My love of reading (and learning!) has been a way of life for me for as long as I can remember. Most kids I know get tucked in at night only to sneak out of bed to play with their toys.
Not me. I sneaked out of bed to turn on my light so I could read.
My Mom says I learned to read when I was young and even had enough nerdiness to ask my Pre-K teacher for homework! (I can hear all you non-nerds groaning now!)
Back then I couldn't understand why I was so "different" from all the other kids. They wanted to run and play. I wanted to read and learn.
Funny story: My 2nd grade classroom had a separate book area complete with bean bag chairs and all the books my little heart could want. In short, it was my paradise. There were only two times during the day you could go there: during reading time after lunch or if you weren't feeling well and needed a quiet place to rest for a little while. I was pretty antsy one particular day and lunch was still an hour away so I did what any self-respecting nerd would do to get closer to a book: I faked illness. Worked like a charm! I walked to the back of the room, plopped in a bean bag chair and plotted my reading. What I didn't bank on, however, is that the teacher could see me reading said books. She quickly picked up on my fake illness and ordered me back to my desk. (I'm guessing she wasn't a nerd!)
My nerdiness has served me well though. CajunGuy and I both have chronic illnesses that require knowledge and skill to manage. Lucky for both of us, the second I even come thisclose to a diagnosis I rush home to learn all I can about what I'm facing. I could leave it to a doctor but I want to know what medications they're putting me on, why I'm on them and what they do. (Yes, Mom, I know I probably do have a problem. I can hear you laughing from here. I'll seek counseling for it just as soon as I research the condition I may have.)
Actually, this whole research thing applies to just about anything I want to know. I just can't help myself. It's almost a compulsion to look up stuff I don't know but want to learn. (Again Mom, I am aware I
may probably have an issue. I've done research and narrowed it down to OCD or hypochondriasis. I'll let you know when I'm done researching though.) To put this whole nerd thing in perspective, I grasp just about every joke on "The Big Bang Theory". I'm not as socially inept as Sheldon though. I have more of a Leonard-ish type nerdiness going on.
CajunGuy lovingly calls me a nerd. How I relish that word! When he sees me reading articles from scholarly journals or teaching myself something new he just looks at me with a sense of pride...and confusion. Let me narrate his thought for you: "I married a really smart woman. But don't most women her age like to shop or something? Oh crap, she's coming this way. She wants to talk about what she learned. Look busy! Look busy! Why did I marry a nerd?!?"
To me, loving to read and learn is about as automatic as breathing. So when I get called a "nerd" it serves as a reminder that I am not like everyone else and I am not "normal". And I'm OK with that.
Besides, I've read up on being "normal". Those people don't like books. That scares me.
(Oh, and Mom? I don't have OCD or hypocondriasis. I'm just a Grade-A nerd! Just sayin'.)