A March from February to the Future..

Well, I’ve been hard at work on what the future holds for me, it’s not Earth-shattering, but changes are coming for me.

First, March 7 is Ash Wednesday so I’ll be disconnecting from social media like Facebook, Twitter and all that as part of my Lenten practice. No worries about the Superblog, though, as I’ll still be writing posts as I do normally. I might just do two posts, if I’m on a roll. This might free up some time where that might be the case.

Second, in preparation for my Lenten Practice, I’ve been working on a new annual posts called Letters for Lent, where I’ll break down the topics that Catholics are hearing this Lent and showcase those topics to all of my readers. It only feel right for me to this during this season, something new; different for the Superblog.

Lastly, I’m working on my poetry, specifically learning new forms of poetry, expanding the stokes in my poetic quiver, as it were. It’s always a good thing to learn more about the subject that you love (and there’s always something new to learn, no matter what age you are.)

So, this stands to be a very busy but fulfilling time during this Lent, but never forget to let yourselves and others…

Shine On!!!

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Support: It does a Community Good

As I was reading my FB Newsfeed, I came across a very disturbing article from NPR, which highlights how important support can be for the disability community, one which openly discriminates against people with disabilities. You, like myself, may have heard that Wal-Mart has decided to replace their store greeters, many of whom have disabilities with “customer hosts”, who are required to do things that may make be impossible for them. The article is in the following link, https://www.npr.org/2019/02/25/696718872/walmart-is-eliminating-greeters-workers-with-disabilities-feel-targeted, but I think that this story is a part of a bigger problem, one that wont go ways or change without communication inside our communities. This isn’t about me, I’m one of the lucky ones who does his job very well, this is about those who aren’t.
I’m vividly reminded of an episode of Switched at Birth where the chef in charge does the minimum to accommodate Daphne, one of the main characters in the show, who just happens to be deaf, which is what the actor is in real life. The growth the character has during the course of the series shows the highs and lows of living with a disability can be. The Blind Bandit known as Toph from Avatar: The Last Airbender is another example of someone who was thought to be looked down on but yet still reached heights no one ever saw coming, not ever her (bad pun there, but the point still stands.) I’m also reminded of how one small social misunderstanding was blown out of proportion and caused a late friend to lose his job, fall into depression and finally take his own life.
My point in writing this post is to highlight how people tend to look at people with disabilities, how much people can underestimate us, how weird we seem to them, how we do things and how they do things are different but our way is looked as wrong compared to our neurotypical counterparts. Another thing to take away from this post is to show how crucial support (and communication, as I mentioned in an earlier post) can be in the grand scheme of things. There’s a lot of pressure we put on ourselves to master skills, to fit into your world, nuerotypicals, just know that we are trying as best as we can, all we ask is for support and understanding as we (you and we) build bridges, friendships and communities together.
Just know that we can succeed with your help, just know that even the smallest victories, no matter how small they seem to be, no matter whom, can mean so much to those us, as the above article shows:

 “It’s been very stressful,” said 32-year-old Mitchell, who says his job as a greeter is being eliminated in Alabama. He has done the job for four years. “It gives me a place to go every day, where I’m not sitting at home. I’m not one of these people in the wheelchair that want to draw Social Security. I’m able to work; I want to work; I want to be out in society.”

We all want to be a part of the American Dream, but how can we do so actively if we’re not actively involved, so just be kind, be compassionate, be understanding to those who have a disability so we can all, collectively…
Shine On!!

A Time to Listen, a Time to Talk and a Time to Learn

Earlier this morning, I had a conversation with a great friend of mine, I spoke at great length on things that were troubling me and the great thing is that she listened to me; heard my story and more importantly, she asked me questions about the story.

One of things we spoke about gave me reason to pause: my past and how it affected my future. It wasn’t easy for me to see how easy things seem to be in the past, but looking back was essential to me, as it afforded me the ability to see mistakes that happened that affect how I see myself now.

