FAQ: What is 3 x 4? It might not be 12.

I have always cried when I am confused. Starting in second grade, when I couldn’t finish my times table test in the allotted time, I cried. I sobbed. It was partially the humiliation of not finishing my test when I was used to excelling in school, but it was more that I did not understand it. It hadn’t clicked yet. Sure, it was embarrassing to cry in front of my teacher and my classmates (especially considering the fact that it was just a multiplication test on 3’s), but it was more the suffocating realization that I didn’t understand something, when I usually could figure things out so effortlessly.

Whenever I have been confused, I am seized by an urgent desire to cry, but instead I transform the frustration into a yearning to solve the mystery. I figure it out. Just like math. Everything can be rationalized and explained, right? 3 x 4 = 12.

But, what about when you can’t even build the equation? I am three worries multiplied by four concerns divided by two hopes, equalling what result? I don’t know the answer. In fact, I don’t even know what the question is. Maybe life isn’t supposed to be solved in a FAQ.

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