Just over two years ago I started this blog. I started it because it was a convenient way for me to express myself in long form in addition to discovering myself as a writer. My first post was deeply inspired by a very difficult conversation I had with a prior mentor, someone who I’ve mentioned a lot on this blog and someone I consider to be a professional influence since my teens and a major force in my decision to pursue writing seriously after his encouragement. It was a conversation which started on a very bad note, but wound up becoming very valuable advice: that we cannot get anywhere overnight, that it takes years.
This post is not about that conversation, nor is it about my first post — this last post of my blog as is, it is about wanting what we cannot have. Paris, the colloquial nickname I gave to my former mentor is exemplary of that for me personally. While I tried tweeting this to find closure on the subject, I kept coming out wrong — seemingly crazy even, so I felt it best to turn to long-form to best explain my thought process on this because it really comes from a very analytical, logical and non-emotional place.
Rewinding a bit… I have not attempted to shy away from being diagnosed at 12 with high functioning autism. In fact I noted that in my first post as well, namely my social difficulties and that sometimes I tend to over-share to compensate for not understanding how best to filter my thoughts (especially since my brain works at a very high rate of thinking, it’s often overwhelming). Part of over-sharing is coming across the wrong way or being misunderstood. I am not crazy, I suffer from no mental illness and would never do anything to others or myself, but normal non-Autistic people pick up on my abnormal social cues and quite possibly may read me the wrong way. I’ve had to learn about social processes like someone studies math, and I don’t think I need to add that this wasn’t easy.
So why do I bring this up? Well, it was not only my social over-sharing that got me into the aforementioned conversation in April of 2013, it is what got me into all of these posts and stupid rants on the subject of someone, who really, I just liked and respected.
So how did I fuck up so badly?
I think this has more to do with human nature have than it does my social ineptitude. Really, apart from Paris, I don’t have that much trouble socializing. I find myself able to coherently phrase myself and not over-share because I was diagnosed young enough to learn social behaviors before life-long patterns of stunted autistic development set in. I have a sense of humor and can appreciate body language and levels of social nuance many diagnosed in adulthood fail to grasp. So why have I continuously messed up with regard to him?
The nervousness I experience because I respect him so much since my teens reverts me back into this autistic haze I’ve worked so hard since 12 to escape from. It is often only after I speak out that I realize looking at my social interaction from an objective and analytical standpoint that I messed up and came out wrong (like the day of our conversation in April, 2013). Eager to get a do-over and try and correct myself, I delete my thoughts and rephrase — and repeat this process 100 times.
Unlike a math problem, we cannot just erase our equation and do it over, because with each attempt on a social level we only add to the collective impression. After a certain number of erasures that page in your workbook starts to blacken and eventually rip and once you reach that point where you cannot continue to write along that same page, that’s it. That’s where I am at now. I’ve found myself to the point of pasting it together with tape, hoping against all hopes that I still could explain to them that I am a good person with a lot to offer, that I am not nuts, but rather incapable of coming out right.
This is all just a shitty excuse, and me not taking ownership for my own behavior. Coming across my work book the other day, of my drawings made in 2012, I remembered a time where I could talk to him and not feel this haze over my head. I interacted normally, and even eventually gave him one of my sketches when he came to New York. I told myself then and there I had to let it go, to remember fondly that time and stop trying to undo what cannot be undone.
The truth is I also had a crush on him as well. Any normal person with a crush is going to act a bit off too. Add into that my autistic haze, and you have a recipe for social disaster.
Despite all this, I still know that if ever given the chance to work for him, I know it would be like 2012 again — I would be able to function completely normal. The problem is the nature of how things left off — he just dropped off the face of the earth with no word, while occasionally showing me he was keeping tabs on me. Between my crush and also just really respecting him, I found myself tweeting and making blog posts to try and get him to say something. He never did. This kept up until I came across that sketch book, and I finally said no more this morning. Except prior to realizing that, I ripped up more pages with do-overs in the process.
I titled this post The Battle Against Human Nature because that’s exactly what I have had to do. Being on the spectrum, it is a battle against collapsing into my autistic haze because of nervousness or discomfort. It is the fear of having to justify that in spite of my brilliance, I am socially stunted but NOT crazy. I would trade my 147 IQ any day for a normal IQ and the ability to feel normal and not have to say “I didn’t mean it that way, sorry, can I have a do-over.” I’d trade my overactive mind for the ability to not have to feel the need to explain myself, write these posts, tweet those tweets and stay up thinking until 2AM… I battle against my own human nature every day, and part of my human nature is being autistic. I learn more about myself every day as a result of this battle, and if anything it has given me great introspection and the ability to write/think freely. The other part of that battle is loosing friends, or those who you desperately wanted to be friends with because in this battle sometimes, it doesn’t go your way.
This is the last of my post on this blog under this site-name. I will be re-constructing it to meet more of a professional standard as I prepare my move to LA. The fact that this journey started personally and ended personally is but a testament to my personal growth. The battle against human nature continues, but with each battle we learn from our past mistakes. While I wish Paris wasn’t one of those mistakes, I certainly plan to think things out more to avoid needing do-overs in the future.