It’s like Back to the Future, specifically the events that it brought up, the reasons I am whom I am, the pressures I put on myself by masking and over apologizing when I don’t need to, but it also gave me the ability to put the pieces together in my life, for better or worse. It gave me the opportunity to learn what I need to do to be a better person (which I’ll touch on in a later post) which will make me more open in my life (not a hard thing for me to do, for those who know me.)

Talking, listening and learning are all key parts of what makes communication as a whole work, but that can be a difficult thing to do if you’re s Spectrumite, even small talk can be daunting, so my advice for Neurotypicals is don’t exclude us in conversations that should involve us. We want to be heard and respected in our communities. Only then can we really be welcomed and nurtured so we all can….

Shine On!!

Purging the Urge

There’s always reason to doubt, to stop believing that what you’re doing is right; just, that what you believe in means something. There’ll always be people, critics that say that your efforts won’t matter, that resistance is futile and that change won’t come. Be it fear, concern or worry, there’ll always be a reason to doubt.

But there’s also a reason to hope..

My dad said during one of our many conversations over the years that there was one thing that stuck in his head that my grandfather always told him about being happy for what you have, I consider it a jem of a saying (fitting since both came from Limerick, Ireland, but I’ll have more to say on that next month) and something that I find wise. He always said that “I always thought I was bad off not having shoes, until I saw the man that had no feet.”

Wow, that is profound, especially in our culture where getting the most or being the best goes over being happy for your blessings, for your light, for your hope.

That’s not to say that it’s easy to do in real life, life is a constant struggle, a battle between good and evil, hope and despair, but it’s in these times where faith can help to deal with the demons in your life. in order to purge the urge to doubt yourself, which I’m pretty sure, Spectrumite or not, have a tendency to do.

So, let’s make Purge the Urge our mantra for change, for changing our habits, our quirks, our hopes for the future and make doubt, hopelessness and despair a thing of the past. Let me be clear on this: I’m not writing this to preach, but to encourage each other (especially on Valentine’s Day, not exactly the best day for single people) to keep up our faith, our light in the light of our darkest times, so that we can all..

Shine On!!

Poetry Packed Out: What matters the most and the least at the same time? Hi

Is there any person, Spectrumite or not, that feels like how they act or dress means something? While I do see the importance of basic hygiene and dressing up for important occasions, if one wants to be causal, that’s their choice to make.

But clothes don’t make the man all the time, since even well dressed people have their demons even as they dress like saints. A pauper can act like a prince just as much as a prince can act like a pauper.

Before I go on, perhaps some context is in order..

Six years ago, when I moved into my current apartment, I wanted to make a statement about the way I dressed, there was a lot to learn at the time, but the first order of business to me was to shed the “role”, the outfits I wore at the time, which were button up collar shirts and khakis, not to say I don’t wear them now but I wanted to change it up.

I grew up around a bar, where people always talked to you about their lives; their problems (something I’ve touched on at length on the Superblog) but I also grew up within a military background, where precision was a must. Dealing with that kind of pressure wasn’t easy, but having to keep up appearances (even when it wasn’t easy) felt like the weight of the world was on your shoulders, and the clothes felt tighter with the role I had to play.

But I digress. Suffice it to say that, when I moved, I felt like the late Owen Hart, wanting to say that “enough is enough and it’s time for a change.”

Hence my chance to try sleeveless shirts, Hawaii-style shirts, flip flops, hats, and everything else under the sun. All to change the person I wanted to be deep inside, one change that I felt long overdue. I need to thank my older brother for helping me give myself that change, since I needed to take certain things into account.

The following acrostic was written with the changes I made in mind, calling for being a role model (celebrity in my Mom’s words) but also feeling the need not to overdo it to the point of making people uncomfortable, which is where the inspiration for the acrostic came from.

Image

Instantly recognized, celebrity personified 
Mounting pressure building all the while, 
Always closing, privacy non existent even in 
Greener times. Isolation, preservation seems 
Essential to recharge for another day of our lives.

