Sorry to make a post about intelligence, but the pain inside has been growing enormously. I might not even be welcome here because I am not a mathematician, but a Civil Engineer.
Going back to High School, my interest in science began with Classical Mechanics, more specifically, with Newton’s Three Laws of Motion (wait, I am getting there)
As I started to enjoy Physics more, I also got more interested in Mathematics, and in this case, I started to read a lot about Geometry.
But as I started going after difficult problems to solve, like Olympiad ones, I faced for the first time the feeling of having no particular talent for mathematics. The creativity required to solve new and difficult problems really appeals to me, but generally, I am left with a bitter taste that I am not fit to practice the “real” mathematics, the creative one, the one that really made my eyes shine.
So, with time, I started to feel each time more inadequate, but, as nothing else really caught my attention like Physics and Maths, I kept believing that maybe with my passion and effort, I would overcome these obstacles (reason why I followed a STEM related professional path)
But even during my undergraduate courses, I never felt truly talented, and the mistakes I would make in exams, in my head, were a product of lack of innate math ability. I was not the type of student that would not study and be the best. I would always study for exams, period.
I wish I could be part of the STEM community that can really come up with ideas and solutions to difficult and novel problems, but it seems unreachable. It seems like all I can do is learn and use what I have learned in a way that has already been done in the books/past. This limitation is just too big for someone who would like to be distinct at what he/she does.
Sorry for writing this, in my mind I am just not smart enough, and although this is not something that I can change, I still feel pretty bad. This only hurts this much because I care a lot about being good enough to not limit myself to the usual stuff. Thanks a lot for everyone that came this far. If someone has similar feelings, I’d be grateful to read your stories.