I know, I know. There’s not been a lot going on around here lately; that’s partly what I’ve been thinking about lately.
And I’m sorry about my absence. Believe me, I’ve missed doing this as much as some of you miss reading it! But this summer has a lot of promise, and one of the things I’m planning is some revamping of this site.
I feel like I’ve been making some fairly large progress in a lot of areas this year, and I want to take some time this summer to continue. As weird as it probably sounds, I kind of feel like I’m finally becoming an adult…
Yeah, yeah, I know: the white hair suggests I’ve been there for a while! But my outlook hasn’t been entirely an adult outlook. I’ve always felt like I was in this strange in-between place because (until recently) I spoke too grown or sophisticated for people my own age, and yet emotionally I got along with (and still get along with) people the age of my students more than I do with people my own age.
My views on dating are similarly in a hodgepodge, in-between place. While reflecting on a good many things (several of which we’ll talk about today), I realized that I didn’t really start dating until I was 30ish.
I never went on a single date in high school. I went to see the X-Files movie with a guy friend of mine the summer after graduation, and it wasn’t until a few years later that I found out he had thought it was a date.
I was even stood up for my junior prom! He had told me that he would go. I bought the ticket, and even up until I was leaving to go to the dance, I couldn’t understand why he was ignoring me. Now that I think about it, it was my first experience with ghosting, and I handled it as well then as I do now. The only difference is that then, I didn’t understand what was happening. I was just hurt and confused that he didn’t do what he had said he would do.
Now, I don’t even remember his name, but at the time it caused me to go stag my senior year to avoid the same situation.
There were a
couple few of us who went together dateless. We told ourselves it was because we were progressive females who didn’t need a guy, but in reality, in that small town I grew up in, we or at least I wasn’t considered pretty…
At least, not by anyone who would say such a thing to me anyway.
In college, my dating life was a series of guys asking me out and then either attempting or achieving a one-night stand. Occasionally a few of those turned into something semi-serious, but even the guy who came home to meet my mother wanted to sleep with me on the first date. He at least had the courtesy to take me home before such a thing happened. He told me as he dropped me off that even though that’s what he wanted, he didn’t want that to be all it was.
We sort of jumped right into a serious relationship immediately after that. The idea was that the chemistry was the thing that brought people together and then you found out if there was any intellect or compatibility afterward.
There was plenty of time to get to know people…
And then after 3 weeks, a month, maybe two months (if I was lucky), I’d realize that they couldn’t match my level of passion when it came to the things they loved.
I didn’t know then that my level of passion (verging on obsession) was a… symptom or side effect of being on the spectrum. No neuro-typical person is likely to match my level of passion, focus, or recall about my various passions.
I call them my “things”. Like The Sims 4 is one of my things. I can, and have played that game up to 36 hours non-stop. I was really in my Sims zone!
And I fully anticipate that when the new expansion comes out at the end of the month I’ll disappear from the world for at least a couple of days just to familiarize myself with all the new things!
Or, for another example, I recently joined the world of Bullet Journaling. I was super convinced that this was a terrible idea. I mean, I have a gazillion fancy notebooks that I already keep with the idea that they will help me get organized, and they all end up being just catch-alls for all my thoughts or plans. Like traveling junk drawers for words, pictures, lists…
If you know anything about Bullet Journaling, you’ll realize that’s basically a perfect fit. Only it’s a creative process that helps to focus and give structure to keep it from becoming a jumbled mess of thoughts.
Or at least that’s my hope.
Whether it works or not, I’ve thrown myself into this. My BuJo has become one of my “things”. I used a gift card I received from a co-worker (a birthday present) to order a cheap bullet journal and some fine tipped markers that I thought I remembered someone saying were good.
Then I spent hours, many hours, watching videos about bullet journaling. I created a Pinterest board for ideas for layouts, themes, color schemes, etc.
And for the past few days, I’ve worked on my bullet journal so much that I’ve only gotten 4 hours of sleep (or less). I was so tired yesterday that I almost fell asleep less than 2 miles from home while at a stop light. I came home and almost immediately fell asleep and slept another 3 hours when I should have been cooking dinner.
I think it’s going to be worth it, though.
Not only is the doodling and coloring relaxing at the end of my day, but (I hope) it’s actually going to help me get a handle on some of the executive functioning things I struggle with.
Like time management.
Or bill paying.
I guess I’ve finally accepted that I need a routine and structure in order to function.
It was hard for me! I always thought of myself as this totally spontaneous person who refused to follow a schedule or be tied down to a routine, but the more I look back at my life experiences, the more I can admit that what I called “spontaneity” was really recklessness connected to my “things,” or me trying to figure out who I was once I was away from my family and could be more open about my passions, my things.
My instability to keep a job in my 20’s is directly linked to my inability to separate my have-to-dos from my passions. I once tried to explain to someone (during a particularly experimental phase of my life) that it was like I was always living 2 lives: my spiritual life of the things I was inexplicably drawn to, and my “real” life, which included the things I had to do in order to be a functioning member of society.
Teaching is the only job that makes me feel really stable because it allows me to combine my “real” life with my things.
The thing that never ever fades is my love for words, specifically the written language and the layers it hides. I teach English, and I get to share that love for language with my students every day of my working life! How lucky can I be?!
But my BuJo will help me to better focus so I can keep my “real” life straight and hopefully it will organize me so that I can find time for my other things, most notably my writing and keeping up with this blog.
If I’m right, we’ll be seeing some changes around here. Including more content, and more focused content at that!
So… Those are my thoughts on this Thursday. It was a bit reflective, but also (to use a word I stole from a friend) very gratitudinous!
I hope your Thursday was equally as enlightening, and until the next post, keep moving towards your goals and your passions!