“Jimmy’s got some new moves.”

Woman on a bike

Did you ever notice how people determine your value based on exceedingly flimsy data?  For example, we draw on memories of how others behave and subconsciously assign these behavioral expectations to strangers merely because something about them triggers a memory.  It could be the color of their skin, the way they dress, or even the scent they wear.  Our minds decide the person fits in a predetermined category almost instantly.

It’s a human trait to conclude based on very little information.  It’s the reason science is a thing.  Science deliberately bases conclusions only on evidence.  Without evidence, it’s just a theory subject to being disproved at any time.  These fields of study exist because it’s counter to the way humans typically think.  Training and education are customarily required to obtain the ability to think scientifically.

Have you noticed how people are reluctant to alter their perception of others, even when counter-evidence presents itself?  How we’re usually surprised when someone exhibits behaviors that don’t fit with the category we assigned them?  And how we often throw Occam’s razor out the window and instead, come up with outlandish reasons why a person is defying our initial impression so we can continue to define our initial theory as fact? 😶

in my pockets

I’ve wondered why we’re like this, and come up with a few theories to explain it.  I postulate it’s because our lives are short and we’re generally intellectually lazy.  Further, I suspect we’re intellectually lazy because our lives are short.  We don’t have time to analyze every thought and determine whether it’s evidence-based or assumption.  (Granted, as a fellow human, I’m unwilling to carry the unflattering label without the caveat.) 😂

Despite this reasonable theory of why we behave this way, it deeply saddens me.  I’ve stated several times I’m most fascinated by people.  I believe we’re each a universe of information, experiences, thoughts, etc.  I enjoy observing and listening to people and trying on their unique perspective.  Through trial and error, I’m learning to be more respectful in how I do this.  (Such as being more conscious of how long I can look at someone before it’s staring.)

I regret we have so little time, and therefore, don’t usually recognize how everyone we encounter is incredible in their unique way.  We all hurt when rejected, so many of us build walls out of self-preservation.  We present a side of ourselves based on past treatment and rejections we’ve experienced.  We perpetually tweak our presentation to yield the least amount of pain.  Some of us are less able to alter our presentation and settle for avoidance and isolation, instead.

It’s a complex operation, and I freely admit I’m more prone to avoidance and isolation.  I lack the necessary sophistication and am far less apt at reading body language than most.  On top of that, I’m sensitive to the energy of others, which makes it far more challenging.  I can easily sense rejection but suck at narrowing down the cause.  It’s frustrating, (she said while claiming the Understatement of the Year award.)

Kramer inaction figure

It saddens me because we so quickly reject those who aren’t instantly comprehensible.  Those who are so different, we’d have to create a new category on the fly to process them into our existing catalog.  It’s so much easier to label them as strange and disengage.  I have a strong theory that these encounters with unusual strangers are opportunities to grow and expand ourselves.  But only if we’re willing to spend a bit of time connecting with them, and opening ourselves to differences.

I truly believe, based on my own experiences, that ignoring the initial inclination to reject someone because they’re different is a shortcut to overall growth as a person.  Sure, it may take a moment to wrap your mind around something new, but I think it’s an investment in your character.  You stretch your mind to encompass something new, and in doing so, expand yourself.  And finally, my point.  I challenge everyone who reads this to test my theory in 2019.  To consciously and deliberately connect with people you encounter who are different than those you’ve bonded with in the past, and see if it leads to personal growth.  💜✌🏽💪🏽

“They said I put too much chlorine in the pool.”

bloom

Time has been flying by of late.  The results of rebuilding myself with small changes are continuing to reveal astonishing outcomes.  This butterfly effect is fascinating, and I’m surprisingly fearless in its midst.  Letting go of my need to feel in control whenever possible is likely involved.  I didn’t anticipate this skill as part of growing, but I’m delighted by it.  (Bonus!) 🙃

I believe it involves a level of trust in myself to be able to cope with whatever comes my way.  Experience and reflection are far more valuable than I ever imagined.  I spent time lamenting the challenges, unfairness, trauma, and despair I’ve endured without recognizing the gifts that grew from the devastated ground.  I failed to focus on how painful periods of fire-and-fallow eventually lead to regeneration.

