Mindful Math


Learn from the bad days, relish in the good days, and be mindful: that’s pretty much what life sums up to. Today was a bad day. I’m going to choose, however, not to go into detail this time. I’m not going to rant about my exceptionally bad social skills, or the fact that I connect better with inanimate objects than I do people. I’m not going to whine about the anxiety generated from this realization that keeps me mostly silent in social gatherings in fear of 1)interpreting something wrong, or 2) saying something inappropriate or 3) sounding like an idiot. I’m not going to pity myself over my sensory issues that keep me distracted during conversation and every other moment of my life.

image002What I will do is say that everything takes time. I will say that where I am and where I want to be are so distant from each other, separated by such a spontaneous, long, winding pathway, you’re going to need Parametric equations to understand the reality. You’re going to need x, y, and t. You’re going to need to identify the curve and graph it and tell me what direction it’s heading.


What I will say is that life is like a Taylor Polynomial:


Everything is an approximation, a copy, a trace step by step, or in a graph’s case point by point, of someone else’s ideas and behaviors and discoveries. The older you get, the more you understand, the more terms are in your Polynomial expression and the better your approximation will be; your educated guess gets better and better and better.

You can’t rush the polynomial. It builds how it builds given the equation it has to work with. If it’s something fairly simple like e^x, well hell, all the derivatives are of e^x are e^x so you won’t have much of a difference in terms of the numerators. There won’t be risk or reward or output, just like in life. If you don’t embrace change, if you can’t, if you don’t allow yourself to, much of what you experience will stay the same. And it will continue on and on until you match perfectly the original approximation. How exciting.

But plug in the third root of x and suddenly you have different derivatives in your numerator. Suddenly things are changing. Things are shifting and although a number like 5/248832 is a little . . . well, unsettling for most people, so are changes in life. They’re unsettling. They get a little creepy. Sometimes they look so outrageous that you just wonder “what’s the point?”.

But . . . at least you’re questioning. 

At least you’re experiencing. At least when your approximation reaches it’s end goal, you can wipe your forehead clear, sigh a breath of relief, and look back at all the work you’ve just completed with pride.

Don’t be an e^x. However fascinating the term may or may not be to you, don’t be like it. 

From today I take away many things. Many of them are negative and that’s okay. But I also take away the realization that I can continue to grow, even though it will be hard. Even though the people I’m trying to approximate are at a level I may not reach for three, four, five, maybe even ten years. Even though I feel the social calculations I’ll have to make to complete this approximation will be more complex than any math equation I’ve encountered in my young math life.

My struggle with connection may have something to do with looking at people like math equations . . .


I also need to stop procrastinating on this math homework. I have a test on Tuesday at 8 in the morning. Wish me luck.

And Remember. Don’t be like e^x. Change a little.


11 thoughts on “Mindful Math”

  1. What a wonderful and refreshing view on the challenges of social connection! I have no idea about the math stuff but I love how you used it to bring a different view on being patient and being yourself. Thanks for sharing and all the best with your test!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Ah yes!!! Social awkwardness right hereee! 🙋🏻🙋🏻. I HATE when this happens and it happens a lot:
    Stranger: Hi, how are you?
    Me: Thanks!! You too!

    McDonald’s person: come again
    Me: You too!

    Stranger: Excuse me
    Me: You too!

    This shit. Just never knowing wtf people are gonna say and having the most fucking awkward response.

    This…this is why I HATE phone convos. They’re mostly dead silent just listening to me breathing lmfao.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lmfao
      “Come again”
      “You too”
      Lmfaoooo I do that at movies all the time.
      “Enjoy the movie”
      “Thanks you too”
      I hate phone convos too, for me the people talk too fast or I don’t know when I’m supposed to talk so im just like….ummmmmmmmmm. lmao.
      My main problem is when they ask me a question or are talking, and they ask me about myself and we talk about that….and then they stop, waiting for something. WHAT ARE THEY WAITING FOR. The little people in my brain start running around like in that sponge Bob episode, burning papers and lighting themselves on fire because idk wtf I’m supposed to say/do or what. Then it just ends into a creepy staring contest.
      I guess they call it….an inability to keep a conversation going.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I seem to respond or remark in conversations with only part of the full sentence. And later when I reflect, it seems that those hearing me can interpret it in more than one way. If so, then they get confused and opt for the worst interpretation. But I don’t realize it until later when I think it’s too late to clear up misconceptions. uuuuggggghhhh. I’ve gotten better at forgiving myself when I do this.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, I do that often as well. Or I start reflecting on how I could have kept the conversation going, hours or days after the conversation happened. It’s like when it comes to conversation, my brain works at one sixteenth it’s normal speed. I’m glad you can forgive yourself for these things however. I’m still confused by it all.

        Liked by 1 person

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