Double-Sided Mirror

Don’t forget to look me up on Instagram, Minds, TikTok and Twitter under “RealAutismSpeak” if you want to follow my daily exploits, for more than what I’m able to put out here–for the time–on this blog! Also on Clouthub, MeWe, Gab, and a few others but need more time to explore.

It seems to be the #1 concern on the minds of a good chunk of our community…..in the very least, the vocal ones: so many on the spectrum are so desperate to do pretty much anything conceivable to–even go so far as–changing everything about who they are….and for the single, solitary purpose of making a good first impression on the non-Autistic crowd, and be “liked and approved of”. I guess to many, the idea is “well, I don’t like myself anyway, so I can find some people who can help me become a version of myself that I will”; this is an idiot’s gamble if I’ve ever heard one. Incidentally enough, as I was driving to work recently, I thought about a perspective that our community never bothers to respond to the non-Autistic community with:

We’re gaslit and manipulated beyond words to be concerned about how we come off to everyone else, and very much so from an early age; we’re told to perform specific tasks and in a specific way; that their approval of us is essentially “conditional” (and I can assure you that you’ve never met those conditions from Day 1, no matter what you’re being told), and that the only way to succeed in life that they’ll accept is by winning their approval, and doing things on those terms. Ok……so here’s my question…….did any of they ever bother to ask what we think? Whether it be of they individually, their structuring, their terms, or any of it? I’m 100% admitting that I expect the response to be “haha Russell, who cares what you and your brethren think? You’re meaningless to us, anyway; you’re lucky we allow you to get as far as we do, from the get-go!” Ho hoooooo rest assured, I’ve already put that together a long, long time ago…..but here’s what you have to understand: it’s a two-way street.

Since I was a young child, no matter how I was treated by other people, their friends would eventually come around at some point, and ask me to give them “a chance”; Sorry, how many chances did I give people? How many times was I kicked under the bus for continuing to keep the door open for ’em? There’s one instance in particular I’ll never forget, and while I did bring it up in a previous entry, I can elaborate a bit on it in a different context here: Back 10 years ago, I was invited to my High School Reunion, on Facebook; just like everything else my class worked on, it was a goddamn mess, to the point where they were even inviting people who didn’t graduate in our class; in the end, the pictures from the reunion were a few folks I hold in high regard, but it was mostly just the cliqs reuniting. I also mentioned 10 years ago…..I’m the class of 2000; see a problem here? Yeah, they couldn’t even get it off the ground to be on time; glorious…..

Anyway, while they were working on getting everyone together, and I got my invitation, I directly declined it, and it was then that one of my former classmates (who up until that point, I’d held in very high regard) gave me the whole “I’m sorry you hate everyone; just give people a chance” speech….cause you know I’d never heard that one before, by age 29. I repeat: I’d looked up very highly to this person for many years; after that moment, my opinion plummeted. I guess this person didn’t consider that–despite knowing how I came off to them, they clearly missed the impression they were making on me….sad too, because they were considered one of the smarter members of our class grade-wise.

Another fun example actually happened several years before this, and with a former neighbor, who was incidentally enough the stepfather of another former classmate:

My Mom had (before her death) become friendly and chatty with him, and my Dad and I semi-continued it for some time; I even semi-attempted to befriend the young son. Well, as was common back then, the fella decided to try to spend the whole day schooling me on “improvements” I could make to myself, and ways I did things, for my own benefit; he semi-admitted though it was more for the image than for anything substantial. I of course spent the day clarifying and double-checking several things, though I was at least willing to hear him out; i.e. “ok, maybe there’s something to this”. Well, by the end of the day, he decided to push every single thing on me all at once that he tried to “recommend” to me, and got extremely manipulative and condescending with it really fast, to the point that I had a meltdown over it….and as my Dad had been witness to it all, he 100% backed me on it, and went off on the neighbor for it! Ready for the part to add insult to injury? I would later find out from a friend who worked at a nearby daycare center that the guy was a raging alcoholic, and later that summer, his son vandalized the exterior of our apartment, while we were on vacation in another state. But you know….as long as I looked and sounded the part to project a certain image (and to a goddamn alcoholic, no less), who cared about substance, right?

For one final big example, I recently did a video on Instagram (and promoted it to several platforms) about how–when I was a little kid–my grandparents would introduce me to all these people they came into contact with in the Morristown, NJ area (all these people were old, and are dead now, for those keeping score), and of course I’d get the typical “hi, how are you doing in school?” thing….and god how I hated that question; it was almost like “do you really have nothing better to ask me, whatsoever? Is your life that dull?” Well……from all the chats I’d overhear my grandparents having with them–chats that by the way could last up to 2-3 hours–yes, the answer was yes, their lives were that dull. I’d overhear their chats, and…..they were basically “nothing-burgers”. It was 3 straight hours talking about absolutely nothing; just how they ran into other people, what those other people looked like how they were dressed, the nothing those people said to them…and the list went on. My grandparents would keep those convos going for 3 straight hours-up-to, and it’s not like this was a one-time thing either; they “thrived” on it. I confess back at the time I used to wonder why my parents never did this….all these years later, I totally get it, even if they never entirely did. I even went to a birthday party for a friend several years back, and his grandparents were doing the exact same thing, and I remember he said “we’ll probably be doing the same thing when we’re their age”; I said “speak for yourself”, and when he saw my recent video, he basically admitted all these years later my being correct on that assertion.

You know what I find the funniest part about all of this? You may recall back in this entry of the “Socializing” Mini-Series, I stated somewhat of a commonality with people I’ve dealt with that I often eventually get–before total fallout with them happens–the statement “you don’t know me!”, and in part because they never let us get close enough so that we would get to know them; well, if they won’t let us get close enough….they don’t know us that well, either! If we’re in no position to judge because we “don’t know them well enough”, they’re not really in any position to judge either, now are they? So if they’re gonna discriminate based on the impressions they get of ours, we’re fully within our right to do exactly the same thing!

Now….don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying to be an ass, and cast off everyone instantly, and start talking behind their backs, being petty, and all that shit like what we commonly receive. To be fair……my Dad–having been a huge Ayn Rand–would tell me about an element from the book Atlas Shrugged about the protagonist John Galt (interestingly enough, I’ve heard a popular criticism about Galt being that he’s not particularly relatable, and seems very robotic/personality-free to a lot folks….coming from Rand though, that doesn’t entirely surprise me, all things considered). Apparently in the story, John Galt is constantly hounded and targeted by some reporter who wants to drag him down into the mud, take potshots at him, all that; at one point the guy asks John Galt what he thinks of him from all he’s tried to do to him….to which Galt responds “but I don’t think of you”. Honestly, I can’t wait til I’m fully at that point; I’m at the point where I don’t care what others think, but admittedly still not at the point yet to move on to the point of just excusing the concept of the idiocy in its entirety; I ain’t denying it, folks!

What I mean by that though is that–as I stated in the beginning–many folks off the spectrum never seem to consider how they come off to us, only the impression we make on them, and while I am here to remind everybody that it’s a two-way street, and if they’re gonna insist on approving of us, we should insist on approving of them the same, the main end goal should be not even giving a shit at all, and just living our lives to the fullest; i.e. giving that aspect the level of importance it truly deserves, which is zero…..and not even concerning oneself with the pettiness experienced on a daily basis, or even in youth by the masses.

But you know what? Maybe I should elaborate better on the whole concept–as well–about “giving things a chance”, and I don’t just mean in the context of “repeat offenders”, as I’ve emphasized in this entry, so next time……we’re gonna talk about an aspect of “the Long Game” I confess I’d forgotten to bring up before, and with the attention and elaborate detail it deserves 😉

Showing Your Hand

Don’t forget to look me up on Instagram, Minds, TikTok and Twitter under “RealAutismSpeak” if you want to follow my daily exploits, for more than what I’m able to put out here–for the time–on this blog! Also on Clouthub, MeWe, Gab, and a few others but need more time to explore.

By now, most of you probably know that I only deal with most people–at this point–on a very limited “as needed” basis (cue the legendary George Carlin bit); my experience in socializing has mostly been extremely poor over the past near-4 decades of my life, and I find myself far more content in chatting with folks online, and doing whatever else I need to do by myself, in general. Obviously you know I do still have somewhat of a social life–and I talk about it here, whenever I feel it can contribute to the conversation (and in regard to my own journey in life)–but I’m not really going out of my way to have one, and I like it that way. However, there is one major element I’ve learned is very important when it comes to dealing with the general populous (that as of this time seems to have an overall disdain for us….at least from where I stand), and it’s a little something Las Vegas is known for: chips. In our case, bargaining chips.

I see all the time on Twitter and Reddit, people from our community complaining about how they’re treated at work, in relationships, at school, and the list goes on. Several of they, of course, seem to fall into the victimhood mentality, even to the point of saying “I know it’s a power imbalance, but there’s nothing I can do about….I just want them to see my worth” yadda yadda yadda. First of all, there may be a power imbalance, but only you can decide how much of one there is, regardless of the circumstance. Lemme…try to elaborate better on that: let’s say your problem is your boss, and you’re the worker, and your boss is treating you poorly, and you’re complaining cause you just want your boss to treat you right, the way they treat everyone else. First of all, if you’re being treated so poorly, no one is forcing you to stay at your employer. Find your worth; go somewhere else you’ll be better appreciated (and just remember that unless you work for yourself, it’ll only ever be so much). My own previous employer didn’t even seem to know what to do with me anymore toward the end, and turned me down for a FT position because they wanted their cliq member to get the position….and then she jumped ship mere months later. All the same, the whole process was handled so poorly, and I was getting so fed up, being turned down was the indicator I needed to say “enough is enough”, and searched out for a better job….I assure you I have one now 🙂

On a side note, before I get to the second point, major tip: do not disclose being Autistic to the employer, until you are hired, and kicking ass. If you do get the job, it’ll be to fill a quota, and for no other reason. “Won’t they care about my work history, all the years I’ve put in, and….” No. The answer is no……and I will be discussing more about all of that in due time, a heavy chunk of it on the social media sites; it’ll make sense when I do. Let’s just say what you’re experiencing with that is entirely by design, and it’ll all make more sense soon. That being said, once again, do not disclose being Autistic to the employer in the interview; wait until you’re in, and kicking ass….I cannot repeat that enough. Now, back to the main topic at hand….

