An Oreo in the Book Community

All my childhood I've been bullied for at least one thing or another. I was born with dark circles around my eyes, so some kids called me raccoon. My family and friends made fun of my struggling weight issues. Though those were oddly not the ones that truly hurt me. It was when people called me an Oreo. The first time it happened to me; I didn't comprehend it. Then I was informed it was because I act like a "white girl" on the inside, but I'm black on the outside. This was baffling because it was something I couldn't change about myself. I can always lose weight or wear foundation to even out my skin, but my personality was what made me who I was. I'm aware it is unusual for a black girl from the hood to be headbanging to metal and screaming out my emotions through punk rock music. I honestly don't know how to explain that other than I retain a wide and open mind when it comes to music, art, games, and so on. I also listen to country and Kpop music heavily, I love musicals, Seinfeld is one of my favorite shows, and I still love content created by people of color. I was consistently caused to feel like I couldn't love it all. That I had to choose my race box and stick with it. I was made to feel like the weird one in my family because I wanted to go to a Gretchen Wilson concert. I didn't understand why; her music was amazing, and I grew in love with it at a very young age. Which is where my love for books came to me. I never felt like I could express myself to anyone but my grandmother. So I rarely had friends I could talk to. I had people I spent time with, but they never really knew me. They knew the version I put on for them and my family because no one understood the things I was passionate about. The movies, the shows, the music, the games. No one in my life enjoyed the things I enjoyed. I felt trapped in a world that I didn't belong in. However, when I was sixteen, I read my first book for fun thanks to my school Librarian. It's a funny story, to be honest. We were all supposed to have this book club that my school Librarian was attempting to set up and I agreed to attend. I didn't have any real friends, so I saw this as an opportunity to get out of my comfort zone and try something new. A few kids did show up the first time and then we never saw them again. I was the sole member of the school book club and despite feeling alone, the book changed things. It was Girl Stolen by April Henry. I never knew a book could invoke so many emotions with just words. I did not know that I could feel like I am apart of their story, that it would hurt me when they hurt. The book intrigued me and made me feel like there was a place for me to escape when real life became too much. After finishing the book, my Liberian continued to bring me more books and even helped me get a library card. It was magical, soon I was known as that library girl in my neighborhood. I was constantly coming and going, bringing as many books as I could carry. Books made me not feel so alone in this world, something none of my friends or family had ever been able to do. So imagine my surprise when I found out that there is a whole community surrounded by people who for once like the same thing that I do. I was still too nervous to establish my presence, especially on social media. That's why my social media game is so late. I didn't join the Instagram and Twitter when they were new and only started using them seriously last year. Still, I didn't need to be speaking with anyone to feel welcomed. Just watching videos and reading blogs about the things that thrilled me was so monumental to me. I finally had a place I could go and relate about things we had in common. The first booktuber I watched closely was Christine Riccio. She was hilarious, relatable, smart, and I instantly became a fan. From here I found other booktubers that became regulars for me to watch. It was amazing to have all these people in one community, but still have unique personalities! Now, I dedicate my social platforms to things I love. I wish I had done these years ago, but I allowed the negative people of my life to scare me away from revealing myself and what I enjoyed. I was always terrified of being judged, bullied, and so much more. Now as an adult, I realize you will always be judged for something. It doesn't matter what you enjoy, what you look like, or how decent of a person you are. There will inevitably be someone who opposes something. So why the hell should I hide who I am? I'm content with everything I do at present, even if I still don't have many friends. I am happy, I love reading, I love posting about things I'm reading or care about and I don't care if people think I'm weird. I'm happy being a weird Oreo, thus I finally decided to make this blog. I hope you enjoy it if anyone does end up reading it. ~ Daisy Ray

 

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