A nerd is not a dork (mega socially inept), a dweeb (intelligent and socially inept) or a geek (intelligent and obsessed with some niche; Probably also socially inept). A nerd is more of a generalist, mixing equal parts of awkwardness, strange hobbies and a decent knowledge base.
My nerdiness falls more on the awkward end of the spectrum: I'm enthusiastic, sort of ADD and talk SUPER LOUD sometimes. I also talk a lot. A LOT a lot. Lots of talking coming out of my face.
As a young person, this proved more of a liability than an endearing quality when it came to fitting in and, as you can imagine (and as you may have experienced personally), a fair amount of teasing came my way as a result. Now that I'm an adult, it's usually better but not always - there is always going to be someone that doesn't get it. And that's ok.
It took me well into my 20s to get cool with the fact that I was, well, not cool - and to realize that this was the greatest thing ever. Some of the most awesome people I know are nerds. Nerds tend to be much easier to talk to at cocktail parties, much more fun to enjoy lunch with and probably the best people to know if you end up on a game show or something (seriously - phone a friend that knows a variety of things about a variety of things? Awesome.)
Nerds usually don't take themselves too seriously and, to me, that's where the awesomeness lies - they're willing to be nerdy because that's just how they are. Being around someone who is cool with who they are is liberating - it gives you space to be yourself too.
That's why I love nerds and why I'm proud to be one. (This is now feeling like an essay from elementary school - "And in conclusion, nerds are great. The End.")