Doing something that frightens you

writer's block and broken lenses

Everyone has that one thing that they will never get over and feel like they will always be held back in some way. This is obviously something emotional, there's absolutely no physical barrier stopping you from doing anything (unless you want to get into Buckingham Palace and sit on the throne, you might get shot for that) but if you've convinced yourself you can't do something, then you probably never will.

I don't have a maths GCSE.

There we go, I said it.

It's something I have been so ashamed of that even my best friend didn't know. The idea of having to do any difficult maths that Excel can't do for me makes breathing difficult and I feel like crying. Because I don't have a certificate saying I can do a thing just makes me feel that I will never be able to do that thing and therefore I stop trying. If I need anything calculated, I'll more often than not just ask my boyfriend.

A few months ago I decided to do something that Gary has said is 'brave' and signed up to do a course to finally get this weight lifted off my shoulders, get rid of that goblin that mocks me every day. And it's terrifying. Numbers shouldn't be frightening, they're just little squiggles on a piece of paper, right? To me they're worse than spiders and I fucking hate spiders.

Now, some people might think about the basic elements of my job and how I use data to formulate a strategy BUT I CAN DO THAT! It's actually relatively easy even for someone who's so terrified of numbers, I mean it's not like working out the area of a triangle (a skill I have never needed in my life) or knowing ALL the prime numbers.

Not only do numbers scare me, they also confuse me. Give me a phone number? Unless you put it in a pattern I know, I will put the numbers the wrong way round. Times tables? The only one I honestly know comfortably is my seven times table purely because I watched A Little Princess a lot as a child - that Lavinia was a right bitch.

I can also tell you what 13 x 379 is but that's only because of Matilda... it's 4927 if you need to know.

With these, I can only do them because of a set pattern, like how I know Iambic Pentameter or remembering the lines to a song because you know the beat. I feel like maths doesn't have a clear system, everything is different and even though there are correct answers, there are too many different ways of getting to them and I get very lost even thinking about it. Maybe it's just me.

Over the past few weeks there have been tantrums and general upset. Only the other day I broke down into tears because I couldn't understand why I had to flip a fraction upside down. WHAT IS THE REASON?? WHERE'S THE PATTERN?? Rachel Riley makes it look so easy...

via GIPHY

Maybe not...

HOWEVER! As much as it terrifies me and how I spent years living off excuses and reasons why I can't do maths. I am doing it now. I'm not exactly enjoying it but I am doing it. Like ripping off a plaster in a way or getting a tattoo... you know you'll go through pain but there will be something wonderful at the end of it. Eventually I will know for a fact that I can do something, I won't be too frightened to try and maybe I'll be able to do the numbers section on Countdown without having to pause the TV and counting out loud. 

Have you ever done something that truly frightens you?

9 comments

  1. Well done xx proud of you x

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  2. Well done xx proud of you x

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  3. Good for you lady! I scraped a C at higher after an intensive week with a tutor over the Easter holidays but honestly so much of what we are taught we never need to use again and it's frustrating xx

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    1. Thanks Leanne and GO YOU for getting a C! It's literally all I need and I'll be happy. I don't know when in my life I'm next going to work out something to 17 decimal points or 47 significant factors BUT I CAN DO IT NOW!

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  4. How brave of you! Rooting for you on this journey, you're going to feel so great when you achieve your goal!

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  5. Well done you. Life seems to be a series of doing things that frighten you! And that feeling of accomplishment you get *after* you've tackled it ... certainly helps balance out the initial dread!

    I think submitting my first online tax return was one of the most terrifying things ever. The second wasn't much better! But my most recent scary thing was turning up to a book club where I knew no one ... and hoping to come across as a vaguely coherent adult. Just about got away with it [and was so impressed with myself the following day!].

    [I'm currently in the middle of a self-imposed blog-commenting challenge to leave #300in30days - and this is 107! I'm also pinning all the blogs I visit to this Pinterest board so people can share in my new discoveries ... like yours!]

    Julie- :-)

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    1. Thank you Julie! I just received the results for my first assignment too and I got 77%. This is even further encouragement!

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Your comments make me smile :-)