Einstein said that “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Well, in my life that proverbial tree was mathematics. Don't get me wrong, I handled the simple stuff like basic addition but when long division came into play in elementary school. I somehow found myself having a major misunderstanding. To sum things up (yes the pun was intended) math and I became enemies. I hoped for a reconciliation at some point but then teachers started including in my tutelage things like decimal points and percentages. Then they even added letters (what in the heck was that about??? I loved to read and write! How dare they desecrate letters in the name algebra!). Now back to the problem at hand. I will at some point have to take an algebra class if I want a degree. I am about as excited about taking this class as I am contracting influenza. I have friends in high math places (luckily) to help me out but I'm still terrified. Why? I have what I believe is number anxiety. Not particularly related just to math but I believe that is where all the number issues started. I usually miss questions on tests related to dates in time as well and I get nervous and immediately go blank if I have to add the simplest of numbers in my head in front of others. I could be fine on my own but I immediately start judging myself for the other person when I have to do it in front of them. “Oh my gosh what an idiot!” “Is she seriously taking that long to figure out an equation that my 9 year old can do in their sleep?” I know I'm pretty hard on myself but I just have a fear that I'm a bit simple minded and the people I love and respect will find that out. My whole academic life is based on fear of being found out that I'm an idiot. I didn't even want to take a questionnaire to find out if I had ADHD for 1, fear of passing, (yes, I know that would mean I had ADHD) and 2 of failing thus solidifying my fear of just being and idiot.
As far as ADHD goes there was a bit of a stigma when I first heard of ADHD. The world had this view of kids running wild and rabid like feral children until they were dosed. I was a bit squirmy as children are but my “H” in the abbreviation came as a mental thing. In other words I was a daydreamer. I figured out early the best thing about my math book was that it was thick (not because I was particularly studious and wanted to spend every waking hour working with numbers till I understood) The truth is I was a bit short and riding on the bus made it hard to see well so sitting on my math book made for good rubbernecking opportunities of road kill and glancing into the automobiles riding by. The same went for my history book. I did like history just not when I was expected to know the date when something happened. So I guess I need to try and take Einsteins words to heart and believe that I am a genius but if I continually judge my extremely right-brained self by my ability to calculate left-brained equations I will be damning myself to an eternity of feeling like a loathing idiot. So my little blog fish, what is your proverbial tree?