# Solving For Me in Terms of X

October 10, 2011
My palms began sweating as I looked at the homework board. It read like a danger sign posted in the front of a condemned building. “COLLEGE ESSAYS DUE SEPTEMBER 27.” Panic set in. I have never written anything about myself before. Where do I even start? I had no idea, and time was quickly running out.

Like most epiphanies, mine came accidently. While frantically trying to discover what to write the most important essay of my life about, my friend leaned over to me and wrote something on my page to get me to smile. “LEXIE = ?” Then I understood exactly how to solve my newest problem: the college essay.

Mathematics comes more instinctively than writing a five hundred word long essay with which expressing myself is the only limit. No one ever taught me an equation to plug myself into though, or how to solve for who I am with a proof. I could not be simplified to “y=mx+b” format.

I looked at myself algebraically.

What are my factors? My friends know me as the girl who makes light of everything and the one they can complain to at midnight. I howl with my dog when the fire siren blares, and I curl up with her in the bathtub during thunderstorms. I eat Chinese food while reciting every word to the Grinch and the movie Pinocchio has always scared me. I broke two gel electrophoreses, but I laughed and kept trying until I got it right. I slipped in the same mud puddle twice in the course of ten minutes, and I am the one who asks the physics teacher, “How can we be sure if we cannot test it?”

Is the function raised to a power? What compounds these traits? The sarcasm, which frequently drips off of my words when I explain how to send a text message to my mother for the fiftieth time; the way I fly on the trapeze to feel a rush of excitement I cannot get anywhere else; the way I frequently get myself into trouble because I defend my friends when I see someone has hurt them; and the way I dig my heels in and refuse to yield, the thing I like the least about myself.

What is my equation, then?

Are there limits and conditions in this equation? Yes and no. There are limits to how much this equation can truly explain me. How much can you really understand about me from this? You cannot plug in an input and receive an answer, and there are still so many variables that even I do not know how to solve for. And the conditions are just that, conditions and circumstances.

But there are no limits on me. Obviously I will not take flight with my own set of wings any time soon, and I cannot defy gravity yet. There are no limits on who or what I can be though. These are just my raw materials. The variables are infinite and so are my possibilities.