But, it is for a purpose; it serves a function. I want to share with you what it’s like to not just be me but also how I felt, through my words and my art, a few months after my adult diagnosis. In short, I wrote 100 personal blog posts that I published under a
pseudonymous account and shared with a larger, spectrum-centric community.
Thankfully, they accepted me with open arms and answered all of my questions and loved on me even though none of them knew who I was. Again, another powerful reminder of the anonymous / pseudonymous internet!
… the following 100 posts will be part of my larger farewell tour and then I’ll leave this plane and be fully-graduated into the
metaverse where I will continue to write, daily, but with full-confidence that I cannot be censored and that my content will live forever!
Why? Because I’m a control-freak and even though I’ve orchestrated this blog to sit on a server in “contractual perpetuity” (I sold a project to WPEngine and negotiated “hosting for life” on one of their enterprise plans as part of the deal) there is no guarantee that WPEngine will survive the coming metaverse-related apocalypse.
In fact, you can kind of bet on it that it won’t; most traditional “web hosting” companies will not survive in the
metaverse and I’m sorry-not-sorry about that.
So, like any good developer I’m “rollin’ my own” motherfucker — you thought that this was just a game?! Oh, wait, it is. L(° O °L)
I just need assurances that my content can live forever — literally — and I simply do not trust anyone to do that job right except myself. So, there.
Back on the subject…
… I am sharing every post in original form and they aren’t for the “faint of heart” — I am literally screaming into my textpad in some of these and I am saying things that I’m not fully understanding or just beginning to process. I don’t even know if I agree with most of what are in these 100 posts, but, I’m so confident in my future in the metaverse that I simply don’t care what anyone thinks.
But, if they are useful, I want them to be available to others (like all ASD-related posts). So, let’s begin Project: Inception, starting with the “About” page content for the project, a first “intro post” and then you’ll find one of the posts that I wrote (I used to have an order to them but I’ve stripped out all links and internal structure and randomized the order because it doesn’t matter anymore).
Oh, fuck it… let’s go.
About This Pseudonymous Blog Project
All I know is that this is where I live. I live in the digital space. It is no more and no less real than the so-called physical world. It simply is.
And if I’m ever going to figure this “thing” out then I’m going to have to write about it. Besides, that’s my modus operandi, it’s how I understand myself and my world. I write because my brain doesn’t stop long enough for me to process inside my brain.
My therapist says that I should write, since that’s what I do. So, that’s what I’ll do. I’ll write.
If you’ve found this blog then I hope that I can encourage you as I learn about life as one who has aspergers. I hope I can encourage and empower both the neurotypicals and aspies alike. We’re all in this together, aren’t we?
My goal, to start, is very simple: Blog for 100 straight days starting on May 1st, 2013. We’ll see what happens after that.
An Intro. Kinda.
I am autistic, specifically the high-functioning kind on the spectrum, otherwise known as Asperger’s Syndrome with more than a touch of ADHD and OCD. I also have a history of clinical depression and anxiety disorder. But I am no basket case. I have found success through experimentation, my faith, my compulsive behavior and an obsession to maximize my strengths while learning to limit and minimize the effects of my weaknesses.
I was officially diagnosed as a 30-something on March 14, 2013. I am married with two beautiful daughters. I love technology, software programming, video games, and the incredibly wonderful world of the internet. I have found success through my so-called “challenges” and turned my perspective and creativity into a career as a full time software engineer and entrepreneur.
I haven’t come out of the proverbial “closet” yet. In other words, there are only a few people in my life that even know that I am an Aspie (some of them might not even know what that actually is). My parents do not even know. I find this fascinating because there are more people online that know about my official diagnosis than the # of people I can count on both hands.
I was diagnosed as an adult on 3/14/2013. … Hah. The mathematical constant π. Go figure.
I have also been told that I am a writer. I’m not exactly sure what that means but I do know that I write stuff, every single day, thousands of words, whether it is in prose or in software syntax. If this is my compulsive obsession (or “special interest”) then I suppose we have a winner.
It is my outlet, my creative freedom, my true voice. It is me, I make no apologies, and this is story.
My goal is to write, for 100 days straight. Here’s the first…
One of the greatest gifts that we have being those that have Aspergers is the fact that we know at a very young age what our so-called “Special Interests” are. We know intimately what we’re into, what we’re passionately obsessed over, and what grabs and holds our attention.
As I’ve mentioned previously these interests can be incredibly focused or broad is scope and detail. It’s also worth mentioning that it’s quite possible for an aspie to “hop” from interest to interest – some may have a set list of interests that they will cycle through, randomly or systematically while others may hyper-focus on one topic until they get bored or exhausted and then move into another field of interest.
