his comment lingered in my mind for the rest of the day. He had a good point. Why do I hide my intelligence? I can come up with reasons—I don’t want to scare away people, or bore them, or annoy them—but not good ones. For years, I’ve been afraid to show off my inner brainiac.
I was only seven when I learned to be “ditsy.” To giggle and agree. To fill my days with empty chatter and meaningless connection. But it worked for me. People had never been receptive to serious discussion. Until I became ditsy, people called me “nerd” and ignored my intellectual musings. Unfortunately, “ditsy” worked; I gave up sounding like a dictionary and made so many friends, most of whom I don’t even talk to anymore.
I don’t regret it, but I’m in college now. I should be able to talk about my interests in as much depth as I’d like. So why can’t I? Is “ditsy” so deeply ingrained in me? Or am I just afraid?