This week in the laboratory – Week of 17 July, 2016

microscope front view looking into the eyepieces

Lab Notes Recap: 17-24 July, 2016 : My special interests tend to be intense for a few months, then fade to the background, when another special interest comes up. My skittishness gets more pronounced when I’m under a lot of stress and duress. And interestingly, I can get so consumed by a new interest that I completely forget about past passions, no matter how intense they were. I can also swing from one extreme to the other — probably because my passionate devotion exhausts me, which then sends me spiraling down into an abyss of Why-The-F*ck-Bother?

This week has been an exercise in that.

I’ve gone from being on a full-force mission to obtain an official Aspergers diagnosis — setting up an appointment for late September… to realizing that I have neither the time nor the money to work with that particular provider… to finding another provider who is more accessible… to wondering why I should even bother, if I’ve been trucking along in okay Aspie form, all these 18 years. At this point, isn’t it almost superfluous?

I’ve gone from having extremely detailed ideas about what I want to document in my Aspergian life to share with others… to feeling like that exercise would be less than pointless, and everyone just needs to fend for themselves and be done with it.

I’ve gone from rekindling my old intense interest in the Resistance to the Nazi regime and coming up with guerilla tactics to block the rise of fascism in this country of mine… to scouting out available real estate in the Canada maritimes where my partner and I can relocate if El Trumpo gets into office.

I’ve gone from despairing of every writing anything decent again… to figuring out how a new approach on a book I’ve been working on, for quite some time. I now know what direction to take with it. Exciting! This unblocks me on a project that’s been near and dear to my heart for nearly 20 years. Now I need to find the review copy I had been working on, months ago (it’s got to be here, somewhere), and go back to marking up my changes. This could work… this could really work… I could have it finally finished by the end of the summer. Then again, do I really want to bother?

I’ve also re-discovered the roots of a passionate special interest that never died with me, just go buried under the detritus of everyday hassles and distractions. And I bought myself a tasty stack of books for a very low price (averaging $3.50 per book!), which should be arriving on my doorstep next week.

I’ve gone from wanting to cancel my Facebook account completely… to wanting to un-friend all the hate-spewing connections (I won’t call them “friends”) I have… to deciding to just keep my account but not check it that much, except to message the actual friends I have there.

I’ve gone from wanting to drop out of Twitter permanently… to realizing I have some healthy and helpful connections there, so maybe I should just check in on the little DM chats I’ve been part of. Blocking some folks. Muting others. Trying to figure out how to mute the hate and contentiousness, while maintaining connections that add to my life and happiness and sense of purpose.

And so it goes… up and down, ’round and ’round…

I just need to take care of myself — and also remember that I need to re-train myself out of the “marketing mindset” I’d adopted in my work, over the past years. I work in technology, and I’ve also been part of digital marketing divisions for years, so because of my day-jobs, I’ve adopted this perspective of needing to poll everyone else about what they want, what they think, what they are looking for, so I can tailor my offerings to them.

For my own creative process, this is murder. Murder, I tell you. I can’t live like that. I can’t create like that. I need to write and draw and paint and compose freely, without concern for what others think.  Non-commercially. Without getting all wrapped up in what others are looking for and/or will pay for. It’s a stifling pox on my mind and heart, and I don’t want to do it, anymore. That’s why I have taken the jobs I have, over the years — to free myself and my art and writing from commercial constraints and the need to please others, lest I fade to nothing in their eyes and cease to be a “viable” creator in the estimation of others.

And that will never work.

These things take time. Re-training myself takes time. Allowing myself to be actually autistic on my own time, whenever I need to… that takes time. I tend to put others first — but not for unhealthy reasons. I just think that relationship and interaction deserves something higher and better than what we typically give it. There’s an art to relating, and that’s important.

At the same time, though, I still need a good dose of autism in my life.

Some self-referencing, some self-absorption to the exclusion of all else. So I can actually think.

Balance, balance… it’s all about balance. Well and truly.

This life of mine is still a work in progress. Should be interesting to see what next week brings.


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