They lied when they said we were gifted

When I was young I used to take IQ tests as part of a study. They were fun to do, challenging in a way that allowed me to hyperfocus. I’ve always liked finding patterns. It’s calming. It’s nice to find some order in the universe. It was a nice deal. I got to sit for an hour and challenge myself and earn 20 dollars in the process. That is-it was nice-until my brother and I got kicked out of the study for being outliers.

When I was younger I got put in the gifted program. I was two years ahead in math. I got test scores in the top 97th percentile. I was probably one of the top 20 students in my class of 600, and trust me, my school is one of the most competitive public schools in the country.

And yet here I am in front of a computer screen, yanking on my hair, anxiety thrumming through my veins as I try and find a transfer school that I can afford and that has a proper disability support.

I’ve never been enough. Top test scores and a top notch brain. I found out that I have an IQ of around 140. Not enough. Never enough.

12th in state in the 200 meter dash. Not enough.

2 year conference champion in the 200 meter dash. Not enough.

Golds at ISSMA. Not enough.

Writer of several research papers. Not enough.

Prominent member of several clubs. Not enough.

My poetry wins a contest. Not enough.

A poem gets published. Not enough.

Reserve champions in 4-H. Not enough.

I design a club t shirt. Not enough.

I’m asked to paint a mural for a club sponsored event. Not enough.

I help write an entire play. Not enough.

I co-compose one of the scores. Not enough.

I could be so much more. If I didn’t have asthma or depression or ADD or anxiety. If I didn’t struggle to get out of bed each day. If the thought of being responsible for other people didn’t make my heart pound. If my homework didn’t blend together and make no sense. If I knew how to ask for help. If I even knew what I was asking.

I have so many ideas-ideas that could change things if I could just get out of bed. If I wasn’t so afraid.

I’m not enough for these colleges. I don’t know how anyone is. But I’m not enough for colleges. I’m not enough for scholarships. I’m not enough. And my bank account unfortunately…

Not enough.