Worst Mathlete EVER!

This artsy actually really enjoyed math in high school.  But there were a number of signs along the way that gently shoved me into the creative world and away from a life full of wacky formulas and great mathematical expeditions.   

One sign came as a comment from my grade 12 calculus teacher: "it baffles me that I can watch you teach other students how to do the math perfectly, but when you have to write a test it's like you know nothing".  At the time I wasn't clear on how to take his razor edged compliment but I did feel it confirmed the cliche of "those who can't do, teach!"  

The other waving red flag was when I signed up with great enthusiasm for OAC Physics and the teacher was more shocked that I signed up for the class than the fact that I dropped it two weeks later.   The day class started he looked blankly into my smiling eager face and asked, "no seriously, why are you here?" I actually just really enjoyed using a different part of my brain and hanging out with the science types; but yes, my romantic notion of a life exploring structures formed by particles exerting electrical forces would go unrealized. So, I replaced it with another music class!

Turns out I didn't abandon my math skills entirely after high school.  Without realizing it, I ended up redirecting my poor mathlete abilities into finding happiness and developing a road-map for my life.

With happiness, the formula was:


I was filling the '...' with taking copious amounts of courses, and doing projects I felt would support me achieving the second half of the equation, which was always happiness.  I had myself convinced that happiness was a feeling I had to earn or discover. Yet, the harder I tried to find happiness (longest game of hide-and-seek ever!) the further away it seemed to be and more frustrated and annoyed I became!  Then, like any good mathematician or physicist,  I stopped to re-adjust my calculations and reset the formula to be much more simple and elegant:   


I gave up the chase, and decided that if I'm not happy in the space I am currently in, then I'm not finding it anywhere else! 

I made happiness a choice instead of a search.

The other formula I developed for myself ended up being a road-map of sorts.  It simply stated that:


I would start with the results I wanted, DEF, and then would figure out what ABC would get me those desired results.  And it has worked my entire life, because so much of what I have wanted to achieve has been familiar, so determining the ABC has been quite easy. 

But... what if what I want to experience something I have never attempted before? 
What if I want to achieve things outside of my usual endevors?  

One of the hardest things I am having to realize is that if I want something new and different in my life, I won't get there with old ways of thinking or do-ing.  Which means, I don't have a road-map!   To say this is unsettling is a gross understatement.  This redheaded Scorpio likes her organization and familiar patterns!

So what is required of this lousy mathlete if she is going to wander in uncharted territories?
I must...

  • be brave enough to step forward without a map or checklist.  
    ...yeah, NO small feat for this checklist addict! Seriously, if I do things that are NOT on my checklist I add them JUST to have the satisfaction of checking it off!  
  • be open to knowing I will stumble (and that is often the fun part of the journey!)
  • remember a sense of humour is a powerful weapon.
  • know when to ask for help... and ask often!
  • remember that happiness isn't the end result of the journey, it's what's driving the car!

The formula's I choose to follow now are less technical, but for me more powerful: