Saturday, 1 February 2014

Navel Gazing (Belly Button Staring?)

All the upheaval in my life at the moment have gotten me thinking about the future. Not just what I want to make and wear but who I want to be. Where do I want to be in ten years.

It's a rollercoaster of joy and depression, and I definitely haven't come out the other end yet but every time something like this has happened to me I've come out of it wiser but a little bit more separated from what I think of as the expected route. If it keeps up at this rate I'll either end up like Bill Gates or the movie stereotype wise crazy homeless person.

I'd prefer the Bill Gates one.

When you're looking for a job you find yourself in the weird position of trying to sell yourself. What would make other people want you and want to be around you. Are you a good leader? Can you type? Heal people? Burp the alphabet? What do you have to offer someone else that's so good that they're willing to pay for it?

I often think of myself as someone with a lot to offer but no proof of it, and that's what I'm trying to change at the moment. I'm trying to be social and it's a new thing for me. It's hard and confusing and people don't make much sense.

I spent some of yesterday sending off applications for volunteering positions, doing fundraising and simple admin for charities, to see if anyone would take me. I even sent off one for a Young Carers support group that I used to get help from as a teen. I'm starting to understand that my actions and my history are the only thing that people have to judge by, they can't see what they need to just by looking at me.

This may not be a big revelation to you, but I've been catching up from behind for a long time now. Things like this come from theory of mind, your ability to understand what other people think and feel, and I've always been lacking. I believe I'm high functioning autistic, but arguing with doctors and getting a test is so much personal interaction and hard work for something I already know, just to prove it to other people who may just mentally label me 'retarded' or rude and move along.
Autistic spectrum disorders mess about with the temporal lobe.

I've learned a lot with my intellectual mind that other people were born with, I rarely accidentally insult people any more any when I only have to deal with one person I'm almost normal, but if there isn't instant feedback I could live my whole life without understanding. I'm starting to think most people fall into this trap.

I think we consider what people will think of us in the short run far longer than the big picture they get. We consider first impressions and often don't think beyond that. Don't get me wrong, first impressions are important, but if you sell yourself as something you aren't then trying to keep it up might well destroy you. You need to present yourself as a condensed, polished representation of yourself, not a totally new person who'll dissolve when the pressure of real life hits. I'm starting to see that more and more lately.

If we want to change the way we are perceived in a radical way, we have to change ourselves in a sustainable way. Find a new passion if you feel like a one trick pony, learn to take a bit more joy in life if people think of you as no fun to be with, and maybe stop expecting people to 'see through to the real you' when you don't even try to look at it from their perspective.

And, of course, learn when not to care what other people think.

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