07
Jul
13

I am smart

There! I have said it. I did not say this to brag or boast. I said it because it is a fact of my life and one that is causing me trouble.

I’ve discovered that some people are afraid of anyone who has above average intelligence. I once greeted two of my female classmates on the stairs in junior high after school. They were going up and I was coming down. They obviously did not know that stairwells carry sound. When they were out of sight, one said to the other, “she is so smart”. “Yes,” replied the other, “but she is very sweet.” Thinking on this, I realize that the sweet statement was meant to be an buffer to the smart one. In other words, it was okay that I was smart since my niceness counteracted it.

When I was at home with the children, this was not as much of a problem. However, there were those who wanted to know why I was “wasting” my talent by staying home when I could be sharing it with the world. I think that passing on my knowledge to my children is sharing it with the world. Now, there are four of me where before there was only one. Not many jobs give you the opportunity to quadruple your strength.

When I did go into the workforce, my brains gave me more trouble. One co-worker was so disconcerted that she actually stood up in the middle of a temporary office in a conference room and began to yell at me about something off the wall that I had no idea I was even doing. After patching things up, my supervisor (who has since moved on) told me that the co-worker saw me as a threat to her job because I was smart. I had absolutely no designs on her job and had never even considered what it was.

The biggest problem, though, is me. Yes, I am afraid of my own smarts. Sounds silly, doesn’t it? Never the less, it is true. I often make mistakes half on purpose to keep others from feeling threatened. (PS-EB, this is the main cause of my inability to speak French with the proper accent.) I don’t volunteer for projects whose solution will showcase my thinking skills. Finally, I am in a job where I am greatly underused because I do not want to risk offending others by seeking one that is more of a challenge. Periodically, I have to take one of my Xanax just to keep me calm enough to get through the day. I am antsy because I am bored.

If I could, I would quit tomorrow. Then, if we had the money, I would do research for the rest of my life and write books on what I found. That way, if anyone felt threatened by my smarts, I wouldn’t know it.

But, I hold the insurance that allows us to take care of IRP, so I will go on. I will try to gain the courage to find a better job. Unfortunately, this may mean that I have to go to a new place. I hate new places because I never know who is going to be offended and what they will do as a result.

My greatest fear is that I have passed on this reluctance to use my intelligence to IRP. She is also smart, but she very rarely shows it. Forgive me, sweetie, if I have made you afraid. Be bold and do what your mother didn’t. Love to you!

TSG

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