Second of all, in part by said design via the side note, you’re not gonna get treated better “because you want it/deserve to be treated like a human being”. Humans…..have a terrible history of treatment toward each other, and you have to remember that– not only are humans “out for blood” to take out what they consider the inferior specimens at any point to climb the status hierarchy–but they don’t understand your needs, and considering they already (are taught to) see you as “inferior” and not what would help their efforts to climb said hierarchy, they’re not gonna care much either. Is it fair? No, and guess what? People aren’t fair; they’re usually short-sighted, insecure, and tribal. Pushing the “I’m disabled, but that’s not a bad thing” angle doesn’t help you either (and again, you’re not disabled, and regardless of social niceties, most people really don’t care).

So….how do I handle all this, you may be wondering? Well, I’m always talking about our mental chess capabilities (I never seem to shut about it, I’m sure), and a very key element in regard to dealing with other folks–and in regard to the daily “contract with society”–is the bargaining chip, as I mentioned earlier. It really comes down to incentives. What incentive can I offer that the other party will need, and they’d be utterly fucked if they had to do without? Sure, they could probably get it to a point elsewhere, but all the extra work and effort it might take, when I’m offering it right then and there; now, before I proceed further with this, you might be thinking “BUT RUSSELL, you said in this entry–among several others–that they’d just go somewhere else for it, and not want to bother with us! You’re contradicting yourself!” Ah, but that’s where you’re wrong, dear reader! It’s all based on the context!

I said they’d go somewhere else for long-term social gains/enrichment, but we’re talking about immediate necessity, for one particular case. When they need it done, out of sight, and out of mind, they’ll take whatever they can get, and as quickly and efficiently as possible…which is where we thrive. If we hold the keys to that, and are in their “vicinity”, YA DAMN RIGHT they’re gonna come to us! In regard to the workplace, you know one particular thing I’ve noticed as a constant in life, no matter where I’ve been employed? People are lazy as shit, and the turnover rate is horrendous. Not only that, but whether you work for a local McDonald’s or a Fortune 500 company (no I have no idea if Ray Kroc’s company is on there, nor do I care to check it at the moment), the song remains the same: the people are treated like shit, nothing worthwhile ever gets accomplished, most of those who really bust their ass get either nowhere or are pushed out via inner-office politics, and the ones who stick around just willingly do whatever they’re told, and don’t question it, nor care to genuinely improve things…just push the narrative that they do; if you want proof of this, watch Karlyn Borysenko’s video on The New York Times, because apparently they do it there too, and every single company she’s tried to help improve pulls this shit; again, all by design, which I’ll get into at a later point. The reason I bring this up is because…..when the turnover rate is so bad with such a revolving door, companies constantly need people, and when they know they have people who are actually doing their jobs (while the majority usually aren’t), they can’t risk losing those people, lest they start getting a lot of complaints, and bad PR as a result. That’s a bargaining chip scenario: if they know they’re utterly fucked without you.

Well, those types of scenarios seem to have been the rule, not the exception thus far, throughout my life, and from what I read on Twitter and Reddit, appears to be quite the norm for folks on the spectrum who “just want to be treated better”. Well folks, don’t expect to be treated better…unless you have what they need at any given moment. I know you’ll say “but that’s not fair! I deserve to be treated this or that way!” You’re 100% right….but if you know you’re not gonna get it, you can’t be counting on “this” being the time it’s gonna happen from the same people who haven’t done it up to now! So instead, plan your chess moves accordingly! When dealing with those types of people, have the incentive ready for to use to your advantage/cover your ass, and leave it at that; do what you need to so you can move on to better prospects, and as much as I knock the majority of the populous on here (as of this time), yes those better prospects can and do exist.

And you know what? Next time, we’re gonna talk about something I’ve been thinking of regarding social status and hierarchy, and how most folks have never considered that….it really is a two-way street 😉

Domo Arigato Part II

Don’t forget to look me up on Instagram, Minds, TikTok and Twitter under “RealAutismSpeak” if you want to follow my daily exploits, for more than what I’m able to put out here–for the time–on this blog! Also on Clouthub, MeWe, Gab, and a few others but need more time to explore.

Before I continue with this installment, I thought I’d share with you folks what actually brought upon the inspiration for this two-parter to begin with:

I was at work a couple of weeks ago, and working my ass off to get my area finished for the night. During some short breaks, I was talking to my original “source” in the project that I’m working on, on the side, and was told that their kids had been taken from them some time back, or some such…..and it was involved in the whole thing. Did I care? Yes, of course I did….I never want people hurt like that; however, as I don’t know this person…..well “personally”, and don’t know the full story behind it, there wasn’t a whole lot I could do…not to mention it was toward the end of my shift, and I was quickly trying to finish up my area, which had been hit hard that day. I offered to the Source what I could, but as stated in yesterday’s entry, everything had to be prioritized. Before you call me the biggest douche on the planet…..after subsequent conversations, I don’t talk to that Source as much anymore, as they seem to have…. “gone off the deep end”, so I don’t know how reliable they are compared to others, but that also fits in with what I was getting at yesterday, and will get more into, today. Nevertheless, the fact that I was pulled so many different ways at once and had to prioritize everything I did or gave my concern to was the inspiration for doing this entry from the start. I knew I’d get to the subject at some point, but everything just seemed to “click”, let’s just say.

So last time, I discussed how seemingly showing a lack of emotions can fit in so heavily with being overwhelmed with tasks, and again having to prioritize what needs to be done (in some cases “feeling around in the dark” to do so), and if that means withholding emotional support to get other things done for our own health in the process, so be it. But…..there is another reason that Autistic folks can seem so “emotionless” at times: as someone on Reddit put it best, we feel too much. In the posters exact words:

“I say this a lot, and it’s one thing that tipped me off that I was autistic.

I have so many feelings. They feel really big and overwhelming, and they always have. People always tell me I’m being dramatic or impulsive, but I just feel so hard about everything. Sometimes I just feel so much of everything all at once and that’s when I meltdown, and it’s hard for me to articulate exactly what feeling is causing me distress.

I just want to know I’m not alone. Neurotypical people, at least the ones around me, just don’t seem to get it.”

It goes back to that whole “black & white” thing again–and I will get to it in time (more research & notes are needed), but essentially it’s a case where either we feel and put all our eggs into that emotional basket, or we don’t; again, a lot of it does come down to the prioritization thing, as stated in the last entry, but……I’d like to bring up another entry from the past, regarding what I said about our meltdowns and anger issues: when we get passionately and emotionally invested in something, we’re invested. A good buddy of mine has even been referred to a guidance counselor for anger issues, because he gets so passionate about this or that, and I’ve been trying to deal with many I’ve had, as well. We can’t just “dial it back” whenever we want to (and actually I’m a bit more concerned about you if you “can” just dial it back on a dime); it really does go back to how we have to strategize based on everything we’re taking in constantly to get anything accomplished.

Here’s a fun recent example of mine from the snow-shoveling that delayed the posting of this two-parter:

So I was out shoveling the driveway, and this gal across the street sees me, and calls out to me in tears that she needed to use a phone, as her boyfriend had just kicked her out; I got a little emotionally invested at that moment because I felt horrible for her; who wouldn’t? She comes across the street, again inquiring to use the phone. Now…bear in mind, I’m in the middle of shoveling the driveway to make sure I can get to work with no problems….I also don’t know this gal, nor do I know what would happen if I went inside to get my phone, or what would happen if I let her use it. There was an easy solution though, and I went into G-rated “Jigsaw” territory with it; almost like “do you want to play a game?” I directed her to the door of my neighbor downstairs; just told her to go up to the door, speak to my neighbor, and she’d get the help she needed; that was it. The gal walked away, incidentally no longer crying. As I continued shoveling, all I could think was “and that’s why your boyfriend kicked you out”….later realizing she might have been trying to scam me. Now…imagine if I’d dropped everything I was doing and bought the act, out of feeling bad for her? Again, I’m also right in the middle of shoveling; I have to “think fast”, there, with everything else already on my plate. Does this make sense?

Now, let’s get to reasons I hear more commonly with our community for why they seem robotic, and that case being “regular” socializing, as it were:

Often times, people are expecting a certain reaction out of us because they get that reaction out of everyone else. That perspective alone could be taken in several different ways, and you also have to consider that the Autistic mind is designed to view these circumstances–whether good or bad–still from a different angle, taking everything into consideration–in a different way. For a great example, take my experience hanging out with Ursula and Evan down in North Baltimore at the end of last year, when they announced she’s expecting:

Ursula asked me what I thought of her revealing to her family about her pregnancy, and….I just saw it as her way of doing it; everyone’s got their own way; it was a little overblown, but….she’s a very social person, so I could see she and Evan doing something like that; in my mind it was fine; it was whatever. I was simply happy to be there to offer my support, and to be christened the Godfather to the upcoming child. I actually got more frustrated when she pushed me on it, cuz I kinda felt bad not understanding what she was trying to get at…..likely cause our minds just work so differently (and when I say Ursula is social, she is social. I’d go nuts if I’d ever tried to date her, she’s that social). To Ursula’s credit, she just let it go, seeing as we weren’t getting anywhere with it, and I apologized later for seeming to get a bit testy, but thanked her for dropping it due to the confusion the exchange caused.