One thing is for sure though, this intensity and focus is undeniable and we will devour any and all information regarding that particular subject with a voracity that can be somewhat frightening to neurotypicals as we may forgo biological demands for these compulsions to be met. I know this all too well as I would “binge” and would work nonstop to solve an issue or dive into a particular subject matter forgetting to sleep, eat, or drink for literal days. The only apparent physiological demand that I would cave to was going go the restroom as I didn’t want to soil myself because that would make work a bit more difficult and extremely uncomfortable.
Over time I’ve self-medicated through self-generated methods to help manage my binging but I still do it often when I get very excited about a problem that I’m solving and without the help of my spouse or alarm systems I’ll find myself sitting alone in the dark at 3:00am in the morning wondering why everyone in my family is asleep when the last thing I remember is my daughter coming home from school around 2:00pm the previous day.
What’s fascinating is that besides my obvious profession as a software engineer I slowly began becoming a source of inspiration and apparent insight on how to not only “find” my passion but how to pursue it with success. Some people called this finding one’s “thing” or “shtick” or perhaps they would even call it their spiritual “calling.” I just called it my “itch” that I had to scratch because everyone understands that metaphor with zero explanation.
And aspies are incredibly good at finding those itches to scratch. We know it all too well. It’s ironic that much later in life I came to realize that the software development world would come to adopt this vernacular when it came to developing software and building digital products. They would say such things as:
Build a product (or start a company) that scratches your own itch.
What they were saying most simply is that one should create a solution to their own personal dilemma, problem, or “itch” before commercializing it for mass consumption. In other words, build it for yourself first and then for others later.
As an aspie I could do no other! Because I’m highly egocentric I was always building for myself and it would only be seen as a “good” thing when I entered into software development, especially entrepreneurship, startup world, and venture capital.
Overtime I began being requested to consult and help other companies and technology teams to find (or rediscover) their itch. I realized, in short order, that I could be financially compensated very well to help others identify their itch and then propose strategies and methods by which they might solve them. If I stuck around long enough (and they usually requested that I did) I would be asked to help build the solutions as well.
I even began consulting and coaching individuals, executives, and leaders within their organizations on how to isolate, refine, and capitalize on their own personal itches that had to be scratched. This was (and still is) incredibly satisfying for me as I am able to experience real creation of value in near real-time. Helping individuals navigate these waters that I swam so naturally was like getting paid to breathe – it seemed almost unfair!
I started wondering why I was so “gifted” at seeing what appeared to be so obvious. It now see the dynamic is 20/20 vision as being diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome helps me understand why I instinctively know what I’m passion about and how I can understand, in theory, why neurotypicals may struggle to find their itch, their passion, and ultimately their vocation.
So I began to develop a systematic approach to “discovering” those things, their “thing” so as to help walk them through an understandable process that made sense. What I would share with them, generally, is as follows – I captured this personal email that I sent to one of my executives that I was coaching as he was working through a significant point of not only corporate change-management but also within his own personal life:
The problem historically has been that you’ve failed to find it (or at least this iteration of the “thing” perhaps). Historically it just hasn’t “worked” out the way you thought it was going to work out.
A lot of that has to do with the way you see yourself and your strengths. The way you manage energy, action, and how you prioritize your time. Now that you have a better grasp of the reality (through our previous exercise) you have all-the-more potential to find your “thing” and make it yours – and then, perhaps, profit from it.
Every artist, every creative, every business person, every entrepreneur and freelancer wants to find and execute against their “thing” but before they can do that they need to look inward, not outward. That’s why things like our behaviorial studies, tools, and diagnostic introspection are so important to that process.
It provides an “Aha!” moment as you see something that resonates well, even to the level of your soul, and you say “Yes, that’s how it’s always been.” or “That makes sense.” or even “I knew it.”
And this isn’t luck or chance my friend – it’s a simple and methodical approach to self-examination. That’s all. Some people, some artists, some creatives, may just “fall into it” but most of us aren’t like them (or we’d be them, right?).
After self-examination we can, and only then, begin to pour ourselves into it entirely, finding our true self, our “voice,” our distinctive, the reason why we exist. Only then can we thrive.
And only then can we be more fully human. Be encouraged – you’re on the right track.
Some Thoughts to Consider:
• How would you go about finding that “one thing”?
• What are some of the patterns in your life that keep coming back around again?
• What are some of the things people know you for? What are people talking about when they think of you?
• What are your passions? What are you most naturally gifted at?
• How would you begin to articulate this well? In one sentence? In an “Elevator Pitch”?
I would like to continue to expand and share on these thoughts as I have time.