This is a bit of an emotional thing towards the end. Bear with me here. I wanted to give you all an honest look at my life growing up. Why?
Wlel, it occurs to me that many new (and old) readers and followers on twitter probebly know very little about me. You might know I love Dungeons and Dragons, and Tabletop RPGs in general. You might be aware I am a huge lover of story driven video games, particularly RPGs. You might even have known about this website!
But who am I really?
My name is Clay. I am going to be 36 years old this year. I am a big ol goofy white guy from Florida, and I am Terminally Nerdy. Its both a name, and a description. I have been a nerd since I was a young kid in the 80’s. Growing up I was your typical fat white nerd. I was the kid who got bullied, made fun of, had no friends, and spent most of my time playing Atari (the 2600), Odyssey 2, and eventually my Sega Master System and NES. The first books ever read to me as a child were the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit.
I kept to myself growing up because, frankly, revealing I liked to read and play games was basically a receipe for getting the shit kicked out of me. I did not like violence (I still dont), and preferred to be left alone.
I was diagnoised with ADHD in the 2nd Grade. Got glasses about the same time too. This was back in the 80’s again, so keep in mind that the ONLY treatment for ADHD was Ritalin (a form of Speed!). I took that medication till 11th grade when I got tired of the side effects and stopped.
I was band geek through middle school. Played the Bass Clarinet (thing was as big as I was really). I went to a school (and lived in a neighborhood) that was predominately black and latino. I was legit the only white kid from the only white family within a 10 block radius. The school I went to was also the same, although there were more white kids. So in my case, growing up, I was the minority in a sense.
It was not all bad however. In middle school I got into a “College Readiness” program for minorities (I am still not sure how that one worked out) where I was the only white kid again in a program designed for actual minorities. They took me in, some called me friend, even gave me a “Hood Name” which was C-Dawg. I was highly confused by this because it was not something I understood, but I accepted it. I also got to teach DND to some of the kids when I hit 8th grade (my last year in the program) when we stayed on a college campus for a week pretending to be college students (got to attend classes and everything)
11th Grade was when I FINALLY met other nerdy folks who liked things like Dungeons and Dragons, and Magic the Gathering. We even had a teacher (my Chemistry Honors Teacher, Mr Turner) who loved Magic like we did, and I met kids who helped him start an actual Strategic Games Club at school.
When I hit around 18 years old and left my mothers home to live with my Dad, I started to have anger issues. I never lashed out at people, but I was that angry kid. That one tempermental kid who believed that the world and universe were using him as a punching bag. I had never had a girlfriend at this point in my life (the one time a girl asked me out it was the classic “Ask the Nerd Out and make fun of him” prank in 6th grade), and was convinced that no one would ever love me for who I was.
I met my wife at work at 23 years old. I was still kind of angry at times, but I had been calming down. By this point in my life I had at least made some friends off and on, had a few relationships, nothing special, and so on. I asked my now wife out, we went on one date (dinner at her cousins house) and she told me she wanted to be friends.
I actually got mad at her and refused to talk to her. Because I am an idiot, just to clarify 😛
She vanished from that company, and a year later came back and asked ME out. We have been married for 11 years this year. Life is funny that way. I love her more then life itself and would do anything for her.
At 26 I started to finally realize I could be who I wanted to be, and eventually find people who would accept me for that. I got a lot less angry, but was still prone to temper flares. At around 33 I finally decided to try that “Youtube thing” everyone was doing. I joined a community on reddit called Newtubers and started making ABSOLUTELY SHIT VIDEOS OMG. We are talking just…insane rambling nonsense things lol
Before that I had tried game reviews a few times, a lets play channel at one point, wrote book reviews for a while, ect.
Eventually, in August 2016 I destroyed my Youtube Channel out of anger. I was annoyed at it.
I ended up pissing off the friends I had made SO MUCH that they would not leave me alone about restarting fresh.
Terminally Nerdy was born at that point. August 25th, 2016. It started as an experiment with VLogging about the nerdy things I loved.
And I love quite a bit.
I read, voraciously. I once had a friend comment that I have read almost every major fantasy work out there. I love music, mostly rock and instrumental stuff. I still remember how to play Bass Clarinet. I love board games (when I have people to play em with). I have tried almost every digital and physical card game out there. I have played over 150 MMOs. I love gaming and have since I was a kid.
I meant the channel to be about ALL this stuff.
But then…I made a 5 part video series called “Tabletop RPG 101” on my Youtube Channel.
That was it. Everyone I knew at the time starting calling me “RPGhandi” and other silly names, telling me that I should focus on DND. And in truth, tabletop has always been a part of my life once I discovered in in 1994 with the 2nd Ed Forgotten Realms campaign setting. It had been a thing I went back to, creating worlds and stories.
And here we are now. I am mostly a this point a “twitter personality”. Most folks pay attention to me there (and if you are reading this you prolly found it FROM there). And I am ok with that. I have been immersed in the world of tabletop and DND for the past year and change and I love it.
I have made a ton of friends. I have opened a Patron and gotten a modicum of success with that (sidebar if you care!). I have made connections with people who could arguably be called celebrities and at this point many consider me a celebrity myself (which is an odd feeling let me tell you that)
I went from a fat nerdy white kid that no one wanted, to a big beardy goofball that people apparently love. I still dont understand this by the way, my brain can’t comprehend it. But I accept it at this point.
Thank you. Truly. I am tearing up writing this and I shouldnt be because I am at work and might get odd looks. But who CARES if I tear up right? I can cry if I want! SO HA!
You guys are the reason I am able to do this. These past few days have been kinda wild. Hell these past few MONTHS. I wouldn’t have it any other way either.
Stay Nerdy. And again, THANK YOU.