Saturday, February 4, 2012

Finding Me

I found this quote this morning as I plan out my day:

"All my life I had been looking for something, and everywhere I turned someone tried to tell me what it was. I accepted their answers too, though they were often in contradiction and even self-contradictory. I was naïve. I was looking for myself and asking everyone except myself questions which I, and only I, could answer. It took me a long time and much painful boomeranging of my expectations to achieve a realization everyone else appears to have been born with: that I am nobody but myself." ~Ralph Ellison, "Battle Royal"

It seems to be apt to how I feel today.  How I feel often, as a matter of fact.  I've been trying to sort through so many things, a bad childhood, a unstable life, me, who I am, who I thought I was, or who I thought I should be...Now I am just trying to feel my way through life just being me, but then I'm not sure who that is or who it should be, or I want it to be.  

I think I know who I am.  I mean, my personality is pretty static.  My likes and dislikes don't change much.  I seem to be constantly trying to improve on my personality, though. Like, I try to figure out what is 'right' or more desirable by the world's standards, and I set out to be that characteristic.  I tweak, and change and try to be more 'normal' by other's standards.  What I found out was that not only was I miserable this way, but I also attracted people that would take advantage of my low self esteem.  I tended to attract people who wanted others that would mirror what they wanted.  I was good for that.  Gullible, and wanting to be someone, and to please anyone.  This set me up for many manipulative friendships.  (I'd say relationships, but guys always seemed to be more attached to me than the other way around.) I didn't care much for romance, but companionship, a place to feel cared for unconditionally, yes.  That I needed, and wanted. 

One of the characteristics that I find seem to cause issues that are a part of me personality is that I say what I think.  Stupidity and others not using their own brains gets me worked up. ( See this post for more info on that) I feel I have to point out their flaws in logic.  This is not from my vantage point always a friendly, likable trait.  It's one I've been working on fixing, but to no avail.  I have gained some valuable insight on having better manners while pointing out other's fallacies, as well as working on seeing their POV, so as I can discern why they might feel differently than I do about something, or why they choose to believe something that is so illogical.   Take for example, the picture of a frail child in a hospital bed hooked up to tubes that has been circulating Facebook.  The premise behind it is that if the picture gets 100 likes he gets a heart transplant.  While that would be grand, it's fucking idiotic.  As if children's hospitals biggest criteria to such serious transplants revolves around something to arbitrary as FB likes.  What if it only gets 89 likes? Is the hospital gonna be like 'Sorry kid.  No new heart for you. People on FB didn't care enough to save your life via thumbs up clicks. Guess you're gonna die.'   When I saw this, my head almost exploded.  I know that I should keep my pessimism to myself, but good lord... I just can't.   I commented, very matter of factly and calmly on the post in question that it didn't make sense.  Then, I worried endlessly (and still am to be honest) that I upset my great aunt.  My anxiety over if I was over the line in my commenting was for a reason.  This reason was, I value truth.  I value people thinking for themselves.  I value hard work that achieves a goal, not some feel good click or prayer that achieves nothing but relieves one's own conscience. When my emotions start screaming at me, I know it is because I am not living by my values.  I don't value keeping peace at any cost.  Nope.  I don't care about that as much as I care about fairness and truth.  I need to accept that aspect of myself, instead of trying to be someone I'm clearly not.

I can be me, or I can spend my life miserably trying to chase after a facade that I think is a better version of me.  Those are my choices.  There's  no way to change who I am, and really no need to.  The path to dissatisfaction, and unhappiness seems to be paved with low self confidence and a general dislike of self.  What I want for my life, for all autistic people (and non-autistics if I'm honest) is to be able to embrace life for what we are, not live in constant battles due to chasing what we have been told we 'should' be. If I want to be happy, if I want to be comfortable, if I want to be content, then I have to learn to like me, and value the traits I possess.