I think part of the problem with it for parties on both ends (Autistic and non) is that folks not on the spectrum are used to getting a specific reaction from their others, whether genuine, or to “go along with the joneses”…..and you may very likely not get that reaction from us, at all, and for a variety of reasons. As I stated in the first three entries of my Socializing mini-series, you already know we’re not naturally mentally “assimilated”, and no matter how much many folks on the spectrum tell theirselves they want to be, it just won’t happen naturally; even if they do everything in their power to assimilate (whether that involves masking or following the Status Quo), anyone and their Mom can tell something is off, even if they do everything to convince theirselves otherwise….and in the end…it’s why it always leads to the same results, anyway.

Again, even when folks not on the spectrum are hoping to assimilate us, they’re gonna put on a “costume” to deal with us, to avoid risking their social currency. So….if folks not on the spectrum can’t be bothered to even be legit with us, how would we genuinely know how someone is “supposed” to react to something, or how they aren’t? We’re always told movies and TV aren’t real life (despite once again actions and words not aligning), and then on top of that….the end result of the pattern we pick up is that those people want as little to do with us as possible, anyway. So…..why should we bother readying the emotional investment when we know it’s likely to blow up in our faces anyway? Remember, if we give the investment….we’re diving head-first; our minds are wired to be dedicated that way; you can see that in all of our special interests. Either you genuinely have our attention, devotion, and investment, or you don’t……and it’s gotta count. Ya gotta make it worthwhile, it’s that simple. Do we usually get that incentive, or do we usually get shaming, gaslighting, and breadcrumbing? What, from what you’ve read here, pattern do you think I expect society to go with on that one?

We want to care–we do care–but we don’t know (from experience, mind you) whether or not you genuinely do….nor even exactly how people would normally react since so much is kept from us, and then when we see it in media, we’re told it’s being overdone; if you’re looking for a “doing it juuuuuust right”, you’re looking for a fantasy world…..but then again…in my opinion, if you’re looking for a world without Autistic folks, and basically just a “construct/simulation” the way it worked out in the movie Pleasantville, welp…..I hope the sand you have your head stuck in feels nice and comfy. And if nothing else, that alone would warrant the legendary reaction “How DARE you?!” from our dear Greta.

Next time, we’re gonna talk about one of the main moves in Chess that I myself have learned to navigate the world, and keep things on the up-and-up, especially in regard to dealing with the minefield of the social world; it is funny how both this move and chess both involve a King and a Queen….but it also involves a Jack, a Joker, and an Ace 😉

Domo Arigato Part I

Don’t forget to look me up on Instagram, Minds, TikTok and Twitter under “RealAutismSpeak” if you want to follow my daily exploits, for more than what I’m able to put out here–for the time–on this blog! Also on Clouthub, MeWe, Gab, and a few others but need more time to explore.

Ahhhhhh nice to get back into the swing of things. No…..I could not for the life of me resist using that as the title of this entry, though incidentally enough, as far as Styx’s songs go, I prefer Renegade, but….just a fun little tidbit there. Sooooo…..we’re gonna get into a popular topic regarding the spectrum, this round….about how folks claim we come off “robotic”, or showing a lack of emotion, or some such. Probably one of the most legendary TV portrayals of it is when Sheldon Cooper goes up to someone who needs emotional support, pats them, and goes “there there”, with a delivery as though he’s showing he cares, but doesn’t fully know how. Well……it’s not that we don’t care; not even by a longshot, might I add! That being said…..there are a few different angles I think it best to approach this from, and I’m gonna start with the angle that best seems to sum up my own experience with it:

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back in this entry, I elaborated on how the autistic mind is basically taking in every single conceivable thing going on around us, at all times, and that includes heightened sensory, as a result. Many moons ago, the site I was initially intending to do an article for–that eventually simply led to the birth of this blog–posted something about why urban areas can often seem so dirty, loud, with shit all over the place, and the people walk by seemingly none the wiser; it was explained that just so much is going on around all the time (gunfire, sirens, jackhammering, and the list goes on), the people living there simply have to mentally prioritize what to focus on in ways they wouldn’t have to in far less densely-populated areas. They even made the example of walking into a crowded elevator, and simply nodding to the other people in there, acknowledging them; it’s all just too much otherwise to take on; too many people, too much going on (god how I so badly want to make a Genesis reference there). I’m even reminded of when I would venture into NYC with my parents back in the late 80s/early 90s…..and one particular aspect that always stuck out to me was all the scaffolding next to the buildings, seemingly all the time; almost like the buildings were under constant repair or something, and no one seemed or cared any the wiser. Well….they couldn’t. There’s just that much going on, all the time, in these areas. “Russell, we get it……are you gonna give us the blueprints for the NYC sewer system while you’re at it? CHRISSAKE!!!!!!”; no, dear reader…..but now that you consider how much people have to navigate dealing with all that’s going on in a busy urban area at all times, understand that that’s what the Autistic mind is processing 24/7.

Essentially, just like city slickers, we too have to prioritize every single thing we’re taking in, and at all times; so the question is……do we focus on trying to figure out the proper emotional response to offer you at any given time (and I will get into that), or do we focus on prioritizing what we need to do to actually get things accomplished, and live a functional life? Before you go off on “what, you’re telling me you can’t do both? What’s wrong with you?” tell me this: you didn’t bother nurturing us properly to be able to do that to our fullest abilities, so what’s wrong with you? Bear in mind btw while we’re at it, we’re neither ever even nurtured to understand the proper emotional response nor to help us figure out the best path to take for our own sense of success and accomplishment; we gotta figure all of it out on our own, and all amidst a constant barrage of shaming and gaslighting that–when applied by people you “don’t like”– you often refer to as toxic and abuse…. but it’s “justified” when it’s done by people you approve of. As they would often say on TV infomercials “BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”……

So I’ve only discussed like 50 times already how our minds are designed to mentally “play chess“, and I brought up how–in our case–it somewhat goes in-conjunction with what “Red Pill” god Rollo Tomassi refers to as “spinning plates”; I’ve already also stated in a previous entry about how folks on the spectrum spin plates (and mentioned it several more times since), but we do it–by nature– differently. Well, lemme try to fill you in on that a little bit, here, and why it’s so important in relation to this topic; to do that though, I have to bring in yet another previous topic…..

As stated in this entry, we go back to what John the Peregrine said in his piece “Freedom and the Introvert” about the daily “bargain with society”; about how every single day, we metaphorically come to the table to discuss the terms of how we’re going to work with each other, yet that agreement can literally be altered at a moment’s notice. Ok……lemme give you a fun example in my own life of this, along with something that happened just a few months back that the whole world watched….

It was in the piece about Spinning Plates (linked above) that I mentioned about how I played the chessmaster at a summer day camp that I went to, back in the day; well the whole reason the chessmaster allowed me to take him on to begin with was because the other kids I was playing…..their friends kept helping them. No one was willing to take me on of their own volition, and I have elaborated a bit on this here and here. Well, remember the whole concept about “spinning plates”: you gotta keep ’em spinning, and if one stops/falls/breaks, you gotta have another one at the ready. In the case of people just jumping in to help out their falling buddies, it’s almost akin to like that announcement in Super Smash Bros “NEW CHALLENGER!” (even though it just technically in that case comes after the match you just won), but in a far more recent example, and the one everybody knows about (and I know I’m gonna take hell for it…oh well)…..

Do you remember the 1st Presidential Debate between Trump and Biden? Yeah I know…who doesn’t? Well, there’s one key moment in my mind that absolutely sticks out to me about it (and I have elaborated a bit on my thoughts about all of it on social media, and might be doing so again in time…for other reasons): when both Biden and Chris Wallace started going after Trump, and he responded “so I’m debating both of you now; ok!” Now no, I don’t think Donald Trump is Autistic, but the scenario is my point: Autistic folks have to be on the ready for anyone new to jump in even with minor alterations to their routine at any conceivable time, on top of everything else we’re taking in, constantly; whether consciously or subconsciously, so much of it is indeed designed to make sure we look like we’ve “faltered” compared to our non-Autistic brethren. As I even mentioned in this entry, I was telling the folks in the group–after a few fled from our project (and early on, might I add)–“sometimes there can be strength in solitude”. We have to remain focused at all times, with what we have at our disposal, and we have to do it with (if we’re even lucky) minimal-at-best nurturing and guidance from others. The kicker is….if we were to let emotions get in the way of all that, we’d likely go utterly comatose.

Seriously, as I said in the beginning of this entry: go ahead, walk into an urban area, and take note/try to fix every single “wrong” thing around you; all the shit on the ground, all the people passing you, all the noise, the sirens, the gunfire, all the scaffolding on the buildings, everything. Would you like a pool started for how long you’d last before you’d be taxed to your breaking point? Want another fun example? Take driving, and how so many folks on the spectrum don’t even have a driver’s license; how many things do you have to anticipate at any given moment, while you’re out driving? The people walking in front of your car out of nowhere, idiots barreling down the street, sudden detour/road work signs, weather, and the list goes on.

