Skip to content

thinking proportionally

April 5, 2014

On days when I have a splitting headache (like today), I often find my thoughts go to strange places. Places I can only visit, apparently, when normal brain functioning is disrupted.

I could take an aspirin, but I hate the taste, and it probably wouldn’t work anyway.

Beyond that, though, so much of my life is interleaved with proportions, that I think they must be . . . somehow, part of my synesthesia. And as such, “normal” brain functioning disrupted by a headache (or any other reason really) seems analogous to . . . flavor notes.

(I’ve been using a lot of taste and smell metaphors in my thought processes lately. It’s comforting to think that all flavor notes . . . occupy an important place in my overall flavor profile. I’m a mosaic, I’m a tapestry — but this particular metaphor has the advantage of being more relevant to most people — almost everyone can smell or taste flavor notes and flavor profiles, while fewer people have created mosaics or tapestries.)

+++

I can feel all the bones in my head, and none of them are happy. Ugh.

+++

Okay, I started out by thinking about evaluating opportunities. I really want to go away for two days to write. I want a quiet comfy place, near a large body of water (preferably an estuary). But at least a town nearby, so I have other places to walk to (as well as places to go eat). I just want to ramble around, thinking, feeling, and hopefully, writing.

I want to be minimally social with human beings, but possibly significantly social with nonhumans.

I don’t want to have to drive for hours and hours. I’d prefer not to drive at all — I’ve been looking at Amtrak a lot — but whether I drive, take a bus, or a train, it would be best if I was not sitting for hours and hours on end.

I’d like to spend $500 or less.

===

I found this wonderful place in Portland, Maine.

And then I started looking at how I might get there. Amtrak does go to Portland, Maine. But it’s complicated: I would ride a train from Baltimore to Boston’s Back Bay Station [7 hours]; I would have to find my own transportation from Back Bay Station to Boston’s North Station; then I would take either a bus, or a different train, from Boston to Portland [2–2.5 hours].

If I could just get on a train and take it for 10 hours . . . it’s a lot more sitting than I’d prefer, but I would just do it. And I have always wanted to take a really long train ride.

But the logistics here… And then once I arrived in Portland, I’d still have to find my own way to and from the B&B.

I could make this work.

Logistics (especially convoluted ones that require coordinating multiple efforts) . . . strain my brain something horrible. They require working against what my brain is good at.

Still, I could pull something together.

I can practically taste how delicious this trip to Portland, Maine, could be.

===

When I’m thinking with proportions, I often use numbers or percentages — not meant to be literal, but just a quick guesstimate, to help me figure out if my model makes any sense.

In this Portland, Maine, example, I estimate I have 1/3 of what I want; 2/3 of what I don’t want.

Those proportions . . . suck.

I have worked with less. And made them work, sort of. Usually to someone else’s standards, standards that I myself did not actually care about.

Since I don’t have a boss, and this isn’t a shitty job assignment, I can please myself.

I could make this work, but too much of the wrong kind of effort is involved.

I’m taking a pass on Portland.

===

I wonder if being genetically and behaviorally? inclined towards hoarding makes it harder for me to walk away from things that could work, if only I first drive myself into the ground kludging crap together?

Or is it just 40+ years of making the best of shit sandwiches, sure that those were the only options open to the likes of me. [Mrs. Nocerino: After all, your own family doesn’t love you! You’re a monster! You’re a waste of oxygen! Why would you “deserve” any better!??!]

I hate the whole concept of “deserving”.

% = +

I just now realized that, by getting blacklisted at one of the last jobs I had, for speaking truth to power, . . . I followed in the footsteps of my father, in the particular way I was sure I would never do. I am my father’s child after all. How unnerving.

Anyway.

I’m finding it very hard to think straight. But these ideas are . . . at least as intriguing as they are disturbing, so I’m going to continue muddling through.

+++

Just like with how I need more Amelia in my life {proportions ftw!}, I need more opportunities that can get me to Flow. I need fewer opportunities that feel like me banging my head against the wall and sobbing with self-loathing.

===

When I was a teenager, looking ahead to college, I took a bunch of tests that were supposed to tell me what I was good at, and therefore, what majors I might enjoy, and/or what professions I might do well in.

Those tests told me (paraphrased) . . . “you’re so smart, you can do anything!” Even at the time, I knew that was bullshit. I most definitely was not good at everything, and I was well aware of that. I was really looking forward to finding out what to rule out. But supposedly, anything in the whole wide world that I tried, I would be a blazing success at!

I would laugh hysterically if I could summon the energy.

My work history is . . . all over the place. In the 24 years I worked, I had 24 or 25 jobs. I absolutely hated all but a handful of them.

The very best one that I had? I recently estimated that it offered me . . . approximately 1/3 of what I wanted; 2/3 of what I didn’t want.

I stayed there the longest, by far. Even though the last 12 months I was there were desperately miserable. But I couldn’t figure out . . . how to get to There from Here. That is, I didn’t know what I did want, but I was real sure on what I didn’t want. How do you move forward with that? What I did was . . . I quit. I didn’t have a job to go to. I had no idea what I wanted to do next, or what options were even available.

I got a part-time job. In the year I was there, I made 1/10 as much money as I’d made in the previous job. But I was actually happier. I still probably only had about 40% of what I wanted, but the proportions were moving in the right direction.

===

In all the time I was working, I almost never ran across . . . stuff that I was really good at and enjoyed doing that also turned out to be valued by . . . well, anybody else. There were lots of things I was really good at that I didn’t enjoy much. And they rarely paid well. (I’m excellent at alphabetizing; I’m excellent at finding errors in columns of numbers or other data. These sorts of things have become automated.)

But the stuff I really sucked at was legion. For instance, I cannot be a Team Player. That’s just . . . not how my brain works. I have nothing against gossip — in fact, I quite enjoy hearing about stuff other people are doing that I think is interesting — but if we’re just going to sit around and discuss other people’s behavior so that we can police it for not being conformist enough . . . I’m not going to say much. Because I know it’s only a matter of time before the pitchforks come out for me.

And when my ADD/neurodiverse brain isn’t being used, it shuts down. When I doodled in meetings, or derived square roots by hand, or did crossword puzzles, it was to prevent myself from falling asleep.

===

Those days are supposedly behind me, now that I’m essentially retired. I’m free to do . . . whatever I want! Whatever I’m good at!

As far as I can tell, no one I know (besides Spouse, and sometimes not even him) is remotely interested in anything that I want to do, or am good at. So if I want to talk to other people, ever, we talk about what they want to talk about . . . which still shuts my brain off. Guess what? That still doesn’t help me make friends! Who knew?

If it wasn’t for this blog? I would go out of my mind.

Which is why I’m writing this blog post, even though I still have a migraine.

I think I’ve completely lost track of my starting point, but also where I thought I was going. Seems a good place to stop.

Advertisements
No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: