Outrunning My Idiot Complex

I’m intimidated by my trainees.

They are educated in ways I hope to attain one day–a degree in physics (physics!), a degree in finance, and possibly degrees in business administration.  They’re well traveled, and they’re much older than I am.

But neither of them know how to coat pharmaceuticals, so they’re stuck with me.  I know coating, at least.  I know it quite well.

Calculus = Smart?

I’ve always desired to be the smartest one in the room.  When I was a preteen my Dad told me how much he’d struggled with trigonometry in school.  I resolved to master it.  In high school I did, indeed, become competent in low-level trigonometry and pushed myself to study the highest maths I could.

I can’t tell you how much time and tears I expended on the subject.  Why?  Because Calculus = smart.  I studied advanced physics.  Why? Physics = smart.

All the while, I was destined to be a… writer.  Woe is me.  If only I’d thought classic literature, poetry and writing classes were the thing for smart people to do!

Recreational IQ Testing

I’ve also been known to take online IQ tests for the fun of it.  I’ve been told they only count if they’re administered by a professional, but I still like to be reassured that my IQ is just a little higher than the average Jane’s.  I may in fact be ‘gifted’.

Never mind how many derelict genius’s there are out there.

I don’t know why intelligence matters so much to me.  I don’t know why I have to be “smart”.  Logically, I believe that IQ helps, but hard work trumps talent every time.  In fact, I have this coworker who I’m certain has a high IQ and is technically “smarter” than I am.  But I outwork him every day, and soon I’m going to pass him.  I don’t believe in saying “Oh, I’m just not smart.”

So why the heck do I have to be a genius?

The Book has a Silver Lining

You can’t choose your IQ, but fortunately there are no limits on the knowledge you may absorb.  So since I’m never smart enough, I keep on reading.  Oh yeah, I love to read, but mostly I’m outrunning my idiot status.  Must know more!  Must read classic novels.  Must read books on leadership.  Must read books on history.  Must read Plato.

I can’t tell you how satisfying it is to sit in a waiting room, reading Plato while everyone else is reading tabloids.  If that doesn’t swell my head, I don’t know what will.

If only they gave PhD’s to people who read enough books.

Close Enough?

Nevertheless, I am now a professor of pharmaceutical coating.  I’ve always wanted to be a professor of something.  I asked MY coach if she feels like an idiot the whole time she is coaching trainees.

“Pretty much,” she said.

Well, then I’m on the right track.



4 thoughts on “Outrunning My Idiot Complex

  1. Haven’t you just described the positive aspect of competition? When kept in balance, competition has the potential to help us improve our game. Who really wants to be average?

  2. dang! I totally identify with this type of complexity. I don’t like having it. However, I think my insecurity (my synonym for my complex) stems from being a black male. No race card necessarily. I can elaborate on why I feel this way, but I don’t want to take the focus off the central message of your piece, which is trying to identify why people feel the need to be smarter than the next guy or girl. Btw, I’m currently taking calculus!! Ummm, yikes!! Maybe it’s just human nature to want to be better than the next person? Idk. I’m a competitive type of person- it’s def a part of my DNA. It seems like I’m always in competition with myself. I’m entirely too hard on myself and I’m totally aware of it. But that doesn’t stop me from beating myself over incorrect word usage or poor sentence structure. I get upset with myself because I forget trivial detail. Detail matters!! I get upset with myself because I can’t remember simple logarithm rules. I know I have an overabundant amount of idiosyncrasies! I feel vulnerable if I’m not knowledgeable of everything. That sounds crazy I know, but it’s how I feel sometimes. I’ve always wanted to be a member of the exclusive Mensa society. lol!!!! That will never happen, but I’m finally ok with it. I’m human and I’m not a perfect human. No human is perfect. This doesn’t mean I fully embrace mediocrity; but it’s ok if I don’t remember everything. And it’s definitely ok if I’m not the smartest one in the room. But I have to be honest, I dig being in the top percentile on Luminosity! Is that weird or what? lol!

    1. Lol :). I think we are very, very similar. Much of it comes down to competitiveness, which I have in abundance. I have to be the best at everything. But at least it drives me to work hard!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s