Tuesday, September 22, 2015

So it begins.

  So here I am. My kitchen table. 7am. On a writing break. And I'm writing. Okay, not all writing, just formal brain crunching poetry writing. After getting stuck in a terrible cycle of rigid routines that only led to frustration and repeat ideas in my writing, I've decided it is necessary , temporarily, to try a new avenue of expression while the poetic portal of my brain takes a hiatus.  Did I mention I'm a poet? Yeah. I don't walk around telling people that. I tell them I have a Masters Degree in Psychotherapy, which is true. I just leave out the part about me not using it (something I'll get back to later). Anyway it kinda sounds weird coming out as I'm typing.

  So here's the skinny. I've been writing for most of my life, journals, diaries, post its, edges of Sunday comics. Mostly to keep my thoughts straight, but also because I literally love language. I mean I get the same kind of satisfaction from reading a really well written paragraph as you get from a snickers. (which you should lay off by the way as all points north are labeled "poison") I procrastinate reading books when I see the depth of the pages between my fingers begin to deplete. I have a fear of running out of good things to read. Is there a name for that? There should be. They should call it "whopublishedthisshitophobia". It's all business anyway.

  Back to what I was saying about my writing. I'm a poet through and through, between me and you. I nerd out on words strung together that make my synapses do the salsa, and I'm not even that Spanish. I did try other forms of writing. I wrote the first draft of a novel, but found I spent more time taking masturbating breaks than working on developing my story. At least I can say I tried. I should also mention as much as I love language, a part of me also struggles with it, at least in some aspects.  Beyond my toolbar history shame, I found I also had this tremendous difficulty with dialogue. I did a search for editors and ended up finding one nice enough to read a little of the novel free of charge. (I'm not cheap I'm broke I promise). Anyway, he writes back and tells me my characters are kinda flat, and I need to work on the back and forth exchange of conversation. Easy enough right? Nope.

   I didn't know it then, but my inability to bring my characters to life had nothing to do with my writing abilities. It had to do with the part of my brain that was responsible social interaction and communication.I have Aspergers Syndrome. Well, that was my diagnosis before they changed the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders) and decided to include it as Autism Spectrum Disorder.Mostly that means that I'm slightly awkward is everyday conversation. The part of my brain responsible for decoding  social cues like sarcasm and humor, are slightly off kilter. I get stuck in rigid patterns of behavior because those kind of things are soothing to me. Relaxing hasn't necessarily been a word in my vocabulary. My mind races a million miles a minute and most of the time I'm stuck up there trying to figure out which way I'm supposed to be going. It's not that I'm not interested in what you are saying, it's that I'm trying to find a way to quiet the hum of the light fixture behind you, that for some reason only I can hear. (what the heck?!)

  I wish I could say being diagnosed as a child may have changed things in my current life situation. I'd love to tell you there's a million ways to "fix" the way I hide from bright lights and interrupt conversations with comments that are completely off topic that I feel  absolutely necessary at that very moment. (It is all about me after all right?) There isn't though.  And honestly, if there was I  would opt out anyway.My stomach hurts thinking of sharing this right now, because I have kept it to myself, save for a few close people, out of fear some will look at me different. Then I realized they probably already do. So maybe saying it out  loud, if nothing else , will help provide a better understanding to people who are paying attention. And  I try remember  I've gotten along all these years exactly as I am, despite my refusal to make eye contact, and I'm learning to be proud of that.Yeah, sometimes even swell is a learned behavior. I have found that there is an infinite value in the things found off the beaten path. Listen, I'm the girl that buys  broken items on clearance shelves at discount prices and finds ways to bring them home and have them outshine the most put together piece of decor in my livingroom. I think that's why I love writing so much. I see the infinite ability of expression. But I digress. I feel my inner stanza trying to creep in and I'm on a braincation. Stay Weird.

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