My new job involves lots of numbers.
Lots and lots of numbers. Formulas, decimal points, fractions, percentages, etc. I didn't realize how many numbers would be involved when I took the gig. I don't think I would have taken it if I had known since I have an almost Pavlovian/Clockwork Orange response of overwhelming nausea when I see too many numbers. When I'm reading something and I see numbers I just stop thinking and skim until my eyes get back to proper words. It's my coping technique to avoid the nausea. To sum: I am most definitely not a "math" person.
I think I used to be. At least, I remember being pretty good at math and enjoying it when I was younger. Though, I know I never did well when math questions were given to me out of context. I remember taking an enrichment program screening test in Grade 6 and scoring very well in all sections except math, despite having good marks in that subject.
Grade 8 was a turning point on the good marks part. I started at a new school that taught integers using plastic bingo chips (?!). I'd already learned integers in school the previous year but the bingo-markers so confused me that I started getting Ds. I was a pretty serious kid so the Ds freaked me out. I felt stupid and that made me feel sick. That year destroyed any confidence I had in my math skills.
After high school I chose my undergrad degree path based on wanting to avoid taking the difficult math classes. I gave up on my "dream" of going to medical school because I refused to take those classes. In the end I don't regret not trying for med school but it's a tad pathetic that I felt forced to make that decision because I was so scared of failing the math prerequisites.
A few years ago I got it in my head to apply to graduate school to do a Master's in Epidemiology. The school required a Graduate Records Exam as part of the submissions process. One part of the GRE is algebra; a kind of math I hadn't done in the 10 years since high school (those bastards so lie when they say you'll need that shit in real life). I tried to prepare for the test by attempting to re-teach myself the concepts and writing practice exams. It was an expensive test to write at a time when I had barely enough money for food. I was determined to do well. The time came to write it, I started the algebra component, panicked, blanked out and spent the rest of the test fighting the urge to puke. Needless to say, I didn't get in to the program and the experience only reaffirmed my instinctual avoidance of all things numerical.
Which brings me to my new job. The one involving numbers. I'm determined to take a mature adult approach to this situation and try to deal with my shit. Rather than going with my first instinct of begging my old job to take me back. Actually, some really nerdy part of me is almost excited at the thought that I may actually get a chance to enjoy numbers again and feel more confident about them.