The whole point about “spinning plates”, and how it works in conjunction with our mental “chess-playing” is sort of like how in an episode of Yu-Gi-Oh, you’d hear the line “YOU HAVE JUST ACTIVATED MY TRAP CARD!” during a match; we’re mentally bombarded day in and day out, and not only have to focus our attention on what’s most important to navigate it due to how abysmal our nurturing and guidance already is, but with new shit popping up constantly, we then have to factor in the “new players” that have joined the game (and their patterns), and re-strategize our routines to navigate the bombardment accordingly.

Now, that’s been the main reason I personally see the reasons for seeming so “robotic” to most people…..but there is more, and it doesn’t just involve juggling a million and one things, and I even did manage to get some input from folks on Reddit, and have a few of my own experiences to share….and I will be getting into all of that next time…….

Weather Delay Update

Hey everyone! I wanted to write to you, and bring you up to speed on the delays:

Yes, I am planning to have brand new entries up this weekend. This past weekend, discovering that most of my archival entries had mostly been promoted every other weekend, I’m both gonna start promoting them on other sites I hadn’t yet…..but was also planning on doing more promotion on all the sites I promote this blog on. Then, everything got pushed back due to how utterly abysmal the weather has been, and how I’ve basically been monitoring it non-stop to make sure I could get in and out of my driveway successfully.

I got home from work on Monday night, and had to dig my way into the driveway. Took me over an hour to do, and in the process my guinea pigs got fed an hour late; even after all that, my car was in the driveway, but stuck on ice, and my landlord’s husband had to help me get it off the ice the next day; that’s why Tuesday’s entry got pushed back. I was also busy helping him shovel the driveway parking lot, as well…..and it physically and mentally wiped me out (falling two more times on very slippery snow didn’t help any). After successfully getting out of the parking lot the next day to run errands before the next snowfall (yesterday’s now), and getting back in just as successfully, I got stuck again just as I was pulling out to head to work. As a result, I both decided to sleep in earlier today, and also organize my schedule to focus on doing parking lot shoveling to make sure I could get out with ease earlier today; even did a vlog on Instagram for it, and shared it on several other social media platforms……and gonna be doing it on the rest shortly. I’m gonna be repeating that again tomorrow (technically later today now), and hopefully Monday will be it; I simply want to make sure I have no further issues with travel before promising anything, and continuing with my promotion. Also had a little something interesting happen btw while I was shoveling earlier…..and it’s gonna be going into the upcoming blog entry, so in a way it all worked out.

Oh, and here’s a fun little experience I also recently had: went to Storage to pick up some merchandise; the first time, I parked near the front of it, walked all the way down to the unit, grabbed something, came back to my car and…..my car still got snowed in. Paid a nearby kid to help me get it out. I go back there some time later, and this time only park on the side of the road, bolt down to the unit, see how bad the snow is in the facility lot (holy fucking shit it was bad), grab the merch, get back to my car…..and I literally don’t even have a moment to breathe after being in the freezing cold before I have to move my car, as some guy is coming up behind me; fun fun.

So….terribly sorry again for the delay in new material; gonna start doing a lot more promotion soon, and I’ve got some really good stuff in the works I can assure you. One other thing: to my Texas brethren, you’re in our prayers; be safe, and I hope you’re all ok.

Once Upon a Dream….

Don’t forget to look me up on Instagram, Minds, TikTok and Twitter under “RealAutismSpeak” if you want to follow my daily exploits, for more than what I’m able to put out here–for the time–on this blog! Also on Clouthub, MeWe, Gab, and a few others but need more time to explore.

This entry is inspired by a friend of mine. In fact, she’s the one who reminded me the emphasis on being Autistic, and also told me about WordPress, so…go her! That being said, she lost her father last year. To say she and the rest of her family had a tumultuous relationship with him would be an understatement. However, there was a particular scenario she always envisioned, in her life: at her wedding, her father would dance with her to the Guns N Roses classic “Sweet Child O’Mine”. Well, my friend as of this time is not married, and with the passing of her father, this scenario will never play out now exactly as she envisioned it. However, when I received word from her about her father’s passing–and her regretful acceptance that this scenario would never play out, as a result….it got me thinking of something else: how often dating, romance, and relationships are built up in our culture in ways that they don’t entirely live up to; and by “don’t entirely”, I mean…..lemme think of how to explain this, cause honestly there’s several different paths I can take with this, and I want to articulate it as well as I can…..

As even the host of the Red-Pill (I know so many of you hate that I keep bringing this up) channel Strong Successful Male has countless times, everything you see in movies and TV is total horseshit; it’s a fantasy, little more; and no….I wasn’t specifically referring to the “good stuff” you used to catch on Cinemax after dark back in the day, I was referring to half the scripted crap you’d even see on network TV. People aren’t like that, and relationships aren’t like that. Before I stopped watching The Goldbergs, I even commented how I realized the relationship between Erica Goldberg and Jeff Schwarz is completely unrealistic, and a gal like she would never date a guy like him in real life anyway; the relationship is already totally unhealthy, as it is (worth mentioning). For another fun example, so Katy Perry was recently a guest on Kimmel; I happened to be getting back from my area at work, getting ready to put my work clothes away, and punch out for the night, and I caught a short bit of the exchange; yes, Katy Perry is a babe, and I do enjoy her music…..and I could also finally see, from the exchange she had with Kimmel, why Russell Brand divorced her ass! It’s one thing to appreciate her physical appeal, and her ability to perform, but…..if I could barely stand her for more than a few minutes (and on a scripted talk show, no less), I don’t even want to know what Brand had to endure! That’s just the thing though: pop culture and Hollywood have built up these components to degrees that–off camera–they can never truly live up to, and when they don’t, a lot of people get really, really disappointed, because they expected it, even when they insist they didn’t.

One of my absolute favorite examples involves a movie “romance” that said friend and I even discussed: Anakin Skywalker and Padme Amidala. Bear in mind, until I experienced the wedding of my former coworker, I was under the impression that chemistry and interaction were a lot closer to this than what you saw in most movies, since everyone insisted those weren’t realistic, until SSM came along and elaborated better. I actually remember the exchange she and I had over it:

Me: But…..isn’t the relationship between Padme and Anakin far more realistic? No frills or thrills? Just two people kinda “accepting” it, and taking each other as they are? So why did people hate it so much?

My friend: Because they go to the movie to see the fantasy of what they wish they could have, not experience what they already do.

Incidentally, another example of the Hollywood “fantasy” of love is when two characters embrace in a heavy kiss in front of the firework-lit sky in the back; I’m not saying it can’t happen in real life, but damn you better time it right, and all that; I even mentioned as much about my own experience taking those scenes to heart here. In my piece about Chemistry–linked above–I already mentioned about how I never really feel that level of closeness with pretty much anyone, and it’s chemistry that’s either there or it isn’t; ya can’t force it. Most people I meet in life have always held me at arm’s length, and after experiencing the rare opportunity to see what they’re like “beneath the surface” last year during the Covid panic, I can clearly see why….I assure you, but for the longest time, it’s another reason why I “wanted” it so badly (or at least I thought I did). I genuinely believed I was missing out on an amazing experience, the way it had been sold to me. Well…..I don’t think I’m really the only one, here…..ok, from the comments I’ve seen in Jeremy Hamburgh’s group on dating, I know I’m not the only one.

Basically, society already builds up the idea of dating and romance–and puts it on a pedestal–in ways it doesn’t live up to from the get-go; factor in Tinseltown, and now it’s times 10 to the 15th power. If you want proof of that, turn off all the “will they, won’t they?” moments on TV, and check out divorce rates in your country, or how many people at this point have remained single, and even court cases over custody battles and alimony. Now, to my non-Autistic friends…..factor all of that build-up in for people with different mental wiring, and all the pressure put on us to meet “your” level of accepted practices and behaviors….and then remember on top of that you don’t even live up to it yourself. And no, I’m not saying that to be condescending per se, but more of a reminder to look at where the actual pedestal is that you keep telling us “don’t put us there”….while then doing every reinforcement to suggest we do exactly that.

Now, here’s something big to consider in all of this: most of what you say is “unrealistic” in terms of goals people are capable of achieving, and tasks that can be accomplished……we do ’em. We prove those things can be achieved…but we do it on our own terms, not yours….and we know those terms utterly terrify you, since you rely so heavily on social approval over your own personal capabilities. You tell us all the time “what you see on TV isn’t real”….but do you believe it yourself? It’s almost like how half the time, whenever I’d get into a thorough discussion with someone on Facebook, they’d eventually retort “dude, this is Facebook, it’s not real life; no one’s taking it seriously”…so why’d you get so passionate about it? Why the need to make your point if its genuinely so inconsequential? In fact, on a broader scale covering all of this, why was that wedding scene featuring Luke & Laura from 1981 considered such a legendary moment in pop culture history, when it’s just a fucking soap opera wedding?!

I’ll never forget just how thorough my plans for proposing to Jeanette were; I’ll never even forget how much I tried working on proposal plans for future girlfriends after that, and even shared those ideas with coworkers and such; I wasn’t in love with the people, I was in love with the idea of being with them, and getting a sense of worth out of it…and lord is that the wrong way to go into any of it. It’s funny, cause I even remember my former room-mate saying to me “why don’t you just apply that proposal plan to your next girlfriend?” to which I responded “That would cheapen it; I have to do something on an individual basis for each person” (though as I’ve learned, he clearly couldn’t have cared less)….and you know damn well that I would, but now I’m not even sure that I want to, anyway.

