(Repost) Who listens to the listeners? 

(Author’s note: Ok, I think I’ve gotten this all squared away now, here’s my most recent post before the whole snafu…enjoy)
Recently, I’ve been watching classic TV, particularly Star Trek simply because I wanted to change my TV habits up a bit. I must admit that I’m a Trekkie, perhaps deep down, I’ve always been a fan and never realized that until recently. The fact that Dr. Temple Grandin is a fan of the classic Star Trek, my hero in the autistic community, helps me so much and, looking into it, it’s not hard to see why, how so, read on….
Inside the Trek universe, there are so many people who I can relate to, that I can say that there’s a part of me in all of them. In Capt. Sisko, I feel the tension that he felt every day, having to keep the peace of so many different species, making those choices that we might flinch at and how he had to keep up appearances as a religious icon and a Commander (later Captain) inside Starfleet. Thus far, I see myself in Sisko, though I have a passion for the arts so much that I can see Picard in me as well.
In Chief O Brien, there’s the obvious connection with our shared heritage and how he had to fix Deep Space 9, a Cardassian space station with Federation technology, not an easy task, which required him to be creative and flexible in his role as Head of Operations, something I’ve had to do countless times in my own work, similar to him and Voyager’s Neelix.
In Voyager’s EMH, known simply as the Doctor, he was a person, an entity which I felt for, simply for the fact that he wanted to belong and his struggles mirror my own, both the triumphs and pitfalls. I also see Data in myself as well for the same reasons, both the Doctor and Data fought for the person (entities, perhaps?) that they are, fought for the respect that they deserved, much like I do to this day.
There was one character that really stood out to me, with Quark being a close second, Guinan, from the Next Generation, it maybe because of the fact that she simply listens. I saw her and felt a connection because, as a former bartender’s son, I’ve always been known for being a good listener. It’s a family trait, I’m feeling, as all of my wonderful brothers are known for being good listeners.
It’s gotten so much so that, when friends have their problems, we are the first people that they can talk to, because like Guinan, we seem to be good at listening. I admit that I’m working on giving advice, but I feel like if listening helps the person vent out possibly pent-up frustrations, then I’m happy to be a help, no matter how small.
It just goes to show that, whatever you find yourself a fan of, you can always find someone to look up to in a postive light, especially when the news is full of bad characters nowadays. That said, in life, there’ll always be the people you can look to for advice, a shoulder to cry on and a character that you can’t help but root for, but with them by your side, you won’t be able to do anything but be like a star and…..
Shine On!!

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(Repost) Communication is the Master Key!!

(Author’s note: Sorry for this if you’ve read this before, but after writing my latest blog post, I published it and erased this post by mistake… I repost the lost post as a mea culpa) 

One of the things I like a lot of in life are game shows, specifically CBS’ juggernaut The Price is Right, primarily for the fact that, no matter the person, with a little bit of luck, persistence and strategy, a person’s life could change forever, look at Michael Larson, Ken Jennings, Brad Rutter, or Eddie Timanus, with thier appearances, they all changed the rules, broke banks and (in one case) shattered glass ceilings. Oh, how I wish that life could be that kind, you see, as a Spectrumite, life can be less than ideal but, like Card Sharks, all you can do is try to work with the cards you have and make the best of the best or the worst.
One of the most daunting challenges Spectrumites face is the elusive master key for progress in the neurotypical world: communication. For Neurotypicals, what seems natural and easy for them when it comes to communication seems like having a map for a maze and being well equipped for whatever comes their way. For Spectrumites, there are times where a maze can feel like a cavern, one where you can never tell where you started or if you can stop, with no map, no light and feeling like you’re ill-equipped for the journey.
Communication is so invaluable for interacting with others, as friends or as potential co-workers, but it’s also a balancing act of talking too much or not talking enough, For the longest time at my job, one former co-worker remarked that, because of my robotic tone, I should stand in the doors and simply greet others, all within earshot of me. At the time, I held my tongue but, even as I wanted to tell him the challenges I faced, how far I had come to communicate at all. A recent post on Facebook told me what I wanted to say: “Mild autism means you see my autism lightly, but not the battles, the lessons that got me here today.” Wise words, I think…
Another aspect where communication is key is in making friends, without open and honest communication with each other, friendship can fail to grow in what it can become. Think of it like this: if a common interest is the seed that brings two people together, communication is how both people nuture it and help it grow. A personal example is how a friend of mine and I are fans of the Piano Man himself: Billy Joel, the fact that we were both Spectrumites was the seed to bring us together as was our similiar taste in music, but without communication, we would never be the close friends we are today. In fact, I’ve felt that lack of clear communication can over time lead to hurt feelings and misunderstandings.
Communication is an elusive master key, I’ll admit, for us Spectrumites, but without the support, understanding and kindness of others, then how can we grow as people, as a society and help us all improve? Indeed, without it, we’d never learn how to….
 
Shine on!!

Who listens to the listeners?

Recently, I’ve been watching classic TV, particularly Star Trek simply because I wanted to change my TV habits up a bit. I must admit that I’m a Trekkie, perhaps deep down, I’ve always been a fan and never realized that until recently. The fact that Dr. Temple Grandin is a fan of the classic Star Trek, my hero in the autistic community, helps me so much and, looking into it, it’s not hard to see why, how so, read on….

