I’m not bragging on this one. I really am above average in terms of intelligence. It’s just that for the past 15 years, that intelligence, that ability to perceive concepts that might be out of reach of others, has waned significantly due to the fucking awful chemical imbalance that is depression.
Sometimes, though… sometimes it comes back, just for a short while. For a few minutes, everything is crystal clear, in full color, and ringing from the goddamn mountain tops. That happened this evening. Just a few minutes ago, in fact, and while that rainbow sunburst of elation is slowly dulling and returning to its customary gray shadowlight, for just a little while I felt like my old self again.
I’m smart. I’ve known this since I was a child and blew away every test given to me. There are people far greater when it comes to intelligence, I won’t pretend I’m the smartest, hell no. There are millions of people who stand head and shoulders above the summit of my knowledge, and make me appear to be an idiot child who eats playdough because it’s num nums (it was pretty good, I have to say).
Still, I’m not a person of average intelligence, and again I add the concession that there is nothing wrong being of average intelligence. 50% of the human population is of average intelligence and above. The only reason I make the point, however, is because there are often times where I doubt myself, where I wonder whether or not I could do what I remember doing as a child.
I was reading before I was 3, I took an immediate liking to science and technology (thanks, Star Trek!). I wrote my first musical composition at 8, which was written in music notation, an instrumental for two violins and a piano. I was a champion speller at the age of 10, and spelling vocabulary words used in AP college courses. I wrote my first novel at 12. It was never published, and it was only 78 pages, but it was a science fiction story (my first love). When it came to mathematics, science, language arts, history, I excelled above and beyond that of my classmates.
The only time I performed poorly in school was when I became bored, burned out, or distracted by issues in home life (my junior year in high school is still a sore point for me to this day). Even with my latter high school years embroiled in emotional, and academic upheaval, I still managed to get the attention of several universities. One of them was a college that dealt in advanced technologies, like robotics and artificial intelligence, and another was an engineering school whose graduates went on to places like NASA, Boeing, and other institutions known for work in aeronautics and space flight.
Unfortunately, a number of factors cut me off at the knees, and I never got the chance to follow those dreams. Not too long after that, depression began to set in, with the constant beating drum of obligation and struggle crashing around inside my skull. By the time I was 30, I could barely recognize the kid I knew in high school, and I knew then that he was my intellectual superior.
Still, every so often, it all comes rushing back. I’m not sure why. Sometimes I get angry, and assert myself, and when I do, the information reveals itself as if it had never left. There are other times when I am quiet, and by myself, and there is a torrent of electricity that crashes down like a waterfall, flooding me with thoughts and concepts I hadn’t considered in nearly two decades.
Today was one of those days. Now, I don’t pretend it will ever return full force, but it feels so good to have my brain open itself up to me once again, even for a short time. I try to write everything down before it fades, but can never get far before there isn’t enough of a mental image left to draw from, and the spark dies once more, and just leaves me with the impression that says, “holy fuck, I’m smart!”