Spreadsheets Saved My Life

The title you just read, and pretended you didn’t read, but then continued on to this sentence regardless is in fact, all so very true.

I’ve always been bad at math. I mean, right now I’m looking at some numbers on another thing, which I’m avoiding like mould or an ex girlfriend you see at a party. It’s in another part of my screen I’m supposed be looking at and it couldn’t be worse. Nail-biting, nervousness, avoiding, dreaming, anything, everything. Just not the numbers. Anything besides the numbers.

I’m pretty sure this was way more tolerable than trying to do any math.

My sister just told me recently she would cry at how mean my father was to me as a kid over math. He was an engineer. My brother and sister are or were also software engineers. I went to art school. Now imagine how well that turned out. My dad couldn’t understand that I just didn’t understand. To him this was laziness. To me this was trying, trying, trying and getting nowhere. Like Sisyphus pushing a rock up that hill for eternity, only to get crushed by said rock and not getting anywhere. It was like that.

Then the squares appeared somewhere. They can go up to down, left to right and then it does all the adding up for you. It made sense. I could see it. I don’t know, it just was comfortable. Even the formulas bit. Now I’m a proper adult and the calculations just create more nervousness because now they’re about real things like money and time and the lives of my family. A miscalculation will take food out of their tiny, crying mouths. And it will be me again, staring at a pile of numbers before my eyes. This time me yelling at myself why I’m don’t understand this.