Math has always been difficult for me. I’ve briefly written about how I can think mathematically, but in the past I had difficulty remembering the rules. It’s as if I was forced to pick a tribe, and I picked the language group instead of the number group. I walked in this identity for more than 20 years.
I wouldn’t have a problem with washing my hands of math if I didn’t LOVE science. My job is real sciency, y’all, with maths and junk. I consider myself a scientifically-minded person, who places more credence in observable facts than emotion/opinion.
So back to math. I’m taking statistics as my last class for my Associate’s Degree, because I didn’t get it when I was 20ish like everyone is supposed to. For my current degree plan (Creative Writing-Fiction), it’s the only math class I need. I’m glad, but here’s the thing- it doesn’t suck. This is huge for me.
I’ve never experienced math in such a way before, where it’s more like solving a puzzle (yay!) than trying to escape from a septic tank with a broken arm (dislike). In fact, I’m getting 100’s on my homework. I’m enjoying going back and making sure I’m being precise and exacting. Such behavior isn’t typical for me.
College is idealized for me, because of books and movies. One of those ideas is it’s supposed to shake you up, and you see what settles. It’s a time of trying on different identities to find elements which best suit you. As I’ve learned about myself this week: I don’t hate camping or math.
That’s a lot. I’ve gone long periods just surviving, not growing or learning. In my neighborhood, if I had to walk by a bunch of goons, I’d put my hoodie hood up, eyes on the ground 5 feet ahead of me, and keep walking. As long as I kept moving, I was ok, most of the time. If a group of people drove by, threw a big gulp at me, and shouted “FAGGOT!” (which happened at least once a week. Sometimes it was beer bottles), as long as I kept my eyes down and kept going forward, I would make it home. I walked by a lot of flowers that way.
I don’t have to do that anymore. I can look around and be present and enjoy my journey. I can consider the Earth and her topography. And I don’t have to be shackled with old ideas about myself which no longer fit.