So now….I bring this all back to my Autistic brethren: do you see what your non-Autistic surroundings have built up all these years, including in the world of romance, and how genuinely unrealistic it all this? You know how passionate you can be about things….but ask yourself if you really think you’ll get that return on your investment, or if you’re just being told you will, and will find yourself disappointed in the end? I’m well aware of what you’ll bring to the table, but will they? We already know the expectations they have–along with the insecurities that go with them–which result in what they wind up with; very high expectations, and then they “settle” for something not even close to it….and if you watch any Red Pill channel, I can’t emphasize “settle” enough. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying some of these connections aren’t a match made in heaven (including a few folks on the spectrum I talk with directly), but trust me, they’re the exception, not the rule, and you have to decide for yourself if that will genuinely be worth it or not in your road map; it’s why at this time, I’m simply content being on my own, two adorable guinea pigs, a cat godson, a human one on the way, and maybe having some fun, but that’s about it; if something really prospective comes along, I’ll take it from there….but as much as I want to get my expectations up (there, I said it), nearly 40 years of life has taught me otherwise, except from what comes from me. Not only that, but I gotta do it for me in the grand scheme of things, and no one else, or I’m setting myself up to be really, really let down…and then likely gaslit in some way over it.

So as much as I love Bryan Adams’ classic, no everything I do, I don’t do for you. Also no, when I said I had some entries planned in conjunction with the House of Mouse, this was not one of them (even if they definitely played a major role in that societal fantasy of romance, and as a result, some contribution to this entry). That said….next time, we’re gonna talk about an aspect of the spectrum that actually unintentionally got brought up to me last night as I was in a thorough conversation with somebody, but how in a way it does relate to chemistry, and the whole notion of Autistic people being like robots…..

Success On the Spectrum Part X: In Hindsight……

Don’t forget to look me up on Instagram, Minds, TikTok and Twitter under “RealAutismSpeak” if you want to follow my daily exploits, for more than what I’m able to put out here–for the time–on this blog! Also on Clouthub, MeWe, Gab, and a few others but need more time to explore.

Part IX is here

First and foremost, I do realize that this miniseries is only half the size of the Socializing one; honestly, I just didn’t have as much material–at this time– for this one as I did for the other one, but on the plus side like I said I can always bring more up in future blog entries (and there will be future entries, rest assured). That being said, before we get into the juicy stuff, yes I will be discussing here and there–upcoming–about my latest trip to North Baltimore, which was why there was no entry yesterday; some very important aspects did come out of it, and I even discussed it in some videos on Instagram….and in specific…the one currently being uploaded as I type this paragraph, which actually coincides with this particular entry in the miniseries. In my latest video on Instagram, I discussed how so many people on the spectrum seem to feel like they have to have their life “figured out” by a certain age, and doing a certain thing, or else in the eyes of others they’ve failed miserably, and all that…..I even see it all the time on Reddit forums, and posts on Twitter, and the list goes on. Well, you know what folks? Next year, I will be hitting the big 4-0……..and I’ve never been happier and more content with my life than I am now; in no way saying it’s perfect, but no one knows what perfect is. However, what I want to talk about today is akin to what I was discussing last time; at the time, I mentioned about what my Mom tried to do–and I did, earlier in my life–to gain status in the world of Socializing and Success, and how it bombed out miserably…..and how many folks on the Spectrum seem to also do this too, and wind up “really feeling it”. I decided to use the opportunity today to look back at what didn’t work, and knowing what I know today, understand how–no matter how much of my all I gave–it wouldn’t have worked, and in truth, was clearly for the best, when I take a step back (and I do this so you folks understand where I’m coming from in terms of if what you think you’re after is what you’re “genuinely after”); join me, won’t you? : )

So……my goal–as I thought I wanted it (and thought I was supposed to have it) was to become super rich, have a huge mansion, private jet, yacht, hob-knob with celebrities, and I was gonna do it by selling toys, since I felt like the world of toys–and their TV show/movie counterparts–were the one thing I knew better than anything else (and if you’ve seen my Instagram videos about the Misfits of Science and Go-Bots, among others, I really didn’t know jack shit). Why did I want these things? I thought I was “supposed” to have them; it’s what I was always pressured for via my family, it was the culture where I was born and grew up, and honestly I really wasn’t sure what else I honestly wanted, and kids always want attention and to impress their others, so…..it just kinda made sense. Besides, I saw my parents struggling so badly in life, it was like every single day, they were dealing with another financial problem (and they were not resourceful enough to even find an inexpensive workable solution–extremely codependent, sadly, on my grandparents–and then you have to again factor in where we lived; options were….really nothing spectacular), and I didn’t want to have to endure that for myself throughout my life; I was already unhappy, and everyone already seemed so disappointed with me/not wanting to be bothered with me, compared to those I was surrounded with, I didn’t want this stress added to my life in the long haul, so again, it only made sense. “But Russell, that kind of life brings tons of stress too!” Re-LAX, dear reader, I’ll get to that 😉

Well, I’m already not good at anything (from my understanding at the time), so I simply gravitate towards doing stuff with pop culture; I figure do something with that well enough will get to the goal I have in mind. By my teens, I’m re-discovering my childhood loves, and finding that the shit from said childhood is now worth money, so I figure “that would likely happen with each passing generation”, so I start doing a lot of dealing in toys, make trades with people, do eBay selling, and I seem to be good at it. Not only that, but it gives my family and surroundings something to talk to me about…..though when I think back to it now, it was almost like “small talk” from them, really. Hell, one of my relatives and I–semi-off topic–both enjoy Star Trek, and I still can’t get much of a convo out of him! Also, he claims to care only about the vintage crew series, limiting the discussion even further (it’s also usually a hint that they’re trying to blow you off, from my experience). My other relatives and surroundings would often ask me some questions, but it was just to make conversation, really…no one was genuinely invested, from my understanding now; and ya can’t force chemistry.

Ok, so let’s fast-forward quite a lengthy period to when the whole project fell apart, and then consider how the media world has changed even since then, to see why it was destined to go that way, anyway……

When my focus was so heavily on working with my crew in both selling merchandise and going to Cons and all that, I was invested in–of course–working with other people; working with people who, I’ve come to understand–to put it nicely–were never anywhere near as invested in the project as the effort I was putting forth. The majority of the “major” players were more invested in the direction and planning of a player who got sidetracked with higher focus on marriage and growing a family….and the guy is awesome, don’t get me wrong. It just meant that those players had to focus on more of the work, theirselves, and keep him up to date. They did no such thing; there was no unity in vision amongst any of us, and the majority of the group was more content just sitting and watching TV all day, and focusing on whatever the “fad” of the moment was; and that my friends is not true devotion to the cause. At least one of these players I discovered to be a covert narcissist, and essentially got more focused on getting into arguments about politics with people on Facebook than bothering to do any genuine work in terms of video uploads, making videos, or anything of the sort; shame too….he was an amazing artist, but has zero drive to put the work in at all. I was blocking someone on Facebook, and saw his picture on there in my Blocked list; he has clearly gone head-first into sparring over trivial political bullshit, and is in physical decline now, no longer getting his narcissistic “supply” (for more on that, check out Dr. Ramani, JC Dezmen, and NarcSurvivor). The others I worked with simply just can’t stay focused on any project long-term; easily bored, and more interested in momentary attention. Relax, I’m not gonna rag on them non-stop (after all, I was associating with them)….but I mention it because of how it fits into where I’m going with this:

So, our focus–before everything fell apart–was posting videos on Youtube, getting the monetized, and hoping to grow enough of a following to sell merch, and all that. Lemme flat-out tell you we are not camera-friendly; I even showed a buddy of mine (from our community) a movie review I did with one of the crew members…and he found it unbearable, specifically the guy I was doing the review with. And he’s….not the first one, either, and for a myriad of reasons. Not only that though, but……Youtube keeps changing the guidelines for what it does and doesn’t allow, and I can assure you if my crew barely had the drive to put the effort in to even do reviews and things, do you think they were honestly gonna keep on all the Youtube updates, or finding us a new home, and promoting us? I’d bet Bitcoin on “not a chance in hell”. As for the merch side of things that we were already doing, honestly……as I’ve already mentioned, I couldn’t for the life of me tell you what does and doesn’t sell, so it’s like throwing shit against a wall, and hoping something sticks; I really can’t read the populous in certain ways, and call me a prick, but I don’t really regret it. Plus, aside from really, really niche merchandise, a lot of it is getting easier to find in retail stores anyway, and when it isn’t, you can just pre-order it on websites too. The kicker in all that is….

You really have to be on top of what is actually hot, and not only have I openly stated that I don’t even watch much TV or movies anymore, I have difficulty sitting thru it. Tried watching a video of a montage for the Animaniacs revival and….I shut it off in 30 seconds. Interestingly enough, one reason I pushed my project for as long as I did was in stating “I’ve just been so backed up with so many things, I want my project to have a fair shot; to see what I can actually do when I have the time to truly devote to it”. Well, the whole thing with that is–first off–people who usually reach those “heights” (and I’ll get to that) get there with help from a lot of people; you know we usually don’t have that, it comes down to ourselves. The project as I was intending to do it was waaaaaaaaaaaaay too big for just one person, along with everything else I was being hit with…..and technically continue to be; it’s why everyone is always so impressed with me over it that I navigate so much. Essentially that “fateful day” where I have all the free time to focus on doing that project was never gonna come anyway; my life has never been that way, and it never will be. So I realized I had to look into doing something on a far smaller scale, to benefit and please myself. That way, I could do it on my own terms, and ask any questions I needed to, for my own sake/understanding, and proceed the way I wanted to.

