Since the time I was young, math and I always had a misunderstanding.
He said, “2+2 = 4″
I said, “I don’t know why… but ok, if you say so.”
That was only the beginning of the control Math would take over my life.
As we grew older together, our relationship got more complicated.
“3x + y = 9,” he said.
“Um….wait, those are letters. How does a letter equal a number now? Math, are you sure this is right?”
Through Elementary and Junior High School I never received Math’s approval. I was always just “satisfactory,” or “needing improvement,” he said when I repeatedly failed to get more than 60% of the problems correct.
By the time high school hit, me and Math were on rocky terms.
I poured all my energy, sweat, tears and money into understanding our relationship and trying to make it work. In return, I got single digit grades, red marker notes and a lot of sleepless nights. The fear of working out algebra equations eventually took over my life so much that I avoided attending Math’s class.
After a much needed break apart for two months, I prepared myself to start over fresh with Math in my final year of high school. I was determined to make it work.
But we didn’t get far.
Math (now 30) tried to introduce me to his newest of love affairs: trigonometry, transformations, geometric series logarithms and the most dreaded of them all – circles.
I sought counseling from a well-known tutor in the area to help me patch up my relationship with Math and assist me in understanding why he did what he did. For countless hours every week, I poured all of my mental energy into our relationship and stretched my level of understanding to its maximum.
I just couldn’t do it anymore.
With four weeks to the final exam and a grade percentile sitting just above 30%, I ended my long-term relationship with Math.
I vowed to never again try to understand his inner-workings and calculations of a circle or a logarithm.
Though it was a tough decision to make, I can honestly say it was for the better.
No longer do I dream of finally answering one of his demanding questions with the correct answer. No longer do I have to calculate at which time two vehicles would collide if both were travelling at a set speed.
I have finally stopped looking for x and y.
And most importantly, a circle is merely a shape and not a confusion of endless numbers and equations I have no idea of what to do with.
I wish you the best in all your relationships Math and though I value the time we spent together, my time away from you has been the most freeing, exhilarating experience of my life.
Thanks to you, I am now a writer.