There's a reason my email handle is himaythenerd@gmail. I'm someone who is not only happy digging for knowledge and finding what things truly mean--I am kind of obsessed. The pursuit is its own reward.
One side of my nerdom: self-knowledge. In case you didn't know, your brain, your body, and the formation of your character are ridiculously amazing. For example: there are more neurons in your brain than there are stars in the entire universe. (Boom).The things that churn around inside of us while we are not paying attention are so awe-inspiringly beautiful and still-unchartedly interesting that it makes me jump like Usain Bolt at the 400m sprint.
Take personality tests, for example. If it sounds mostly right and makes sense to me (and is backed up by solid methodology), the results of a personality test give me a rush of euphoria, like I just figured out another piece of the grand puzzle.
One of my friends posted her results from such a test on Facebook recently. I thought, OK, maybe. Then some mutual friends commented that they were amazed at how accurate it was.
It took me a minute or two to take it and I got my results right away. As I read them I kept nodding along and muttering, "Preach, brother, preach."
One of the most striking observations was this:
"This is the main motivation for your continuous hunger - almost an obsession - for more information. Improving your capabilities and expanding the store of your knowledge and experience is your life’s main objective."
Finding something that articulates my being so well that I can't ignore or dispute it is like winning the lottery.
Learning is indeed one of my most important pursuits. I like to know, but more importantly, I like to learn and find meaning. Learning is different from knowing, because the former is the journey you take to the latter, and sometimes you make it, sometimes you don't (sometimes by the end of it you end up knowing a completely different thing).
The act of learning is part of my nerdom. It's like weight lifting: I enjoy the months and months of training and challenges, even though I will probably never compete in any contest.
Learning a little bit more about what makes me me is a part of my obsession. So yes, I am a self-nerd. I love knowing more and more about who I am and how I can become a better version of myself. For any Junot Diaz fans, I am like Oscar Wao minus the futility.
For any self-hating nerds out there: stand up with pride. Our pursuit of knowledge is noble and ambitious, and yes, may seem to border on a vice, but even if it were, there are way worses vices than it.
By the way, here's the highly recommended quiz, and yes, I did end up paying for the full report.