No matter how you spell it, nerds are the same in all countries. These three sat near us in Akihibara, alias electric town, in Tokyo. We were on the top floor of the SEGA store, waiting for our family to shop until they dropped. So while we waited we experienced for at least a few minutes the life of a nerd. These three sat and played their game for a while. During that timeframe three additional tables became occupied by other groups of young boys. I was the only female to be found. Each group had an obvious plan to hang out together for a while. They enjoyed the space, each other, and a similar interest in anime. 

Anime is a world I must admit I know very little about. There are many characters, stories and way too many things I cannot keep up with. Yet for these ‘nerds’ it is a world they can enjoy together, be passionate about, and build friendships around. They spend time energy and money on this world, and seem to enjoy it immensely. It not only ignites their imagination, it has helped them figure out who they are and what they want. We commonly use the word to describe quirky, overly smart, akward people when in reality they are just passionate about something we do not understand. 

There is a nerd inside of all of us. A person who is passionate about a topic and spends time learning and doing it. Maybe you are a golf nerd, or a fishing nerd, an art nerd, or a movie nerd. Maybe you have a hobby you are a nerd about, or a place you are a nerd for. Maybe you follow a favorite performer or band, or study and produce work from a particular genre. Whatever it is, there is an easy way to tell if you are a nerd. 

Do you spend your time on this topic? Do you find ways to be around people who are also interested in that topic? Have you made friends with them, spend time with them doing something related to this topic? Do you spend money on things related to this topic? Do you spend energy learning about the topic, reading about it, or visiting places related to your topic? Do other people not understand your interest? All of these questions may help you relate to these three teeenagers, or nerds. We all have a little nerd inside us, it just depends on who we show it to. There are those who will understand, and those who will never have a clue. 

I hope today you allow yourself to be a nerd. Be passionate about something you enjoy, no matter who understands. Letting your inner nerd free will make you a better person. It will free you from the confines of living in the box, if only for a short time with friends.