…plus some rather profound insights as to why I’d like several close friends as my “family,” but am iffy on a mate or child.
I’ve been doing some thinking — rather sporadically, really, but still thinking — about what I want my life to be like in the future. I picked up a book which is really good for interdisciplinary types, called, You Majored in What? by Katharine Brooks. I did the second exercise of the book on Thanksgiving night, and found, to my surprise, that major themes of my life showed up there. Three of those themes, in no particular order, are:
Fourteen years ago, I realized that I had no idea who I was, so I set out to “find myself.” That journey is still going on; in fact, I’m working on it right now. What I find…really interesting is that all three of these factors interrelate — profoundly, in the sense that my spirituality influences my creativity and my identity, and my creativity influences my spirituality and identity. Oddly enough, it seems that the factor of “identity” is now taking something of a back seat. I do suppose that it’s taken up the majority of my last decade and a half, so I can give it a rest sometime, right? 😉
Today I went to a Christmas fair, and along the way I stopped to tinker with one of the guitars (a Classical guitar — nylon string), much to the chagrin of the guy who told me to “be careful” (I bumped a ukulele) and “take a seat.” The guitar was $100, what could I say? Of course, he probably thought I was 14 and didn’t have any money, but.
Anyhow, I was playing around with tuning one of the guitars and just listening to the sounds that came out of it. (This would only have worked if the low E was accurate, which I assumed it was.) I don’t really need a guitar — I have two steel-strings at my disposal — but I’ve wanted to take some actual for-real lessons with someone who knows what they’re doing, and learn Classical Guitar (including music reading) for a while, now. This is especially as I’ve realized the connection for me between art and music.
When I get good enough at guitar, I start being able to write my own songs, just by playing around with notes and chords. But I don’t have a great way to record this (other than tabulature — which I’ve used) and I was never taught a five-finger picking technique, or how to mute strings, which kind of makes things difficult when I’m picking out individual notes.
The reason I haven’t taken this back up again is that I just really don’t know if I have the time for it. There’s that, and the fact that I don’t really have any great aims to become a musician (or the naivete to think I’ll be able to make it as one), so it can feel like a waste of resources — mostly, time and energy. I even remember listening in on a web conversation once where one of the people who was practicing felt like it was more of a liability than something that would help them survive. (Of course, that was one person.) And I really do like practicing, but it requires commitment, and that’s difficult to continue when you don’t know what you’re doing and don’t know how to fix what’s wrong.
To become practiced and stay competent, and really reap the fruits of what I’m doing, daily — well — practice is required. I probably do have the 30 minutes to spare each day, but again, I was taught this in high school by a teacher who wasn’t all that great, and so at this point, I’m really unprepared. And also, add this on top of 30 minutes of drawing each day, when both can easily spill over into multiple hours of work…?
But anyway! I say this to say that…I feel like what I really want from my life — what I really want is to fill my life with art, writing, and music. I want to be employed in one of those fields, as well; just, doing what, I’m not sure of yet…though as “Diversity” did come up as one of my other Themes, it’s reasonable to say…well, maybe a teacher of music to neurodiverse people? (If I didn’t have to speak so much, it would be easier.)
It also seems that none of these fields are really…financially stable choices. I wouldn’t say that I don’t value money, because I do; because it enables me to stay alive while pursuing creative ventures. But money isn’t the driving point of my life.
Other visions of the future? Having a few close friends. I don’t think I’d need a partner, if I had several good friends and adequate emotional intimacy; I’ve never really been good romantically, and I don’t even really know if I’m a sexual person, at this point. I have felt desire/respect/”you=awesome”, but I’m not certain how far that goes, you know? I can love people, but it’s not in a way that I think people really expect, or recognize, as love.
No kids, unless I’m the father (I don’t really want to be a primary source of love and care for a child, in the way a mother is expected to be…I’m just not sure it would be fair to the kid); the other thing is that I want to be able to have enough time and money to be creative, myself.
(And right now I’m reading back over this and realizing that not necessarily wanting a partner or child fits right in with my “not-very-social” orientation.)
The goal is to bring what is in me — what I experience — out. There’s enough nurturing I’ll be having to do there. And I suppose that if I weren’t going to have a child, influencing my society can also be had by participating in society, rather than raising my kid and expecting them to do it.
I’ve also realized that the most pressing reason for me to have taken a job at the Library is my own ethical foundation, however warped that is or not. 😉 Aside from that…and relationships I’ve developed, and the fact that it’s a relatively stable paycheck, and has flexible hours, there’s not much reason to stay there. It’s just not connected to much anything else in my life.
Yes, books; but books can be had without the Library; and just because I like to read (when the reading is interesting, at least) — it allows me access to the world of human thought without actually having to interface with living people — it doesn’t mean I want to be a Librarian. Librarians, in my system, need to be social. I’m really not; at least, not so much that looking forward to dealing with the general public day after day for the rest of my life is a good thing.
I suppose it’s good that I developed that understanding without having gotten a Library Science Master’s, first. And no, I don’t know why no one took it seriously when directing me to this field for employment. I think one of my counselors mentioned that I’d have to deal with people, once, and I thought it would be OK because I’d never been in that situation before. I didn’t realize that being a Public Librarian is a public service position and that if I did move higher to be the person in charge, I might need the skills of a Social Worker to be able to deal with all of it.
And right now I’m thinking of one of my personality tests; “Social” as an orientation is dead last. Not even kidding. I got like an 8 or 10 or something, there, where I got 40s and 50s in other categories. I was also tested in a different system at a different time; my results indicated that I should not be coming into frequent contact with the general public.
I didn’t know until recently, though, that not only do I have traits that correspond with being on the autism spectrum, I am indeed on the autism spectrum. This is in addition to everything else that’s going on. I only found this out very recently, though; apparently, my parents had been told but I had not been.
This bit of information, though, makes it more apparent just why I have so many social difficulties, why I have such low social motivation, why I don’t like watching television, why I can deal with people on the job, but for much of the time don’t want to (at least not when they’re abusive or pushy or drunk or I’m dealing with politics — or when I’m anticipating any one of these). I mean, who really wants to deal with that, right? But I dislike dealing with it so much that I’ve dropped a former career goal because of it. I might be mistaken, but I don’t imagine that most people are as avoidant of this as I am.
No — wait. I actually dropped two career goals because of this. I used to be a Sociology major, because I didn’t know how human relations worked, and I wanted to find out. Then I realized that being in a Social Science meant having to be social, which is something that’s extremely difficult for me. Like, no — I don’t want to stand at the bus stop and ask random people I don’t know to take my survey when it has no payoff for them at all. No.
But it explained why I kept running across different people online who had Asperger’s and took likings to me, because they could understand my writing! Like, “oh, hey — you mean I keep attracting people with Asperger’s because I have Asperger’s?” I’m kind of wondering how many others in my physical life also deal with this. There are at least two people I’ve met recently whom I suspect fall into this category — one outed themselves early on; the other is just socially awkward (and I suspect took my Communications class, like myself, with the hope of improving communication skills…which, at this point, I doubt will be an outcome for anyone).
I’m thinking at this point that maybe I should ask to have time off when the Interpersonal Communication group I know of runs…it’s not at an ideal time, but it’s possible I might be able to make it…