I was always a "smart" kid. I did well on markers of intellect, IQ tests and such. I was reading complex books at an early age. I was doing long division by kindergarten (not that I can actually do it now). I kept this fast pace up until I got challenged in middle school, and the rest of the story you know: I fell down a few times and got back up.
But yesterday's test really had nothing to do with how smart I was or wasn't. It's not a perfect test by any stretch, but what it was testing was whether or not I could put in the work to learn the contours of the exam. It was essentially a puzzle to put together. Memorization wouldn't have helped, and patterns were paramount.
In a way, I feel as though, aside from those with serious deficiencies etc, almost anyone, given the time and support, can figure out such things. I don't do well on such a test and think it makes me better; indeed I think it means everyone else can do just as well.
I think it's part of why I teach, to help other people reach where I feel that I have, to help them figure out the best way to achieve.
It took me longer than I expected to learn that the joy wasn't in knowing everything but in the process of figuring things out. Sometimes I think trivia, although it makes me feel good, is just ego-stroking since there's rarely anything to unlock (but it's still fun).
Still though. The joy is in the method. And I think anyone who sees that can travel extremely far.