Hi.

I'm a 22 year old male with a new-found love for math. It started this summer when I decided to go back to school and I was so afraid of failing math yet again, that I learned math for 2 months straight. I didn't realize then but I had taught myself a lot of which the school would teach up till graduation (from scratch, e.g. 1+1).

So I will be doing very little in math class until I enroll into a university (where I plan on studying mathematics).

Now at first I thought I was really good at math...But then came calculus (self teaching). I realized I had holes all over my mathematics knowledge. I am asked to derive this and that and I have to go back and learn what ln is and how it's related to e^x. Sometimes I even realize algebraic methods that I did not realize could be utilized. So I'll be learning calculus but I don't understand it in the same way that I understand the rest of math. I feel like I can speak math almost fluently below calculus as I see the logic in everything. In calculus I am having a hard time seeing the logic since the expressions become very large and it takes a long time for them to seep in for me.

I really want to be good at math. I mean like REALLY good at math. I want to work exciting jobs and solve exciting problems, however when you read about mathematicians they all seem to have an IQ of 130+ and loved math since birth. I hated math until I was 22!

Can anyone cheer me up with a story of a mathematician who didn't do math since birth? Anyone else struggled with calculus but then understood it? Is the learning curve only going to get slower from now on or is this a hard patch for everyone?

Any motivation is really appreciated. Thanks!