Monday, November 12, 2018

Mendocino County Line (Family Visit)

I made them laugh.
Because laughter is a tonic.
So are good views, a beautiful sunset, and a passionate appreciation of the nature around you.
Positive energy is a tonic, and I got that in spades tonight, with my uncle, visiting from California, and his new friend C. She is such a lovely combination of both introspective, warm and outgoing! Not a combination you find that often.
I hadn't seen my uncle in a couple years, and was unsure how it would go; but with his contagious, infectious enthusiasm and her immediate warmth, close attention to my jokes and stories, and interesting ancedotes, how could it not?
It was sunset, and even though the wind made me nervous, we headed towards the western prom for a spectacular sunset that we all enjoyed.
Then there was the matter of grave importance -- the graveyard, which naturally lead us to the long and winding way...road (couldn't resist, it's true) to the Pine St intersection.
My uncle loved the architecture of all the buildings on the West End; I've never had a more appreciative audience. I adore (outwardly) appreciative audiences. They are very hard to find. You know the houses are beautiful, but you don't quite appreciate it as much until you see it from someone else's eyes.

Walking in the nearly empty streets reminded C of Mendocino, where she is from, so I asked if she knew the song "Mendocino County Line," which she did! She said “I do, but how do you know it?” and I sang some of it.

Both of them walked on the curb with me near the playground, no one has ever done that before. Well ,she IS a yoga teacher! And he met her doing yoga, so...

And my uncle jumped in the leaves with me. We went to the US map briefly and then the chocolate shop. There was quite a line in there. I waited outside.
We got a treat eggs for Nate, a chocolate turkey for Thanksgiving, and another heart choclate for whoever I deem appropriate!
I also gave them my passionfruit chocolate because C said “I love passionfuit!” and my uncle did too. And the other heart chocolate.
My uncle bowed as a good bye gesture ,which I liked, and we said goodbye until next time.

A lovely way to spend an evening which I hope to remember.



Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Dancing in the Street

Tonight, I went to a Grateful Dead tribute band at the outdoor patio of a local establishment in my city. I have done this for three years now, as they perform every Wednesday evening in the summer. It was  a great feeling, but it was a little lonely with no one to share it with. Despite the abundance of tie-dye t-shirts and Grateful Dead logos around me, I got the feeling that no one particularly wanted to have conversation with a stranger, so I danced alone.

When the band  took a break, I put my headphones on so I could be amused by my music. It was then that I saw my downstairs neighbor walking towards me with some of his friends. He called out my name twice, and seemed happy to see me. He was going to the concert, too. We had a nice chat, and I was happy there was someone  I knew there. Group conversations are nearly impossible for me to figure out how to navigate, though, so I let them sit down and went back to my music, belting out the lines to an old favorite, "Me and Emily, "  while I tried to distract my brain long enough for the band to come back from their break. Bored afterwards, I made my way tentatively to their nearby table. There was a break in conversation, and my neighbor smiled at me, which I took as an invitation to come over. He introduced me to his companions,and we had a conversation about the apartment building we both lived in, and where we'd gone to school. We were the same age. Our schools,Cumberland  and Cape  Elizabeth respectively,had apparently been big rivals in sports and we had a laugh over that. It was nice, and he was welcoming. More of his friends made their way to  his table, though, and I had no idea what to do. How to integrate myself socially, or if I  even should,or what the protocol for this situation was. So I left to  go dance  and sing to the music some  more,glad for the brief connection.

It was long enough for me to remember, though, how incredibly awkward and impossible social interactions used to be. Throwing myself at people who didn't speak the same language as me. Thinking I should be able to relate to people  who were my age, just because they were, well, the same age. Thinking that if I just tried harder or found someone with similar interests, that a friendship would magically materialize. The despair  and intense questions  when it didn't. I was always too intense. The pace, the  tone, the flow of most "typical" conversations is markedly different than that of someone on the autism spectrum, no matter where on the functioning level they are. Someone on the spectrum, if they are social at all, is likely to hyper-focus on one topic for longer than a neuro-typical person. They are likely to want a conversation much further in  depth than the people around them, and to give in-depth analyses of the topic. Some are likely to show more emotion than expected, or not enough. They are usually not aware of what their body language is saying to others,or what others' signals are saying to them. They  tend to be more sensitive, to everything. It's not wrong. It's not a disability, per se. But what it *is* is an entirely different language, an entirely different way to communicate. And it's very hard to make it fit in  with the language that most people - especially young people -- use.

