I have always thought of myself as a bit more intelligent than the average American. I'm definately no genius and I'm definately not a LOT more intelligent. Just a little bit. My father is a pretty smart dude. My mother is a pretty smart chica. My siblings are all quite the intellectuals. Though I do have to say that my brother is probably the smartest of us all. He's a civil engineer who actually got a full-ride scholarship to college due to his excellent brain. So yah, I have the good brain genes going for me. In high school I would never do my homework, but ace all of the tests. So my graduating GPA was 3.5. Not bad considering I spent 0% of my high school career studying. My ACT score came back with a combined 28. The average is 22-24. I received certificates in excelling at "Science Reasoning", "English", and the combined score. My job is a complicated one that requires almost perfection and extreme attention to detail dealing with numbers. I have always loved Math, so it's perfect for me. And I'm just not capable of having a job where I don't feel challenged.
I never went to college. At first, I just didn't have the desire. Then as the years went on, I didn't have the financing. As I was living with my Kansas mom at the time, I didn't qualify based on my own salary. They based it off my parent's salary. Even though I claimed myself on my taxes, had a full time job, etc. My Kansas mom and dad made too much for me to get a student loan that would be enough to cover the required amount. So I gave up.
I'm still constantly challenged at work. Those closest to me are intelligent people themselves, which also challenges me. I prefer reading over watching TV. I prefer deep and ponderous discussions rather than mundane silly conversations. Most of the time, at least. But.....
I can feel my brain draining. I can tell that I'm losing some of the smarts I once had. I use what is in my brain, but don't practice using brain matter that isn't constantly active. It's like muscles. Without exercise they lose their power. Without exercising my brain, I'm losing brain power. And that is killing me.
I would rather be smart than beautiful. I would rather have an intelligent conversation than have men gawk at me. I always have, and I believe that I always will.
So the question is: How in the world do I exercise that part of my brain that doesn't consist of numbers? How do I gain further knowledge in different aspects when I don't have an outlet for the knowledge? How do I educate myself on things that won't be graded, reviewed, or assessed? Reading creates knowledge, I know that much. But what to read? Do I just sign up for a new library card and run around grabbing history books and philosophy books and religious books and psychology/sociology/zoology books?
I'm not losing my potential for intelligence. I'm just losing some of the intelligence I once had. I'd like to build that back up, if possible.
I'm cute, but not beautiful. So I damn well better be intelligent.