Before I continue with that aspect, lemme address another big elephant in the room: the aspect of having the yachts, the mansions, private jets, the jello pudding, zip zop zoopedy bop, and hob-knobbing with big-whigs:

Well….I did get to to do that last part, when I interviewed them at Conventions; I didn’t get too many really big names under my belt, but….I still got to interview some. As I stated in a video on Instagram….it was fine. Thing is…my biggest problem with doing it was that I simply asking them about what they accomplished; I wasn’t really accomplishing anything of my own volition, in a way (Kevin Sorbo and Bruce Boxleitner were the ultimate troopers though, lemme tell ya!). So in a way, I didn’t find a sense of accomplishment, since I wasn’t really “achieving”, and I asked myself “do I really want to be 80 years old, and interviewing some TV celebrities I don’t even know?”, so I got my fill, and I’m good with that. As for owning all that stuff….as I’m learning, it’s a lifestyle that requires a few things, including a certain level of “maintenance”, which is something even my parents neither understood, nor were made privy to (because those that surrounded us feared we’d “rise up” to them). Even owning a house….you gotta pay property taxes, all maintenance costs, do something with the homeowner’s association, get permits from your town to do certain renovations…it’s quite the hassle. Private jets, yachts, and limos….again, tons of maintenance with those alone, but on top of that, those and mansions…..the “successful” people have it mainly for the image–to impress people–and for the sake of their clientele. Even Alan Watts once spoke about a harbor where all these rich folks had their boats, and…..they just had parties on them; none of them knew how to sail them; they didn’t have time. All for show; well, I’d bought into it as a kid–understandably so–but I’m not that kid anymore; do I need that stuff? No. Maybe I’ll get it, maybe I won’t; stuff doesn’t make you happy; only you can do that. That said, I am also learning that……getting that high status can often come with a….much greater price tag than I’d even previously talked about; certain…..”conditions” you have to accept to stay in those circles; I will likely be discussing that aspect at a later date. However, take note of this: my cousin was on Shark Tank. I can literally text a TV celebrity whenever I want, and see how she’s doing, if I’m really that star-struck. I don’t, naturally. My opportunity is there though; and yes, I have plenty of pictures of the two of us as kids, if any of you want to see that–as Weird Al called it–“Lame Claim to Fame”. I’m simply saying in the grand scheme, it doesn’t really matter. We’re related, I’m glad she’s successful, but she’s successful on her terms, and that’s what’s important; it’s not terms I’d be ok with.

So today, I’m gonna be 40 next year. I’m not married, I don’t have kids of my own (though within the next few months, I’ll have two god-children, one of whom is a cat that looks like a German dictator), I live in a 2-bedroom apartment, have two adorable guinea pigs who I have the joy of listening to run around their cage whenever I don’t have time to play with them (or am waking up), I work at a hospital as a housekeeper, I do this blog, and you know what? I’ve never been more content. Am I saying I’m perfectly fine here, and don’t want anything else? No, I’m saying I’m enjoying where this is going, and want to see where it takes me…..but I’m now doing it entirely on my own terms, in the way I know in my heart it makes sense, rather than desperately hoping some people–who genuinely couldn’t give two shits otherwise–will be impressed with my performance. In 2019, when I finally shed my “shield“, and admitted to myself that I really didn’t know what I wanted…..I never felt more empowered! I felt like I was finally unleashed, and “out of the bottle”, as it were. And you know why, I was finally being fully honest with myself. All those years ago, I simply took a chance on the “lesser” of what wasn’t that impressive to me, in hopes that it would get me where I was “supposed” to go; it was when I came to terms with myself, I realized “no more; no…..if it’s not impressive, it’s not impressive, and let’s not kid ourselves, and pretend I think it is. If it’s not what I really want, I’m not pursuing, that simple.” Doing so put me in genuine control, and I’ve never felt more alive and at peace, and able to be honest with myself; that, dear reader, is why I’m able to share with you what I am…..something I don’t know if I would’ve been able to do as easily, even just a few short years ago. I stopped trying to control what I don’t have control over, and oh the burden lifted off my shoulders, I tell ya!

The bottom line is: to find what success meant to me, I had to stop trying to please and impress everyone else, even if at times I didn’t realize I was doing it; I had to search deep down, and come to terms with who I really am, how I really feel about various things, what I really want, and if I even know if I do or not, and why; these are not easy things to deal with–I assure you–and require a lot of self-reflection and introspection, but I can’t tell you how worthwhile and freeing to your soul they really are. It’s about deciding what your priorities are, and why……in effect discovering if they’re even genuinely your priorities, or what you’ve been led to believe are. Now, am I saying that I regret doing those things that I’ve discussed earlier? Well, no….because in a way I do think they were part of my path to finding myself, and without that path, I couldn’t be here, writing about it, and telling you folks about it; plus I guess it helps to offer you guys pop culture references here and there, and it can mix things up, and make them more fun. Also, when more information is provided to me, I can discuss what I think a bit part of my calling–upcoming–really is, but at least for now I’m just enjoying reaching out to as many of you as I can, and hoping I both educate those you deal with, and help in empowering you to be the best Spectrum “member” in existence…..and thrive with the abilities the universe has gifted you; yes, you heard me….gifted you. : )

I hope you’ve all enjoyed this miniseries, and next time…….we’re gonna discuss a little something else that society seems to put expectations on us with–in my opinion very unrealistic expectations–involving Cupid’s arrows; yep, we’re talking about that again (TIMING!) 😉

Success On the Spectrum Part IX: Building Blocks

Don’t forget to look me up on Instagram, Minds, TikTok and Twitter under “RealAutismSpeak” if you want to follow my daily exploits, for more than what I’m able to put out here–for the time–on this blog! Also on Clouthub, MeWe, Gab, and a few others but need more time to explore.

Part VIII is here

Scott “Toyguru/Scooter” Neitlich recently did a video on his “Spector Creative” channel about what he dubs as the “Water Cooler” effect (yeah, I know, a lot of quotation marks there); incidentally, I’d discussed this about a year ago with my cousin’s husband, and it’s actually part of the reason I lost so much investment in the world of pop culture, but…..we’ll get to all that. Essentially, Scott was talking about how his daughter had just finished a TV series on streaming, and she told him she was bored, because “she didn’t know what else to binge”. It got him realizing that the world of entertainment has now changed dramatically in terms of release patterns, viewing experience patterns, and in turn has also altered how fandoms and communal experiences are and aren’t created. While we’re on this topic btw…..let me throw in quickly that no, I have not watched Wandavision, nor do I genuinely care to either…..nor do I care to watch most of the Star Wars and Marvel programming coming up on Disney+; I don’t have streaming services–and while some of my friends have been awesome enough to offer to let me use their login information–I have politely declined, as I’ve both lost so much interest in that territory, but am also extremely busy now with other things that have become of much higher priority to me, though I am actually currently just going thru some shows that I purchased on DVD when I have a few free minutes here or there, but otherwise…well, I’ve got a lot of other things to focus on.

Before I stopped using Facebook as frequently, I was seeing non-stop ads on there for Wandavision, and no one would shut up about the show, and offering their thoughts and opinions about why this or that was going on. However, take note….the show is released on a weekly basis; i.e. not all at once, that’s important here. It’s entirely designed to continue the “Water Cooler” effect, just like the Mandalorian does, as opposed to dropping everything at once. It’s meant for the “communal” experience. That experience being you’re talking with other people every week about what you just sat thru, and discussing the show, what you’re excited over, what you’re not, all that; and yes, it was just as common back in the day…..notable examples include Dallas’s “Who Shot JR?” storyline, and the MASH series finale in 1983. Well, Toyguru argues that with the “Water Cooler” effect less and less prevalent–with more shows just being released all at once, as opposed to just one episode dropping each week–it’s harder to get the masses invested in shows and fandoms, keep people caring about characters….and in turn, harder to move product tied in. Don’t even get me started on the whole thing with the Walking Dead….really.

Now, nobody in our culture is entirely immune to the “Water Cooler” effect; it’s why we pester our parents to buy us toys and related merchandise for shows, after all; we have to be the cool kids on the playground, and of course the parents have to talk about the show or whatever at work, to seem interesting to everyone else; it’s….designed that way. The kicker in all of this is that…..I see this aspect being viewed by our community as a possible way to prove to the “non-Autistic” crowd that we’re worth their time, to a point; I’ve even discussed this as much in one of my earlier entries, here. It’s also worth noting btw that this effect doesn’t just involve fandoms, but can take on the form of current events and whatnot, and yes….there’s a reason I bring this all up; dear reader, I have a big one to drop on you today about my earlier life….

I have discussed many times just how thoroughly my family is so invested in the Status Quo, and if the “Water Cooler” effect is an important part of that Status Quo, my family is on the train for it, I can assure you. I can’t even describe to you just how much my family put the pressure and emphasis on abiding by it in my youth, on my parents, my cousins’ parents, etc. I mean…seriously…..I almost want to say it was like ABA, but unfortunately this is kind of a mass societal thing so, let’s just say my family and surroundings did everything possible to reinforce to us how important it was to “keep up with the Joneses” and take note of “what everyone else is doing”. There was one point my Grandma (actually, dead serious) recommended I wear a baseball cap backwards, cause that was the popular trend. I wish I were making that up just to get you to say “ok Russell, now you’re just fucking with us; that was the dumbest, most ridiculous and douchey looking thing ever; no one was actually crazy enough to actually promote it, especially not grandparents!”. I wish I could agree with you; sadly, my Grandma did; I can’t even describe to you how bad our family wanted us to generate as much social currency as possible. I…..kinda feel sorry for them, in a way; I know they didn’t do it out of intentional stupidity; they were going with what they knew, and as my family is already so invested in the Status Quo, it really is a game of “follow the leader”, and my family didn’t want us being looked over for not doing it (though when you think about it, if you’re doing what everyone else is doing, who is gonna truly notice you? Then again, the whole point of all this is not to think about it, soo……).