This year marks thirteen years since I found the label of and diagnosis of Asperger's Syndrome, otherwise known as autism spectrum disorder. It marks approximately 12 years since I found a support group of people on  the autism spectrum, and eleven years since I was lucky enough to develop close friendships with several of them, but two in particular. In those years, I have immersed myself in disability culture and community as much as possible, both online and offline. I have now literally spent a third of my life reading about and witnessing the experiences of people who came before me, and the words of those who are currently navigating this difficult life of overwhelming sensory experiences, confusing expectations and an increased rate of loneliness and isolation.
While I will probably always have a little bit of shame ingrained into me from spending so much of my life wondering why I was different, I am  struck tonight by the degree to which it has lessened in these twelve years.
I am happy to finally have something positive to report.

You see, if this had happened before my diagnosis, I would have burst into tears wondering why my interest in the Dead was so much more intense than others; why I wanted to talk about it and no one else did. I would have found being part of a group conversation impossible and wandered away, hurt and lonely. I would have been so jealous at the seemingly good times others were having that I wasn't that I would have cried for hours afterwards. And I certainly wouldn't have approached a stranger to try to start a conversation with them.

But tonight, I  made a few attempts at social integration and when they didn't work, or worked only to a limited  amount, I just smiled at the positive energy  of the crowd, enjoyed counting tie-dye t-shirts (four), and let myself get carried away by the music. I just  danced instead.  I danced around the crowd, having  the confidence that I didn't *need* to be part of it, at least not for this night, and that I could make my own fun when I needed  to.
This label gave me the confidence to  start living life the way that felt comfortable to me. Having friends in the disability community gave me something more positive and  similar to me  to  compare myself to ,and for once  I didn't come up as "there's something wrong with me and I don't know what" but instead  just "yeah, my friend does that too." It is the ability to be part of a group, and feel like you belong somewhere, so you have the ability to tolerate being in places  that are more  difficult for you for a short time.

I still get a feeling of longing in my heart when I see others communicating in the way I want to.      
But I've learned to find connection in older people, whose communication style  more closely  resembles my own, and in people who are neurodiverse in many ways -- anyone whose life is different enough to give them enough compassion to accomodate another person with a difference. I smile, tell jokes, and let myself just be. The positive energy I usually get back when I choose well is an incredible feeling, that I feel compelled to go after every day to fill me up. Without the diagnosis of an autism spectrum  diagnosis  and friends both online and offline to help show me the way and act as role models for me, I don't think I ever would  have had the confidence and self-acceptance to do so.

So tonight, instead of berating myself for being different, I just danced in the street, to paraphrase a 1963  Martha and the Vandellas  song. And I took a moment to congratulate myself for how far I have come.                                                        

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Random Bench Guy June 2018

Random  Bench Guy for the Win, Downtown Portland on a Tuesday afternoon, 6/12/18 5pm

When I got downtown around  5pm today, there were people playing music and handing out voting guides in Monument Square.  I put my stuff on a bench nearby, intending to talk to them. But as I waved a quick acknowledgement of the non-descript middle  aged guy sitting on the bench, it started a conversation. It started out as a quick comment about the music,and then morphed into a conversation about voting and then our personal lives, which is my favorite kind of conversation.

I told him I hadn't tried that hard to figure out where to vote since  I knew I'd have trouble going in any building.  This was interesting to him and spurred more conversation. But first we talked about geography - he's from North Carolina  and Florida but lived in Maine most of his adult life - pain issues, adjusting to life issues,even chemical sensitivity which he said he shared. He related how much he hated the air fresheners on rental cars! I could certainly relate to that. We talked 60s music and  Marvin Gaye jokes and Jewish and family history, all sorts of things. ( I asked him if he  asked "What's going on?" when  Marvin Gaye died. He  told me I was a funny gal.)

I loved him. He was unfailingly honest, authentic, and emotionally expressive.  His voice expressed authenticity  and emotion. We just connected. For  an hour, we connected. I felt sad to not be able to make it last longer, and see him again, but he was exactly the kind of angel  I needed today to feel heard.

