I’m at a regular babysitting job: there are 2 kids, an older sister [10–12] and a younger brother [6–7]. The family is white, and the parents seem vaguely “stereotypically New Jersey-like”: father is bluff, overly concerned with his masculinity, and controlling; mother dithers, is overly feminine and mostly ineffectual. The kids generally ignore their parents.
This particular stint is all day and into the night. But the parents are on site, just doing other things.
The parents hand off to me papers and books they borrowed from my parents, so I can ‘return’ them. In the dream, I’m also estranged from my parents, so I’m planning to drop off the stuff on my parents’ doorstep, but not talk to them.
The boy got in trouble for climbing a column at church. His father had to pay a $5000 fine, which he’s grumbling to the rest of us about. The incident reminds me of both something I’d done as a kid (so I’m feeling sympathy towards the boy) and something I’d recently read about kids who couldn’t sit still. I try to tell the kids, but they’re not listening.
The girl sympathetically tells her parents I’m “grounded”, implying I’ve run afoul of my own parents’ rules, but I don’t know what she means by it.
I keep waffling about trying to explain autism to them. I do say something to the girl about how I’m not really “my father’s daughter … exactly” since I’m transgender. I agonize over how to explain transgender. Then I realize she’s not listening.
= = =
On the strength of these people being a regular babysitting job, I listed them as Experience when I applied for a job doing GIS. After my interview, I got feedback that I “wasn’t currently doing enough stuff that was challenging”, even though I reflected to myself that a lot of what I was doing was very difficult for me because of my neurodiversity. But then, if I tell these people I’m neurodiverse, surely they’d never consider hiring me! I now feel extra trapped at the babysitting job.
Where’s a good fit for me, where I have appropriate and interesting challenges?
= = =
I see a bunch of girls doing something as a group. In real time, I recognize that one girl is “taking charge / acting as a leader”, which I realize is something I could do, but I don’t. That’s why I’m not a leader: I don’t have a vision for what everyone else should be doing.
= = =
At the end, the girl told me that she and her brother had decided they liked me. I replied, “You’ve grown on me. I don’t understand your parents and they don’t understand me, but you kids I like.”
It’s true that I am not currently doing ‘challenging enough’ stuff. Mostly, I’ve been reading a lot. I feel like I’m in limbo because I’m waiting to hear if I made it into Hedgebrook (which won’t happen until sometime in December). Also, this is a time of year that it’s very hard to get motivated to start a project.
The GIS thing is odd. Geography? Plus something technical-ish?
To what kind of standard would I attempt to do a project, that would seem ‘challenging enough’ to someone else?
I’ve been struggling lately with feeling that nothing I do matters to anyone. And yet, also, thinking that maybe wondering about whether anyone else is noticing what I’m doing is… missing the point. Like, when did I start wondering what/which other people were noticing, before I started to do a thing I wanted to do? How is this new practice helpful at all? [It’s not. It’s enervating.]
I need a new project. Something that “grounds” me — has a local component. Something absorbing, intellectually demanding, and interesting. Something that will surprise me. Something that causes me to grow.