In my Mom’s case in particular though…..the aspect of this she attached herself to moreso was the political/news territory, and tried to get in word about it with people whenever; bear in mind….she never did this in the case of attacking people or anything like that, or showing dominance or anything, she just wanted an “exciting exchange” in relation to the topic, based on the latest thing she read in the paper, or heard on the MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour….and she openly admitted it was to “be” informed, and because she wanted people to show interest in her. Well…..the problem is….if all you’re doing is repeating the exact same shit everyone else already is, who the hell honestly cares (and while we’re at it, who is genuinely informed)? To give you an idea, it actually got to a point (might’ve mentioned it before, don’t remember) where–during that whole thing with President Clinton & Monica Lewinsky–she was excitedly jumping around to tell anybody and everybody “he touched her boobies, he touched her boobies!” and here you may be thinking “Russell…you’re telling us a woman in her late 40s was going off like a goddamn teenager, like this?” Not only was she, it was someone in his mid-teens (it was I) who had to put her in her place over how utterly childish and ridiculous she sounded; however…….the bigger kicker was that said conversation officially reached my Dad, my Dad’s parents, and…maybe her Mom, and that was it. Oh yes, dear reader, this is very important to all of this…

Before I get to that point, I want to apologize if it sounds like I’m really dragging this out; I’m not trying to, it’s just a lot that has to be established to get to the importance of my main point:

Basically, all her talking about whatever was “popular” during the day did her absolutely no favors, socially, or in terms of rising up in the world. Zero, nada, zilch. Much the same way all my toys and shows that I watched didn’t get invited to play with a lot of kids as a child, and god knows when I understood “leverage” more, I really tried being strategic about what I did and didn’t buy, knowing what would “impress” the other kids with me and everything. At the end of the day, we were both still mostly alone, left to our own devices, and stagnating in life……and didn’t understand why; after all we’d “done everything we were told to”, to achieve what we were “supposed” to have. Well…...that was the problem (and the intention).

Lemme lay out the biggest kicker regarding the “Water Cooler” effect here: yes, it is a communal experience, and it does get people chatting about a certain topic; the thing is…..that topic is entirely temporary; it’s why it’s called “pop culture”. It’s somewhat of an ice breaker, but the thing is….it’s really only an ice breaker when your wiring is already designed for that social interaction. It’s actually kinda funny when I think about it in my own case: my family tried to divert me away from action figures to more “learning” toys and whatnot, wanting me to be more productive, and have better use of my brain and my time (and looking back, in many respects those things were pretty awesome, and I give those kids who got them, and made full use of them all the credit in the world), but the problem is…..they were so invested in getting me to go with the social flow for that “sweet sweet” social currency, a lot got lost in translation along the way, and I was more focused on the cool looking figure from the TV show, in part to impress the other kids, than developing and nurturing my talents as a result; in fairness, talents I didn’t even really know I had back then (because no one seemed to really understand it either, or if they did were extremely intimidated by it)….but I digress. It is, in a way, funny how it all goes back to what I stated in previous entries about making intentions clear to us, really. Yes, I do realize a criticism of this could indeed involve the concept of “black & white” thinking, but I will delve into that in a future entry; I promise.

Today, rather than using whatever trend is popular as “stepping stones” for either social success–or just success, in general–I focus on what actually makes me happy, and what I actually enjoy doing. Last time, I told you about that group I’m in, involving the project I’m currently working on. Well, I don’t actually do anything in particular to make them think I’m cool, or “try” to have leverage; I’m just me, offering my input…..and they seem to appreciate it so much, several have already said to me they’d kill to meet me and hang out with me in person; one even said he wanted to grab a beer with me, and I told him “make it a Cherry Dr. Pepper, and y’got yourself a deal”. I’m not doing what’s “fashionable” or “cool”, by any stretch. Nothing I’m doing is because it’s trendy; all this involves stuff I was already doing that I very much enjoy doing, and got better at it both of my own mental understandings, and simply just keeping myself genuine in the process, and doing a lot of self-reflection as I proceeded, much as Iyanla Vanzant, Alan Watts, and Gary Vaynerchuk always talk about. Also at no point do I risk having my “social currency” hit because….I don’t actually have any, so I’m making no attempt to put any on the line; I’m just being me, and whatever way that takes me, so be it; it’s meant for something far greater in the long run, as far as I’m concerned.

As you may nor may not know, I’ve already sold off a bulk amount of the collection I amassed over time, as I just don’t need it anymore; many cases, I will buy merchandise on clearance because I want it, but I can wait; I don’t need it “now” to impress people; I couldn’t care less. If I’m gonna impress someone, it has to happen just by my being me, and not by making an “effort” to do it, if that makes sense. Going back to my Mom, well…she never lived to come to these understandings, and her very old, very sick mother had to bury her…..which is something that no mother ever wants to do; unfortunately, when so much pressure is put on someone to play follow the leader, and that person is tossed up between doing that, and doing what they know to be right….it takes a massive toll on them, though I know she gets it now, and the best part is…..not only do I do a lot of things now in her honor and memory, but the star of a show she and I used to watch together, in reruns, in her final years…..actually started following me on Twitter; I posted it about it on Instagram and Facebook.

The bottom line is this:

Guys, I know how bad you want the “normies” to like you, and you think talking about a fleeting subject like pop culture with everyone else will keep them invested in you; it won’t, in part because they’re already talking to 50 other people about it already, but people they have more chemistry with, and who they can invest in for other reasons as opposed to just….well essentially the plot of the song “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” (one of very few songs from the 90s I like, btw). If all that you can grab their attention with is “trendy thing that will be out of style in 5 minutes”, unless you’re legitimately doing it for yourself, just move along, and focus on what you are doing for yourself, and your own satisfaction. Remember: you have to be getting genuine enjoyment out of it too, not simply hoping you make the right footwork like Indiana Jones did in The Last Crusade to avoid any social traps so they’ll stick with you a few minutes longer, and maybe you’ll have “something to show for it”, cause if that’s the case you don’t genuinely. You’ve in that sense already framed it as a “scarcity” thing, and that you’re depending on other people for your happiness and success…..people that, the more you get to know, you may realize putting them on a pedestal wasn’t the best move to begin with, and in the end, didn’t really serve your interests or needs the way you genuinely wanted, deep down. And when that reality comes crashing down…it will be like a ton of bricks. So play some chess, depend on yourself for that happiness & success, and decide if those are indeed steps worth ascending to begin with.

We will likely be concluding this miniseries this weekend, although there will only be on entry, as I will be preoccupied (but will write about it) during part of it. How am I looking to conclude it? By taking a look back at what I thought I wanted in life, for a deeper & more elaborate example for you, and explaining via our wiring & forming connections…..why it would never have worked anyway : )

Success On the Spectrum Part VIII: The Eye of the Storm

Don’t forget to look me up on Instagram, Minds, TikTok and Twitter under “RealAutismSpeak” if you want to follow my daily exploits, for more than what I’m able to put out here–for the time–on this blog! Also on Clouthub, MeWe, Gab, and a few others but need more time to explore.

Part VII is here

Before I even get into this, I wanted to start off with a bit of an update for my readers, and it actually works nicely in regard to this entry:

As of yesterday, I have deleted the Facebook app from my phone (relax, not FB messenger, for those wondering), and in its place, have put bookmarks to other social media apps; I’ve done this for several reasons, mainly to start focusing more on the blog promotion and daily updates I always promise–along with my own self-improvement focus–but also because, honestly…..I’ve kinda been getting tired of Facebook for a while. It was actually promoting this blog that got me re-engaged with the platform for a while, but I see it having devolved so much into petty bickering/dick measuring, and otherwise bland, trivial bullshit (almost like what I hear from most conversation in general, honestly), that I decided it was just time. The Zuck made it far easier with all the censorship the platform is now enacting, and here’s where that entry I linked above comes in: this is another place where the “Status Quo” did a massive overreach, got too controlling, and pissed people off….and I know this because people started harkening back to the days of MySpace, and saying “Tom just wanted to be our friend, and we stabbed him in the back”. Yeah…….ya wanna color within the lines so incredibly badly, but also want that next big thing, ya may not even realize what you already have, until you no longer do. CBS learned it the hard way with WKRP in Cincinnati, Mattel…..has yet to fully get the picture with He-Man, and now people are feeling the burn with Facebook, and wishing back to the MySpace days (and by “feeling the burn”, no that is not another Bernie Sanders meme reference….but feel entirely free to read this whole sentence in his voice to yourself; I’m actually doing it now, as I type it). Now that we’ve gotten thru that……

Honestly, I was originally toying with the idea of titling this entry something in relation to Green Day, since the line that best summed up the topic of this installment is featured in the song “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”….but I know it wouldn’t make as much sense, since this miniseries is about success, and as a result is meant to inspire, and while I do resonate with the line from that song, instead what clicked for me was a line from a classic song from the 1986 Transformers movie. So, now that we got that behind-the-scenes out of the way…..