But mostly, he was perceptive in a way that so few people are. In fact,  I have rarely met someone so perceptive. It started when he asked me "Do you think it gets harder going into buildings the more time goes on?" when most people put on a smiley face and ask "Oh, but it gets easier the more you  do it,  right?" No.  For most situations -- No, it doesn't. I was floored ( no pun intended!) that he got this.
                     
Then when we were talking about doing a comedy open mic, and I did my standard "pretend to be interested and act like you'll follow through because it's easier than explaining why it will never happen" routine, he  actually said "But that would involve going into a building, so you probably won't do it,  right?"And I said yes, yes, once again,you are very insightful and completely right.

So then we were talking about, I forget what, but I brought up my autism advocacy. He said "I thought it might be something like that," which I liked, and when I asked him what he had noticed in me to make him think that,he said "Your eye contact.  You look at me when I'm talking, but you look away when you're talking."

I had never noticed that before!! I was blown away. Both by his perception and his willingness and ability to share his honest thoughts!
I always tell people to sit in front of me so I can see them.
Most of the time, when the conversation is easy anyway, I LIKE looking into people's eyes.
I was almost worried I somehow didn't fit into  the ASD category because of it.
But I never noticed that  I often look  away when                                               talking to someone else. It makes it easier  to process what I'm saying, I guess.
So I guess  I'm aspie after all lol.

So this random guy on a bench could tell me what fifteen years of therapists, psychiatrists and other mental health workers couldn't.

When I say I get better feedback and support from random people  downtown than anyone in the mental health field,  I  really mean it.  This is by far the best  example yet, and most people don't  rise quite to this level, but the  authenticity and emotional availability is what I like about my random connections with people downtown.

I take off my hat to this lovely gentleman, and wish more people  were like him.

Just another day in Monument  Square! =)

Sunday, July 9, 2017

OOB and Invisibility

Someone gave me the idea of doing a speech based around the theme of being invisible, or not.
I've been struggling to find a way to structure it, a way to organize it, ideas to include.


Today, though, I think gave me some material.


Today, Nate, Rob, Amber and I went to OOB for a couple hours.
It took some work to organize and prepare for.
But it ended up going quite well.
My friends work hard to make me feel visible, and heard, and included.
Nate got me an avocado so I had food I would like.
I work hard to try to find a source of positive energy in me so I am good company.
I tell jokes or comment on things around us that other people might have missed.
We all work hard to make each other feel visible, seen, heard, wanted, and included.
Maybe that is the defin


You may not have that many things in common with someone, but when you share experiences with them, you create a bond. This means a lot.


I looked for Quebec license plates, played one balloon game, and took in the visual stimuli around me.


I used to be able to write more, and more coherently, and just more stuff.
But this will have to do as a memento for the future.
I am working hard to be grateful for what I have.
























ition of commu

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Going Old-School

It was an innocent statement, said without much pretense. He probably didn't know how much it would mean to me. "You probably won't be able to go in my car, because it's a month old," he said warmly.                                      

It was a very intense discussion, full of so many different interesting angles, so many fascinating emotions, shared experiences and connections - more than I could possibly remember to write in this  essay. But as I was pondering how to start a blog about the experience of meeting someone I went to high school with but haven't seen in probably 10 years, this sentence stood out to me.

Because with this simple statement, he was saying so much more. He was saying "I GET that you have sensitivities to chemicals. I UNDERSTAND what that means. I am okay with that. I believe you. It doesn't bother me. I still like you. I am aware of what that means."

Being asexual and not finding a word to describe myself as such until I was 18, and being on the autism spectrum but not finding that label or community until I was 21, I have spent literally half my life being different and not knowing why. Being different and not having a community that I felt part of -  that I felt like I could ever be part of. This has left me naturally defensive and insecure, feeling I have to explain myself over and over again and that people will either outright reject me or regard me as a curiousity. Developing chemical sensitivities multiplied that pain by about 100 times.  

Fighting with people for the last ten years, trying to get them to understand that yes, new cars do bother me, yes, refinished floors can bother me for months afterwards, and yes ,  that shampoo you're using is making me go out of my mind.... It's become my new normal, but I never liked it. For obvious reasons.

Feeling like I can't be who I am  because no  one would ever like someone with so many differences, sensitivities and so on - that's never gotten easier. I've just gotten better at fighting. I've had to overcompensate and stand up for myself, to create a world I can physically tolerate, but rarely emotionally tolerate because the energy I use to try to convince myself other people like me anyway ... It's too much.

