He said not just another pretty face. I was sixteen. He said very skillful at realizing and articulating potential synergies between the demanding conceptual components of these disciplines and the corresponding practical application of foundational concepts. I was twenty. He said more intelligent than most. I was twenty-six. 

I keep forgetting. I hold on to these bits of validation as if each word will be erased from Merriam Webster in a few hours. The dictionary, of course, remains intact, but the words disappear from my memory in the name of challenging situations. No one would believe those words. 

I just took a Mensa exercise test and got every question that related to words, letters, and symbols correct. I skipped most of the number questions. Which is funny because, the patterns for the letters were similar to the number patterns, but I gave up so quickly.

I took the test to prove to myself that I’m not particularly smart. All I really proved to myself is that I have some sort of handle on the English language, can recognize alphabetical patterns, unscramble words, connect sequences of shapes, and that I still cannot look at numbers without panicking.

Last year at this time I weighed 4 less pounds than I do now. I want to stop caring so much, I really and truly do. This cycle (feel fat-eat less-exercise more-lose weight-feel better-realize I’d rather be healthy-gain a few pounds back-feel fat) is never ending. Even in a day, I can experience this cycle; which is traumatic to both my ego and my body.

Am I supposed to be focusing on reducing stress or body acceptance? I’m not entirely sure what comes first: feeling fat or stress. It’s too complex to comprehend. This is the most thought dedication I have ever given to figuring this out, and I am starting to worry that despite writing so honestly and audaciously, the onion layers are endless.

I hope twenty-seven represents something other than a struggle with numbers. 

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