This newfound understanding is a powerful anti-stress tool.  My transformation from extremely high-strung to calm and tranquil is incredible.  It feels as if I stumbled on it accidentally, then noticed in hindsight.  My world moves more slowly now.  I’m no longer stuck on a permanent three-second delay.  I’m not continually racing to catch up to the present, but instead, exist here.  It’s wonderful here.  I can look around and breathe.

solitude

Initially, I credited this phenomenon as part of aging.  But after more consideration, I’ve concluded it’s about growth.  I recall being upset when I realized growth and aging don’t necessarily correlate.  Based on my observations, they’re not even related.  I’m perpetually attracted to those whose energy reflect tranquillity.  (It’s likely because I’m highly sensitive to that of others.)

I know my proclivity for solitude is born of rejecting the exhaustion that results from proximity to chaotic energy.  I used to view it as a weakness, but now I believe it’s nutrition for my soul.  I’m confident it’s afforded me the ability to grow.  I notice this feature in the lives of those who capture my interest and attention, as well.  It also clarifies the diversity of individuals to which I’m attracted.  I even appreciate the thought required to connect the dots.  🙃

For the first time in my life, I’m thankful I was interracially adopted, and raised in racial isolation.  I can finally see the ways it’s had a positive effect on who I’ve become, rather than merely regret the overwhelming sorrow and pain it also entailed.  While I’m still amazed I survived to adulthood, I acknowledge the fire-and-fallow created many opportunities to regenerate and grow into who I’ve become.  Today, I love the beautiful garden that evolved as a consequence.

“Why shouldn’t we be able to do that once in a while if we want to?”

tea break

I’m having a good week.  There was a near-meltdown moment that initially devastated, but quickly developed into reaffirming communication and connection with people significant to me.  After taking some time to process the experience, I recognized positive aspects worthy of celebration.  I went from lamenting the challenges of being autistic in a neurotypical world, to strategizing new ways of coping with them in the future, in mere hours.

The speed and clarity of resolve astonished me.  I realize I’ve leveled up in the game of life.  I’ve been floating on a cloud of joy ever since.  The process of rebuilding and learning myself still feels new and intriguing.  I almost fell into a pit of sorrow over letting go of things I once held so close.  Examining the root of these values, and acknowledging the fact they were never mine, but only acquired by rote, helped me bypass the trap.  Yay.  🙃

The changes I’ve made are small, but the results immense.  I drink herbal teas, now.  In the past, I rejected all hot beverages, without bothering to determine why.  Now I know it’s because they require me to be present in my body while partaking to avoid injury.  (It’s funny to me in hindsight.) Asking myself why turned out to be an excellent method of understanding myself in many ways.  Naturally, it led to delving deeper with more questions.

unreality

Instead of feeling regret about being different, and trying to force me to change and pretend to be like others in pursuit of acceptance by strangers, I’m using my energy to know myself.  I’m no longer accepting the values and beliefs of others as my own.  If they don’t originate within my soul, they aren’t mine.  Pretending they were was slowly erasing the essence of me.  I have no use for acceptance based on unreality.

I’d rather be alone in the dark. – Sheryl Crow

I began watching another series on Netflix titled, Black Mirror.  It’s not a show I can binge watch, (she said while giggling.)  The first episode is excruciating.  It’s also brilliant.  It’s a 44-minute test to determine if you’re eligible to continue watching.  It’s a mental tattoo.  I’m pleased it exists as I love things that lead to new paths of thought and discussion.  It also provokes me to question and learn myself.

It’s dark and foggy this week, and I struggle to sleep when it’s so humid.  Last night, I lay in bed listening to Amy Lee (Evanescence.)  I thought about how her music has accompanied my life through many hardships and growing pains.  I think I finally grok why certain musicians reach me so profoundly.  It’s about energy.  My knowledge and vocabulary are presently limited on this topic, as I’m relying solely on intuition.  I plan to explore it further, though.

I used to get so offended when people would question my choices in music (often based on things as superficial as race.)  I think it’s because I didn’t know why some appeal to me far more than others.  I’m thrilled to understand.  Amy Lee, Stevie Nicks, ABBA, Lorde, Sheryl Crow, Bach, Mozart, etc.  These musicians create music I can climb inside and bask in energy that soothes my soul.  That’s why.  🙃😂  I’m off to band practice.  💜✌🏽

“I like to go in fresh.”

walking in the snow

Fresh

Little changes, one at a time.

Blessed balance is finally mine.

Herbal teas are fortifying.

Choosing to hope over silent crying.

 

I listen to voices of gentle strangers.

Love inclusively, boldly, no danger.

Healing, teaching, celebrating unfurled.

Joy, despite the world.

 

Observing, experiencing, laughing, I absorb.

Different, new, forgotten, ignored.