Inside the Trek universe, there are so many people who I can relate to, that I can say that there’s a part of me in all of them. In Capt. Sisko, I feel the tension that he felt every day, having to keep the peace of so many different species, making those choices that we might flinch at and how he had to keep up appearances as a religious icon and a Commander (later Captain) inside Starfleet.  Thus far, I see myself in Sisko, though I have a passion for the arts so much that I can see Picard in me as well.

In Chief O Brien, there’s the obvious connection with our shared heritage and how he had to fix Deep Space 9, a Cardassian space station with Federation technology, not an easy task, which required him to be creative and flexible in his role as Head of Operations, something I’ve had to do countless times in my own work, similar to him and Voyager’s Neelix.

In Voyager’s EMH, known simply as the Doctor, he was a person, an entity which I felt for, simply for the fact that he wanted to belong and his struggles mirror my own, both the triumphs and pitfalls. I also see Data in myself as well for the same reasons, both the Doctor and Data fought for the person (entities, perhaps?) that they are, fought for the respect that they deserved, much like I do to this day.

There was one character that really stood out to me, with Quark being a close second, Guinan, from the Next Generation, it maybe because of the fact that she simply listens. I saw her and felt a connection because, as a former bartender’s son, I’ve always been known for being a good listener. It’s a family trait, I’m feeling, as all of my wonderful brothers are known for being good listeners.

It’s gotten so much so that, when friends have their problems, we are the first people that they can talk to, because like Guinan, we seem to be good at listening. I admit that I’m working on giving advice, but I feel like if listening helps the person vent out possibly pent-up frustrations, then I’m happy to be a help, no matter how small.

It just goes to show that, whatever you find yourself a fan of, you can always find someone to look up to in a postive light, especially when the news is full of bad characters nowadays. That said, in life, there’ll always be the people you can look to for advice, a shoulder to cry on and a character that you can’t help but root for, but with them by your side, you won’t be able to do anything but be like a star and…..

Shine On!!

 

Poetry Packed Out: Triumph from Tragedy

In light of recent events, with the shootings in Las Vegas and the death of Tom Petty still fresh in all of our minds, I figured that this edition of Poetry Packed Out needed to touch on sadness and how people can recover (as best as we can, at any rate) from the things in life that are sometimes unavoidable. The poem I chose is from my own sorrow and faith entitled Triumph from Tragedy. 

When I was writing this poem, I was still going through a rough patch in my life, losing my late mentor to ALS and wanting to let people know what I was feeling at the time. It was full of my emotions. Triumph from Tragedy had the paradox of this space known as time: it held onto the wanting to turn back time, yet it also held something more deep inside, that we find difficult to find at the time: the hope that each of us holds inside, even when we suffer more than we can bare, to know that we aren’t alone in our suffering. This poem is here to let those who mourn that it’s natural to mourn, especially for those we hold dear inside us, but also to let us not to forget how important it is to let others know that we care about them, individually and as a society. So, without further ado:

Triumph from Tragedy

Death is…

something uncontrollable:

spreading like a virus

losing your friend

in a matter of seconds

Without a chance to say goodbye.

It is pain beyond words

like the world is crumbling around you

with no escape in sight

Like losing you mentor; your hero

your knight in shining armor

In what seems like an eternity

But there is hope and joy in this

We must remember to appreciate

those people that are living now

before it’s too late

And to love other people back

Regardless of what others think of them

If we are to join our friends

When we leave this place

And journey into

The next world.

Hope this helps you all heal from the past and present pains so we can all…..

 

Shine On!!

Five years, five years, five years, five years, five years!!!! 

Five years (all right, that was 6 times but please bear with me) ago, I was forced to make a decision that was scary for me, one that would change my life, one that forced me to look at myself in a different way.

Change is never easy for anyone, much less one on the Spectrum, so being asked to make an Earth shattering decision was something I had postponed up to that point. I ducked the decision, dodged it as best as I could and wanted to prolong my version of paradise for as long as I wanted. Then, things changed when I felt complacent where I was, I wanted more in my life, I wanted my life to mean something….
So five years ago, I took the proverbial plunge and moved out of my mothers apartment which was above the business that had kept us afloat for so long..and the thing that I see now is, I wonder what I had to be scared of..
I took the plunge and, since then, I haven’t looked back..

Friends and family have noticed that I’ve mellowed down considerably since then. To give one an idea of where emotionally, I was feeling the stress of my family’s business and working myself. It always felt that my social life was nonexistent because there was not much( or very little) of a social life. Now, I do work, volunteer and travel around the local area and I’m able to have friends at my apartment when I like.
This is only one of the many aspects that I’ve evolved since that day five years ago. I’ve learned so much since then, about cooking meals, managing money and honestly, I’ve learned so much about myself and the person I am now. So for my friends that pushed me, for my family (especially my oldest brother Kevin, who has been my strongest supporter) who pushed me to evolve, I sincerely want to say thank you so much for helping me to evolve and to find a way to….
Shine on!!!