True Confessions

17 Nov

Okay, Interweb, I have to get something off my chest. This is a secret that I have kept my entire life. I have NEVER told anyone this. Are you feeling special yet?

It was so top-secret that I actually kind of convinced myself that it wasn’t true. But it is, and I’m not afraid to say it.

I, Chrissy, like…………MATH!!

I have been gung-ho the last week studying for the GRE which I took this afternoon. (My Chrissy-brain hurt now.) In studying, I mainly focused on the verbal reasoning preparation, seeing as I am applying for an MFA and math skills are absolutely not necessary. But I had dropped precious dollars on that GRE prep book, and I figured I may as well look over some of the “Quantitative Reasoning” questions.

It was frustrating at first. I found myself consistently throwing my pen up in the air saying things like “Confound it all!” and “This is so rebarbative!” I was practicing my vocab.

I haven’t taken a math class since I was 17, and I simply couldn’t remember how to find the circumference of a circle or what the formula for permutations was.

Like any good Type A girl, I started making lists of formulas and practicing the ones that I was rusty at. Before I knew it, I was having a blast solving all those problems. I felt so proud of myself.

Perhaps this secret is a two-parter. Because not only do I like math, I’m actually ALSO good at it. I’ve spent my childhood academic career pretending to hate math and finding it difficult. Truth is, there is something reassuring about being presented with a problem and having a straightforward way of solving it.

The other night I could feel an anxiety attack coming on as I was trying to fall asleep. My mind was racing, my heart pounding, I couldn’t breathe, tears were bracing themselves behind my eyes. I shot out of bed and started pacing, melting down. I saw my GRE book in the corner, picked it up and did a set of math problems. The emotions and fears that were overwhelming me slowly subsided as I lost myself in algebra and geometry. It’s almost as if I shut down the right side of my brain for a while. Like a computer overheating, I turned it off, let my left brain take over until I was calm enough to deal.

So there it is. I don’t know why I was so ashamed my whole life. Perhaps I didn’t want to be considered a nerd. But come on, I was as big a nerd as they come growing up. I remember being in Trigonometry in high school and sitting next to a gorgeous upperclassman who would ask me for help in class. I would eagerly oblige, but throw in a lot of “but I’m not sure” and “who knows if that’s right, though, this stuff is so confusing!” Twirl my hair, pretend to be a dumb girl. So silly. And now? I’ve come to embrace my inherent nerdiness. As an adult, I’d much rather be a nerd than cool. Maybe it made me feel less deserving of the title of writer that I’ve been holding so close to my heart for years. Writers shouldn’t like math!

This one does!

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