 

If you see someone that wants to change, all I can say that, as a friend, let them take control in the change and let them try new things; things that make them not yourself feel comfortable. They may need to talk small steps, but small changes are changes nonetheless, so be supportive, caring and let them evolve and…

 

Shine On!!

Not a question of “Where”but “Whom”

All Spectrumites have subjects that they know everything about, poetry, fashion, musicals, TV shows, you name it and if it’s part of the Spectrumites obsession, chances are very good that they know about anything new on them before you knew it was there in the first place.

Even from my childhood, game shows have always had a hold on me, I just enjoy them so much. I don’t know what it is exactly, the gameplay, the audience, the strategy, knowledge or learning new things, maybe the sets (the classic 1980s game show, Press Your Luck, for example) but whatever it is, game shows have always given me something to look forward to. It’s gotten so much that I use games in a Literacy Program I champion for, where it’s not about me, it’s primarily the learners, or players, that learn a lot from my rotation.

One such notable game was from the early 1990s, the trivia and geographical game, Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego, from PBS. From the gameplay to the music, Carmen (the game, not the opera, a taste of things to come) always held my attention for the premise, finding out where a certain criminal in Carmen’s game was going to, finding the loot, warrant and crook (all in that order) and finally a fast paced quest to a certain continent to finally capture Carmen. Another thing that could always brighten my day was the group Rockapella, who did Carmen’s theme, even to this very day, it’s a highlight on my playlist, the song was just iconic.

This review is about the recent reboot of Carmen that’s currently on Netflix and I have to say that as a fan of Carmen, it’s very refreshing to see her in an updated look, same red fedora, same red trench coat, but the series focuses on the Carmen the person, not just as the master thief. The first two episodes focus on her backstory and what made her do what she does and why it’s important to her.

Recent series like My Little Pony, Voltron, She-Ra do this and it’s really nice to see series like this that give us actual backstory, not just stories coming without an investment in the characters involved, it’s a quite refreshing change of pace and it’s a trend I’d like to see continue.

But I digress..back to the chase.

Several characters make a difference in the story (no spoilers) and there’s attention to detail that I really enjoy, in the second episode, they actually use the theme for the unrelated 1994 Fox animated series. They focus on countries and facts of said countries, which is a mainstay of the franchise in general, as are the names of the thieves working for VILE. It’s just so well written and just goes to show what a great future Carmen has. It’s a wonderful show which I highly recommend to all my readers.

So for now, I vanish into the shadows to watch as my favorite thief (and all people, really) can help us be at our best and make us all..

Shine On!!

Lonely nights can hurt..

Each and every February, I’m sure Spectrumites or not feel a little lonely at some point in their lives. Being alone isn’t a great thing to be when you want to have someone as a companion, a best friend, someone that you feel close to, that you can trust with your inner doubts, as they could do with you.

Seeing married couples working as one family is a rarity these days, even on the days where things can seem off kilter; chaotic and random. But when the family works together, there’s nothing that can stop them.

All the while, the questions; the doubts, the regrets start to seep in, draining people of what they feel is their self worth. Questions asking if one even knows what love is, can I be loved, am I worthy of being loved? It’s a hard cross to bear, seeing high school friends having families while time seems to slow down for you.

But I’m also here to say that you’re not alone and there is someone for you. It may be hard to read this, but know, believe that things will get better. I’ve felt love and lost it just as quickly but now to me it’s all about doing what a great Billy Joel song sang about so many years ago: it’s all about “Keeping the Faith”, especially the following lyrics:

Say goodbye to the
Oldies but goodies
Cause the good ole days weren’t
Always good
And tomorrow ain’t as bad as it seems

My point is bringing this up is that there will be as many bad days as there will be good ones, but as long as one keeps their faith and keeps their head high, any bad day can seems like a moral victory if nothing else. It’s at those points where we can all single or not, really truly keep the faith and…

Shine On