I’m alone but in good company.

Connected, yet free to be me.

 

Rejecting destruction, I will create.

Can’t know the future, but I can wait.

No need to copy, no one to impress.

I’ll build a new dream, and abandon the stress.

 

Don’t want riches, don’t care about fame.

Don’t need anyone to remember my name.

Rather music, art, novels, and deep belly laughter.

Good times with friends, and the memories after.

 

Have what I need, and it’s enough.

Don’t want to be owned by excess stuff.

Can’t build me up or silence my fears.

Won’t make me stronger, or shed fewer tears.

 

Little changes, one at a time.

Embracing reality; existence is no crime.

Lots to offer, love and hope to share.

People matter to me; for them, I care.

“They’re the worst.”

friends

I haven’t posted in a while.  I was distraught and found solace in silence.  During that time, I did a lot of thinking, growing, accepting, and letting go.  I purged several rote beliefs that weren’t working out.  I forced traumatic memories into a distant room in my mind and unimagined the door.  I can’t forget them, but I don’t want to be owned by them, so they’ve been banished from my thoughts.  The resulting lessons are all that matter.

Rebuilding myself was a painful process, but it was necessary.  I like who I am now.  I’m in the midst of transforming, but the groundwork exists.  I know I’ll experience far less stress in the future.  I’ve kicked guilt and regret to the curb, as I’ve finally grokked the ridiculous concepts they are.  (Needless to say, I still have no time machine and am not actively trying to create one.)  😂

I looked back on the choices I’ve made thus far and noted patterns.  When I was a teenager, I joined the Army.  Soon after that, I joined a fundamentalist Christian church, as well.  I see now a lot of my choices were because I didn’t know how to do life.  I wanted instruction and desired to know all the rules.  I believed and enjoyed following rules.  They made me feel like I was doing life right.

I thought there was a right way and a wrong way, and I wanted to be sure I made right choices.  The Army was excellent with rules and telling me what to do, and how to do it.  I loved having manuals with diagrams for virtually every action, lots of tradition, history, and guidance.  I fully intended to serve as long as permitted.  I believed I made an incredibly wise decision by volunteering.  I fell for all the recruitment tactics, thinking I was helping my community and nation.  I thought I was a brilliant teenager doing noble work for a good cause.  😂

In reality, I was an American teenager.  I don’t fault myself for volunteering to be (further) groomed by my country.  I was clueless, enthusiastic, and incredibly naive.  Now, when I remember reciting the Pledge of Allegiance as a child, I forgive myself.  Of course, I fell for it.  I was born without wisdom.  I’ve since acquired a smidgen.  The purpose of grooming is rape.  I’m quite literal.  I know myself well enough to accept I had to experience it to understand.  I recognize I’m slow to grok reality.

The Army also afforded me the chance to visit other countries, which quickly led to realizing patriotism, nationalism, etc., were mere tools to create tools.  People are as different as they are alike.  Individuals, every one.  At this point in my life, my only reliable classification system for humans:  asshole or not.  I hate assholes.  I want nothing to do with any of them.  I used to choose only to behave in a manner that doesn’t cause deliberate harm to others, regardless of how they treated me.  After much thought and experience, I’ve abandoned this strategy.

There are a lot of humans on this planet.  Most are striving to live their lives to the best of their ability in harmony with those around them.  They have no interest in going out of their way to hurt other people.  These are the people I love.  There are also a lot of assholes living on earth.  I no longer hold any compunction against killing any asshole who deliberately seeks to kill or torture me or those I love.

Assholes choose to be hateful, spiteful, vile, and destructive.  They kill people for existing while being different, despite their not harming anyone.  They lie, steal, cheat, and create misery merely because they choose to do so.  I don’t care about them.  They’re troglodytic vermin who are actively seeking to destroy our future as a species.  I don’t value assholes.  I’m glad they’re all going to die, (even if I don’t lift a finger to speed up the process.)  I’m going to enjoy what remains of my life while avoiding them like the plague they are.

think

Not all are entitled to kindness, respect, etc.  I’m so glad I finally believe this.  I’m going to go enjoy being my new self;  Alison who thinks, who hates assholes, and only values those who don’t seek to destroy.  Me who throws away trash, and doesn’t look back or agonize where I can’t affect change.  Yay.

P.S.  Thanks for reaching out to me in my absence, Lily.  Also to those who gently nudged in other ways.  I love and appreciate you.  Comments close automatically after a few days due to spam, (digital assholes.)  😂