This idea was spawned from a Quora question around “how are you intellectually deficient?” I’ve been on a path of self-discovery/self-realization recently, and I have to get this out in the open: I don’t consider myself very intellectual, but I’d like to be.
I think I’m intellectually deficient in many ways. I make up for it by dedication and stubbornness. I’m not particularly good at math – I made it through trig before calling it quits and finding a future that did not include math. There are days I struggle with basic addition. I think I have some sort of dyscalculia for adding anything to 7.
Since I didn’t really start reading anything until I was in my early 20s, you’ve most likely read more than I have – so I’m not particularly literate, although I would l love to be, and I’m reading every day to try to make up for that.
I only speak one language. I’m at a three-year-old level with Spanish, as I took it for several years in high school some 30 years ago, and I was married to a Spanish-speaking woman for 7 years. That was an advanced class that I failed.
I enjoy history, but only in the context of literature, not in and of itself, so I will only learn as much history as needed to give me context to something I’m reading. For instance, when I first tried to read Les Miserables, I couldn’t get 10 pages in because there are so many references to historical French figures, and I knew nothing about French history. I had to back up and spend several months reading about the French revolutions in order to get the gist of what was happening at the time period of Les Miserables.
I have the palette of a child. My wife is a gourmet chef whose talents are completely lost on me. I present her a new challenge, how to create palatable dishes that are good for us, that I will eat because I can’t stand vegetables. It’s a good day when I don’t wrinkle my nose like a three-year-old.
Although, because of my expertise with computers, and my success in selling software, I’m generally thought to be rather clever. But I’m not. I just do more work “behind the scenes” to prepare myself so that I will appear that way.
Part of my self-awareness is understanding and acceptance of who I am. I am of above average intelligence, but not all that well educated and usually embarrassed by my lack of education. I have above average computer skills, especially for a salesperson. There aren’t many salespeople who write code. I now try to better myself each and every day, but I know that no matter how hard I try, I will always be behind true intellectuals who have always tried to better themselves. There are days when I’m ok with that, and other days where I’m full of shame because of my ignorant childhood spent chasing fun instead of bettering myself.
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