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solstice: snowy stroll for skipping stones

December 12, 2013

Yesterday, Havi asked: “What needs to be eliminated? … What wants to be illuminated?” It seems like they could be separate questions, but for me they seem to be entangled.

My shaggy disheveled hair needs a different shape soonest. For almost an entire year, I’ve been trying to find someone I could pay money to craft a hairstyle I could live with. Those efforts  . . . failed miserably.

Today I hacked off a big pile of my hair. It doesn’t really look like a woman’s haircut; it doesn’t really look like a man’s haircut. But it does look like my haircut, which is what I wanted.

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Driving to Annapolis for 8 consecutive weeks . . . is just not appealing, no matter how excellent the class might be. Right now, I look forward to driving to Annapolis on the rare occasions that I need to — I don’t want that treat to => a tiresome chore. But, clearly, a deep part of me wants dance to come back into my life. I need to find something feasible that’s closer to home.

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I know my manager parts want to help me be accepted socially, but behaving as if I ≈ (mostly like everyone else) + (a bit of weird) is . . . actually more like the inverse of reality: (mostly weird) + (a bit like everyone else).

When I meet other fellow weird people, it seems like we should ditch apologizing for not being like other people, and just say whatever we wanted to say. Except that’s not what happens. Well, I rarely apologize. I will out myself as “neurodiverse” if I have any reason to believe they will know what that means. But I’m not going to apologize, as if I’m defective.

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Hope is such a tricky thing. I can’t live without it. I enjoy immersing myself in it. It makes everything brighter and sweeter.

But sometimes I feel like a rat in a maze, where “hope” is the occasional reward. Is it better to stop hoping? (Spouse would say Yes.) Can I hope in smaller amounts? I don’t think so. I think, for me, Hope ≈ 100%, or nothing.

Although . . . there are plenty of places in my life where I feel slightly hopeful. Why is this situation different?

Usually when I feel only slightly hopeful, the limiting factor(s) depend heavily on what many other people may do, or may not do. The parts only I am responsible for seem minuscule, so unlikely to perceptibly influence the (overall) flavor profile.

Isn’t that what we have here? Yes. But, I want extravagant hope to make sense. I want to be surprised In A Good Way, in a place where I have usually been surprised In A Bad Way. (Spouse would counsel me to stop “being surprised” altogether, but Surprise is another one of those occurrences I truly need. He doesn’t.)

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After reading Melissa McEwan’s post, Worthy, we had a conversation on Twitter in which she wrote: “I can BE ugly (to myself, to whomever; it’s subjective anyway) and still be valuable.” I initially dithered, wanting to protest that I used to be more (conventionally) attractive (for a woman), blah blah blah, but then it hit me what she was saying: My worth doesn’t depend upon what I look like. What if I am actually ugly? (Not just, “I feel ugly sometimes.”) Why would that matter?

Months ago, I had a conversation with one of Spouse’s friends who seemed to ascribe to the meritocracy fallacy. She seemed to actually believe that “dumb people” (whatever that even means) don’t deserve rights. It was a very strange conversation.

But this is the same kind of thing, isn’t it? If I were still “sort of conventionally attractive”, that doesn’t mean (or shouldn’t mean) I would deserve more rights than other people who aren’t.

It’d be nice not to be invisible, but when I was younger and “better looking”, I was still invisible in a lot of ways. What’s changed is that I’m aware of it.

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If it’s a constant struggle to get my social needs met, and if I have no reason to assume that anyone else even cares if I’m able to get my social needs met, . . . then I won’t take those social needs, nor my own efforts, for granted.

Parts of me want to . . . graduate to . . . “higher levels” of problems. But what if this set of problems is a synecdoche of deeper truths?

Maybe part of the reason this issue continues to be a problem is because I’m not taking it seriously enough.

What if I focus my attentions on figuring out what I really need socially, and otherwise? And then what if I further focused my attentions on fulfilling those needs?

What if hurrying toward Big Important Problems (by Minimizing or Ignoring My Own Needs) is what the actual Big Important Problem is?

Why is it so hard to believe — and act upon — thinking that what I need matters?

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I set boundaries last week and this week, and even though it was uncomfortable to do, I didn’t cave in and just do what other people might prefer me to do. I held firm.

There are things that I could have shared. Things that I . . . almost felt like I owed talking about — even though I didn’t want to — but then I realized that I should do what feels right to me. Which was not even raising these issues. I don’t owe anyone anything.

That flexing of my sovereign membrane . . . still feels . . . odd. Yet I’m growing into it.

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What if an extravagant outlay of energy is an unfilled need? I’ve been trying to get that need met with Hope, when, instead, perhaps an entirely different emotion would make better sense. But which one?

Joy. Delight. Whimsy. Exuberance. . . Surprising myself.

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I think it’s time to bring back Artist Dates.

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