For many years I have striven to hide my intelligence.
In my experience, people seem to mistrust those that are smarter than them.
I should quantify my usage of the word ‘smarter’. It is just the best word that I can think of for the purpose of this blog. It has no connotations to me believing that I am better or superior. To my mind, being intelligent isn’t something that makes you better than anyone else. Being smart is not that much of a good thing. An average intelligence is much better because it gives you, again to my mind, a much more rounded view of the world.
Being smart is something which we all are. IQ levels are just a way of quantifying a certain type of intelligence. But just because you aren’t classified as intelligent, it doesn’t mean that you are not. Intelligence comes in all shapes and forms.
As I was saying, people mistrust intelligence. I have no idea why? Perhaps they sense difference? In schools all over the world, kids get bullied for being smart (they also get bullied for being stupid but that is a different story).
At an early age, I learnt that intelligence was something to be hidden at all costs. Don’t outshine anyone, look like you are ‘trying’, work slower, be less bright, make mistakes.
If I worked at my normal rate, I would be paid out for it in bullying, punishments, the cold shoulder. Things which are anathema to any child. I changed my accent, roughened it, made it as unIrish (I’m not Irish) and unposh (I am not posh either) as possible, made it more Thames estuary in tone.
Some of these self-imposed changes have lasted well into adult life. My accent has basically been screwed over royally. I still make mistakes when I talk to people. I am always aware that to be different is to be noticed and ridiculed, or worst still, to scare.
One of the reasons why I am unloved I think. Nobody loves a smart arse or jackass. I am both these things.
But I am learning to be myself as I grow older. To care less about what people think about me.
I am trying to be better.
But the real problem with intelligence is that I am uncomfortably aware of how lonely I am. Unloved and generally unwanted.
I write often about love and suicide and depression because these are things which whirl through my mind. Every other inch of me is in turmoil.
Being better would ultimately mean not being here.