So, I could talk about how it was nice to share old teachers, such as the elementary school librarian that we somehow both remember, or the discussion about a gay, lesbian and queer community we were both in and the connections we have to that. I could talk about his warm, open personality, and how you felt like you could talk about anything and get a response, a connection that would just go on until I was too physically exhausted by talking to continue. The ease at which we started to discuss the norms of having discussions, which is a topic I've always been interested in but rarely found people articulate, thoughtful and aware enough to participate in.  (There are few things I love more than a good conversation analyzing the norms and rules of having conversations. It helps me figure out if I'm doing stuff right, helps me  figure out to treat myself more kindly, and brings me closer to someday being relaxed enough to feel connection without having to try so hard).

And all of those would be perfectly valid ways to describe the meeting.
But what sticks in my head is the experience of so casually being acknowledged
as a person with valid needs after years of trying to prove to the world around me that my needs were valid. That is a person with heart.

I might have been a little physically overwhelmed because I was pushing myself to interact so intensely, but I felt emotionally full and safe after, and that's something I don't feel all that often.

Whoever thought it could come from anything related to high school? =)


                                   





          



                                                                                                                                         

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Ordinary Makes Life Work

I woke up to the sound of pouring rain. I glanced out the window and could tell that none of my plans for today would work. Mentally, I revised my plans and tried to come up with something better. "Today," I thought to myself, "would be an excellent day to go to the nursing home to visit my friend."

Filled with a sense of renewed purpose, I managed to get myself up and ready. There is something about purpose that is so healing. I have very little of it in my life, so this felt good. However, I was supposed to meet someone just before that I was concerned would conflict with this. Luckily, it didn't.

When I got to the bus stop, I could see the bus was full. A few months ago, that would have completely scared me away, but today I was determined to do something meaningful, and not come home and complain about my life. So I got on. Or tried to - the bus driver refused to lower the ramp for me so I could get on the bus without hurting myself, which is a problem that has only developed recently. He said it was only for wheelchairs. I told him the transportation manager of Metro had told me it was for anyone with a disability, and assured him I would be contacting him if he refused me access. He let me on.

The woman I visit was sitting outside when I got there, which is unusual for her. I was so relieved I wouldn't have to go looking for her, which makes me anxious but I am willing to do it. Her face lit up when she saw me, as did mine when I saw her. We only had about 45 minutes before she had to leave for dinner, but I felt safe in those 45 minutes. I just felt safe, because I was in the company of someone who actually wanted to be with me. I relaxed, even if just for a few minutes, for the first time in days. It didn't matter what we talked about.

A 93 year old visiting Catholic priest came to give her Communion, which is something I have never witnessed before but found interesting. The content of the prayers... well, some of the prayers... were not that different from the prayers we say at the synagogue. The parts about loving each other and praying for one's health and happiness... not all that different. I couldn't get over how amazing it was that she could still do this at 93, and my friend clearly loved being around her, which was cool. 

I talked to the receptionist a bit and left for a bus I ended up having to wait way too long for, but such is life. I saw my friend Ryan when I got off the bus and Lillian when I got on the next , shorter bus home. I felt like part of a community when this happened.

These are small insights, small accomplishments, nothing notable or profound - except that it is.

Because every day you fight bone-crunching depression and anxiety to be able to go out and do something for someone else is a day you save yourself from a fate that is almost unbearable.

It wasn't a remarkable day if you compare it to most things. But it pulled me if only briefly out of ever-growing depression and anxiety episode, and for that, I am glad.

It was nearly a year ago - 10 months or so - when I started going here. At that time, I thought I could NEVER take the bus there. It took months to get used to going there. But today, I handled both the bus and the building with no problem.

I only hope and pray there will be other things I can learn do with as much ease in my life that I am convinced are impossible now.

Goodnight.






Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Chicken Soup for the Bus Adventuring Soul (Or, My Trip to the Bookstore)

Having nothing to do and no-one to meet, a rarety for me, and getting up too late to even go to the hot dog stand, I was left with a decision. A decision of how I would engage with the world for the requisite couple hours to shut off my brain and distract myself from, well, me. You know how it is - getting out of our heads can take an act of Congress. At least for me! I have to remind myself there is a world outside of all the crises and paranoid visions of disaster going on in my head on a daily basis, in order to survive. Which, given my problems tolerating the outside world, is an interesting dilemma sometimes!