So a few weeks back, I mentioned how I’d been a bit…..”sidetracked” as it were by a project I was focusing on, with my phone blowing up like crazy with text and FB Messages, and the like; I talked about it a little bit on social media, and someone on Reddit openly jumped to the conclusion I was buying into loony conspiracy theories, to which I had to explain that wasn’t what I said at all…..though to the guy’s credit, I said “openly” because he admitted he had. While I won’t get into the details of what I’ve been involved with in that regard, I will say that some would indeed consider it leaning into “conspiracy theory” territory (and if you want to stop reading right now, to tell me I’m a loony, do what you feel you have to), but the reason I have continued my involvement is for a few reasons:

  1. I’ve actually successfully verified a lot of what has been said in it to be accurate, and that includes thru a lot of research I’ve done over the past decade.
  2. Even several things that I said “ok, that’s never going to happen”, when I was told it by certain members of my group….not only did, it was reported in the mainstream news as happening.
  3. No I don’t blindly just accept it at face value; I insist on having many things verified, as already stated, but there are many elements of it I question very heavily, and I’ve openly stated my criticisms.
  4. Do the folks taking part in looking into all of this sound to most folks like they’re nutty and gullible? Oh yes…here’s the kicker though: To me, the alternative being accepted by the masses actually sounds even crazier.

Now that we’ve gotten that part out of the way, there’s one element in all of this that not only stands out, but my group that I’m engaging with over it has openly credited me for: being their anchor. I’m the one who’s able to keep everyone grounded, not go off too much into “la la land”, but also to keep them inspired, and motivating everyone, even there seem to be really rough patches. Now, one of the things I mean by rough patches is that we’ve had people flip out, and bolt from the group out of fear of a certain “worst case scenario”, or we’ve shared videos in the group with people also doing that; both times, I had to calm the group down, and “pick apart” all the flaws in the arguments for them, and lay it out why we shouldn’t be worried over it. I won’t lie…..I imagine us almost in a “war room” like scenario, and I’m wearing those mirrored glasses, and chewing on that stalk of wheat, like you see generals doing, preparing for the next move, as it were. Well, whenever those people freak out–and when the time comes, I will be doing a video on this on social media (so watch out for it) about the full details, if things go as we’re being told they will–I’ve had to remind my group one element above all, and this is where the spectrum comes in…..

The one big thing I’ve repeated to my group several times is that, sometimes there’s strength in solitude. The whole reason I bring this up is because of how common it is for folks on the spectrum to be left to our own devices, without the nurturing and all that, having to figure things out on our own, and wishing beyond anything to be “part of the social flow”, and all of that; it’s a “grass is greener” mentality, when it comes to the world of socializing, over being content by oneself. I just want to quickly point out here, a few years back, there was an animated short done regarding the 75th anniversary of Batman, and featured one of the greatest DC properties ever–Batman Beyond–which had a whole army of robotic evil Batman clones infiltrating the Batcave, and Bruce & Terry find theirselves up against this whole blockade from the infiltration, and it ends with this exchange between Terry and Bruce takes place:

Terry: “7 against 2; pretty bad odds”

Bruce: “For them.”

“Russell, are you kidding me? How can there not be strength in numbers?” Well, there can be–and in many cases, there are…..but there are some contexts where there can actually be weakness in numbers; one thing to remember over almost anything else is that the majority of the populous is extremely weak-willed and easily manipulated, whether their intentions are good or not. The thing is…..let’s say those people are sold a really shitty bill of goods, and then try to take control of someone who isn’t weak-willed with it, for a sense of control; well, you have to factor in human nature here. Weak-willed people usually want a sense of control because they don’t feel any, due to major insecurity (it’s why they took up the shitty bill of goods to begin with)….the same insecurity that will then lead to wanting that control, and very likely turning on each other for that false sense of superiority & security. Essentially, if all those people in the ranks are so weak-willed and insecure that–when the axe comes down–they’ll turn on each other at the drop of a hat, I sure as hell wouldn’t call that strength in numbers by any stretch. Either you stand for something, or you don’t; it may sound like black & white thinking (and I’m gonna get into that, at a later date), but it’s simply reality. You can’t be wishy-washy on where you stand, or the reality is you don’t.

So bringing that back to the spectrum, let’s say you meet a whole group of people, and you’re all motivated by a certain idea, or fandom, or something or other; when the going gets tough, the weak ones are gonna bolt, and you’ll be left in the dust. Being on the spectrum, we’re already in a position where the going has yet to become easy in any way at all, in fact. I did a video on Instagram yesterday–and shared it around to a few other platforms–discussing about I’ve been given all these accolades by my family about (in my opinion) extremely trivial things, but they’re because they meet their “status quo” objectives, and because they’re talked about a lot in the news lately. Now, how many of these family members who are “so proud over me” over these things that are in the news do you think have read this blog/look at it on an even semi-regular basis? You know when they’ll read it? When it’s suddenly the biggest thing going on in the news, and trending in culture; until that day, they couldn’t care less. Hell, even Gary Vaynerchuk basically said as much (as I’ve said over and over).

Essentially, you’re left to your own devices on whatever your project of interest is; it has to be a labor of love of your own volition; but…the fact that you’re in solitude over it also means you have to look deep into yourself, understand why you’re pursuing it, and your drive to do so has to be that strong that some wishy-washy fools won’t–nor can’t–ruin it. Solitude gives you the opportunity to empower yourself with everything you need to give yourself and your case that inspiration, and burning fire to prevail, when everyone else around you will lose interest, or fall short…..and I can assure you that is gonna happen far sooner than later. It is here I would like to mention one of the very first, most brilliant things that the Slovenian Reddit buddy of mine said in our conversation, as it definitely deserves repeating here:

“So far, the greatest realization you have put into words, and far too little people, if any, have realized as the core of what Autism is, playing out in the real world: if a gun were pointed to my head, that we have no social status; never have. Yes, we might have used social status of others as motivation to do stuff in our lives one way instead of the other, but it was other people’s status, not our personal that we could separate from our relationship with other people the way others might. Consequently, that most likely any long-term methods of people not on the spectrum “assisting/supporting/lifting us up” (from their understanding, at this time, anyway) can only be accomplished by their losing some of their social status and never getting it back; that is what makes it seem so terribly, unconceivably hard! That never in their lives, they were forced to think hard what they’d do with their lives, and dedicate their lives into that direction fully, lovingly and single-mindedly, if social status were absolutely not an issue, while we have no option but to live or die with that in mind, right from the start”.

Now……let’s say you’re to work on a project you’re extremely passionate about, and try to bring others in who are just like “yeah ok, sure…why not”; how devoted to the project do you think those folks really are? Will they stick around thru the good times and the bad times, or are they just “fair-weather” in their approach? We don’t call that which we love “special interests” for nothing; we’re passionate about what we love….but not necessarily always in a way that will carry over to it being as socially popular with others, and that’s totally ok. In many ways, I hazard to say that it’s better than ok…..because this gives us the advantage of doing the projects at our own pace, weighing pros and cons on our own, asking whatever questions we need to–among other things that most others likely wouldn’t consider–and taking setbacks on the chin with far greater ease–and resilience as we move forward with them–than our otherwise nowhere-near-as-devoted counterparts likely would.

While I won’t get too heavily (at this time, beyond what I shared on social media) into what this project is about that I’m involved in, there were several steps I had to take in reassuring the “troops”, as it were:

First, I had to lay out the “chess board” for them, metaphorically, and explain why this or that move– that the party freaking out about–wouldn’t likely go down that way, as well as what’s at risk for said party playing this or that move to do it the way they were; “leverage” as it’s often called.

Second, I had to explain to them that these people freaking out clearly couldn’t be trusted in the long run to hold down the end goal, if they’re panicking now. As the old saying goes “if you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen”.

In fact, literally just as I finished typing that last sentence, the group posted something else about the project saying “this should terrify you”, and after reading what it was, I said “no…..because technically we already knew all of that, etc”, to which successfully reassured everyone.

This is something I simply couldn’t do if my concern were being liked and approved by everyone, and worried about what they thought of me, and all that; and don’t get me wrong: as already stated, I’ve laid out to these people already that there is a flaw in the “end game” of the project, even if it does work out, which is why my focus is beyond that….as I’ve even discussed in my Instagram videos. It’s a lot like even what Mariah Carey sang in the song Hero: “It’s a long road…and you face the world alone; no one reaches out a hand for you to hold”. As Autistic individuals, we have been blessed with a very special gift featuring enhanced sensory and detailed memory capabilities, and when we’ve been put here to use it, and all for a very important reason; but even more importantly….we’ve been blessed with those capabilities, almost as if knowing that it was always gonna come down to our having to be the anchor when necessary–whether for ourselves, or also for a group of people willing to stick by us–and by using the limited resources we have at our disposal. That’s the whole point of why we have though; we’ve got this……and we’ve usually got it on a level even those who do stick by may not always understand.

In fact, something else to consider about the benefits of solitude here, as also discussed with my Slovenian buddy:

Folks not on the spectrum usually enjoy our work/benefit when it doesn’t conflict with social flow; rather, only when it adds to it. Well, our contributions can’t only be appreciated when it works for someone else; that’s where an important “give and take” comes in, and one I’ve already expressed doesn’t happen all that often in our case, and as a result, why we “spin plates” the way we do. I will of course be diving more into this topic also at a later date.

Next time, we’re gonna discuss a topic that I recently remembered I had jotted down for this miniseries that–interestingly enough–Scott “Toyguru/Scooter” Neitlich, former Mattel Brand Manager and host of the Spector Creative Youtube channel, recently brought up about the “Water Cooler” effect, how it can relate to the Status Quo overreach…..how it hurt my Mom’s socializing/success attempts, and why you’re setting yourself up for a world of hurt, if you invest everything in trying to capitalize on it…….