For many years I thought of myself as a grunge person who wanted to be goth but I could never afford the clothes. All through school nerds and geeks were shunned by a lot of the school people. I was never popular and they let me sit with them and I got to know some pretty cool people. My friend Marie was wonderful with a guitar and my friend Josh was awesome at video games. I never understood why nerds and geeks were looked down upon. They were nice to me when I was an outcast and where I was not so great at subjects, they helped me pass.
As I got older, I didn’t give much thought to the words geek or nerd. Then I met and married my husband AJ. He is a big nerd. He loves video games and can remember so many things about so many games and keeps them organized in his head. It’s amazing. He does the same with Magic The Gathering. My friend Shane does the same with books and comics. As I was around them, I found that I have similar behaviors and abilities with books, things about myth and magick as well as other things. I fit in!
I looked up the definitions of nerd and geek. The definition of a nerd according to Dictionary.com is a person who is considered to be socially awkward, boring, unstylish, etc. Or an intelligent but single-minded person obsessed with a nonsocial hobby or pursuit. Urban Dictionary defines it as someone who enjoys learning and does not adhere to social norms. Nothing too bad here.
Dictionary.com defines geek as a digital-technology expert or enthusiast (a term of pride as self-reference, but often used disparagingly by others) or a person who had excessive enthusiasm for and some expertise a specialized subject or activity. Urban Dictionary defines geek as “one who passionately engages in one or more things to an extreme level. A commonly ascribed to people in the field of computer programming but does not have to be in a technical field to be a geek. The only criterion is an intense level of interest in something, often to a highly specialized degree. Still pretty benign.
When looking at these, I like the Urban Dictionary definitions of those words better. I think nerd and geek can be used interchangeably without a problem. I like that outside of school, being a nerd or a geek is something to be cool with. Even proud of. I get to work with a bunch of people who actively and proudly allow their nerd flag to fly. My job is all about celebrating nerdy/geeky things. Today being a nerd or a geek is something great.
Please don’t let others tell you that you are not enough as you are. You are wonderful as you are. Today I am proud to be a nerd! Let’s let our nerd/geek flag wave at other people and stand tall. I know I will. What do you think of the definitions? Do they fit you at all? Let me know in the comments below. Til next week…