Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Things to learn

The ability to not let others bring us down
How to take charge of one's own life

My best friend once told me, "The one thing that changed my life was when I realized that it doesn't matter what others think of you. It took me a while, but understanding this is the best thing anybody can do for themselves."

This statement has to be the most important thing anyone's ever said to me, and years later I'm  trying to figure out if I've actually gotten there.

Life beats you over the head sometimes, and it seems to happen more easily to me than to others - I guess I'm just wired that way, able to handle less. 

Naturally, I'm terrified silly, though this reaction has become rather commonplace. 

The optimist in me is yelling to fight back and slaughter my inner fears cold. 

I have a bunch of numbers for doctors around my area, and I'm going to start making phone calls tomorrow. I'm not self-assured just yet, but I've finally realized I can't let my own thoughts destroy me. Now all I need is the help to actually accomplish this.

Anxiety can fucking suck it. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Understanding Relationships: Benefactors vs. Leeches

I am sitting here after yet another failed attempt at anything. Funny, huh?

It's becoming apparent to me that Aspies have a unique sense of humor all their own. Mine borders on the line of childish, crude silliness that isn't directed at anyone's expense, to be vaguely put. I don't like offending people, so I veer towards always being the nice one, always being humble, quiet (to avoid blurting out something inappropriate that may offend somebody), generally being too sweet. It's both a blessing and a curse - I hardly ever hurt anybody's feelings, but at the same time, I struggle to maintain a friendship that lasts longer than a few weeks - apart from my few true friends, of course. 

Basically, I get boring, so people move on. Good for the office, bad for the social world. 

Because of this, the people I become associated with often fall into two categories: the nurturing, and the harmful. The relationship I have with the first group comes from a cycle of support: we exchange advice, take care of one another when the other one is sick, do favors for each other, provide the necessary pick-me-up in the case of a break up - you get the idea. This is the more traditional type of a friendship where everyone is the benefactor, though in my case it isn't so humor-based (unless focused pop culture and television). My closest friends all fall into this category, and I'm grateful for that - without such wonderful people in my life I would have nothing.

I am just beginning to understand why I attract the second group - they are cruel, manipulative, superficially charming individuals who look to suck the life out of us because we appear weaker than they do; They have their way with you and then toss you aside. I'm thinking this occurs in my case because I appear so reserved, and unfortunately I can't work a whole room on my own, if you know what I'm saying - I need to respond to others, it's just the way I am. 

Socializing is a process of filtering through people and keeping those who help you, and distancing yourself from those who don't - simple as that. If this is the case, then why do we attract so many leeches?

I'm noticing that a lot of guys who express a romantic (or at least sexual) interest in me fall into the second category - they get distracted, or will be excessively rude if they suddenly decide that they aren't interested after all. Perhaps this is the hooking-up culture spitting me in the face, for it is exactly what I don't want. Who knows, if I were the life of the party, maybe I would be this way as well. Having been described as a "fun drunk" I do particularly well with socializing at parties, but after the booze wears off and the sun comes up I'm left with only my shyness and a lack of anything interesting to say - hence, my weak point. Gotta love college, right?

Why do we have to countlessly be victimized by those who are more charismatic, more power-hungry than we are? Certainly there has to be something better out there! Sure, I'm surrounded by a number of immature young men, but is this just a generational thing, or will they be this way forever?

Until then, I guess we just have to recognize who is best for us... it gets easier, right?

Monday, January 5, 2009

a tadpole amidst a sea of frogs.

I had a frighteningly eye-opening conversation with my dad a few days ago - a general summary of what he told me:

"You've made so much progress thus far, but I can't understand how you'll possibly survive in the work world. You forget appointments, you're disorganized, and you are stuck in these one-sided generalizations about work. The frustrating thing is, though that you refuse to acknowledge them and work on these issues. You're driving yourself into a deep hole, _______ - you're creating a handicap for yourself where you'll be incapable of working."

Now I'm not a religious person, but let me pray to God that none of this is true. I've had such big dreams for years, and if his words are entirely accurate, and I do nothing about this, then I will be incapable of accomplishing those big dreams. I've been pushing myself through school my entire life to get to where I'll be within 5-10 years, and if all of my efforts thus far turn out to be completely fruitless, then what am I to do?

I hate to admit it, but I do see some fact behind his words. He means well (even though the general statement above is a bit harsh) and he wants nothing but the best for me. Let's face it: I'm awful on the phone, I have difficulty schedueling appointments and calling back people (and furthermore, knowing when to do so), and I can't understand people's expectations unless they explicitly tell me what these expectations are. This may cause a number of problems with employers in the future, you know? 

Of course, I would ideally like to run my own business to not be beat down by a higher authority (this is what gets to me), but doing this even involves skills that I don't yet have. I'm taking my traits into consideration when doing this - and it really is possible - a solitary environment where I'm surrounded by my own creativity and a few close employees and business partners is really all I need.

Finding the success I will need to support myself, however, requires people and organizational skills I don't yet have. I really hope I get there. There's nothing wrong with recieving an SSI from the government but I would like to be able to say I've gotten this far on my own. I guess I'm stubborn in that sense, heh.

Maybe I will go to some of those Asperger's group meetings my dad keeps telling me about. I used to be terrified of them when I was younger, as it's taken me years to adjust to the idea of having Asperger's and standing out due to some of these traits. I'm still not completely adjusted now, but I think going to meetings like these will help me get there. I'm still young, so there's still time, right?

If I start now, hopefully I'll be okay. I would be interested in hearing about others' experiences with adjusting to the work world, if anyone reading this is interested in sharing. Ta-ta!
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