I mean, I know I’m not stupid.
But I don’t know why.
Let me explain. At least I will try. And herein lies the fucking problem.
I guess the easy answer is that I assume I am stupid because as a child, my narcissistic father told me I was stupid. A lot.
Perhaps, it is that simple, but I don’t think so.
I program computers and code in an old ass, not sexy language. Black screen, green letters.
It’s not a friendly language. There are no drop down boxes or anything. You don’t get to skip any steps. There are no wide sweeping “just assume all the following is true” options. You have to tell it every single step in painstaking detail. It’s not easy and as long as I’ve been doing this, I absolutely know I still have way more to learn than I already know.
I don’t understand why I understand what I do.
I don’t know how I know that I need to process data in a specific way to get the expected results. I’m not talking syntax. The syntax is stupid and difficult, but I’ve been doing it so long that I just mostly know it now. I’m not talking about the act of writing the code, I’m saying I don’t understand why I write it the way I do.
I guess if I had a formal education in programming, then it might be different. I learned by listening to cassette tapes in the late eighties. Well, I learned enough to jump down rabbit holes and figure shit out.
I’m terrible at math, which is ludicrous. Literally everything I do is math. I guess it’s true that everything all of us do is math, but you know what I mean.
But I am terrible at math.
When my boss gives me a project and the calculations go anywhere beyond simple addition, subtraction, multiplication or division, then he’s got to write the formula out for me. Because I don’t know. I don’t get it.
It’s a jumbled up mess. Nothing that makes me go from “sort of calm” to “sweating out of my eyeholes”, in seconds, is for someone to ask me a simple math problem. Seriously, I could cry.
If my work day includes my boss speaking these words “so, I need a report that includes gross margin”, then I’m having a bad fucking day.
How can I fucking not get it?
I just don’t understand how I do what I do when I have remedial math skills. And remedial might be a gift.
It’s not just a lack of math skills.
When I have to explain something technical to my boss, it’s painful. I grasp at finding the words to explain something that I just know will work. I do a lot of babbling. It’s cool though, he’s used to it. Most of the time, not all of the time, but most of the time, my babbling will lead to a coherent thought. Mostly, I can end up explaining what I’m doing. But some of the time? I got nothing. I have no idea. It’s embarrassing.
It’s like I have this smart person who lives behind my left ear and whispers shit to me that I can’t really hear, but I can make happen. Since I can’t really hear what she is saying, how the fuck can I explain what she is saying?
I’m not giving up hope. I’ll figure this out one of these days.
Maybe, a veil will be lifted and I’ll totally get math! Maybe, it really is a block that comes from being I was told stupid as a child. Maybe, I’m trying to box in the way my brain works. I have no idea. I don’t know if it matters.
What works for me, is that in the not too distant past, I would have a hard time talking about this.
Obviously, one reason being that I have difficulty explaining things as we just previously talked about. Mostly, though, it’s because I have been embarrassed by this my entire life.
I’m good with it now. It’s my brain. This is how I do.