So, I had been doing so well tolerating the Westbrook bus, I decided I would try the mall bus and go to the big chain bookstore by the mall. (I am never going to the mall again.) I haven't been on the mall bus in several years, and like everything else, was scared of it. But, having little to lose other than the rest of my sanity, I decided to try it. I had tried the bookstore a few weeks ago with my caseworker and tolerated it.

The bus driver on the way there was the guy who used to drive the Falmouth bus when I lived in Yarmouth 2.5 yrs ago, so it was nice to see him again, a friendly face. My knees are killing me now, but I'm trying to be positive.

Books A Million: Where you can walk around for an hour ooh-ing and ahh-ing over all kinds of interesting things and still not get around to perusing a single book. Because the books definitely take second string to the toys,games,magazines and etc there. But hey, it amused me, I enjoyed looking at stuff, and when I was done, O grabbed a book and sat on the surprisingly comfortable chairs and read for half an hour. I also found some things to get for Rob's birthday, which is a good thing, as well as something for Nate and for my grandma. For me, I found a sticky note pad that said OY VEY and made me laugh. I spent more than I would have liked, but only a few dollars an item and it seemed like as long as I was there, I should make use of it.

Getting back was a little tricky. The bus driver told me I could go to JC Penney or Hannaford, but dropped me off at Macy's, and neglected to tell me that the bus comes to Macy's BEFORE the time listed on the bus schedule, not after. I got there 3 minutes before but apparently still missed it. I figured, it's a bus stop, the schedule says 750, it's 747, what's the problem? 20 minutes later, it became apparent it was not going to come. Back to the bookstore to wait an hour for the next  bus, and this time I decided to use the Hannaford stop. Which was somewhat nostalgic as it's what I used to do in 2007 when I used to come a lot. Finding Hannaford took me a couple tries (it's BEHIND the bookstore, not in front!), but I got there, and this time the bus came exactly when it was supposed to. A kind driver explained my mistake. No fragrance issues, knock on wood.

I still thought I'd miss the 925 bus back to my apt when we got back downtown, and have to wait 45 minutes in the dark for the next one, but as we got closer I realized we were very close to Maine Med. So I asked the driver if he went near Maine Med. He turned at Congress and St John (I think) which APPEARED to be very close. However, it turned out to be a 12 min walk uphill, and I was very frustrated by the end. I was yelling out loud to release my angst and swearing never to do that again. Live and learn. I've not walked further up that hill than the Mexican grocery store a few blocks down. On the plus side, now I know what Salvage BBQ looks like. It's quite hard to figure out where you are in the dark when you've passed the last thing you recognize and just want to be home already, but I suppose it was better than waiting 45 minutes for a connecting bus. I was going to take a cab, but thought it would only be a 5 minute walk.

So I am home, and I know my knees will hurt, but I am glad to be able to say I tried something new, and made myself get out of the house and out of my head for 2 hours. I may complain about physical pain, but thank goodness that the sense of desperation, anxiety and depression over having nothing I feel capable of doing has been at least lessened for another day.

And so I fight, one day at a time, to be part of this world in a way I can tolerate.

Thank you  for coming on this journey with me.

I spent half the time I was in Books a Million reading a copy of the Chicken Soup for the Soul book on Positive Thinking (Okay, yes, I'm still a hidden self improvement junkie) so I might as well apply that here if I can.

Lessons Learned: That huge Maine Med sign that you can see from like a mile away? Yeah, objects in the distance may apear closer than they are, lol.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Reflections on a Fall Day

Reflections of a Fall Day - September 22, 2016

It was such a lovely beautiful day, and I met my friend at the square at 3:30, when I got off the bus. I love how I can make her laugh! Even with little things. That's such a gift, being able to make someone laugh. We laughed about the really bad singer who sounded like he was on drugs hanging around the bus stop. Someone near me was like "God, I hope he doesn't get on this bus." We commented on how many people were around and what a beautiful day it was. Around 75, sunny, a breeze, no humidity. Warm in the sun, perfect in the shade.

We walked towards the hot dog stand, and sat for about 20 minutes listening to C talking about music. D gives the obligatory pun/found something to make fun of; he never fails to get a laugh out of me. Today, he had little cards printed up making fun of LePage, and at the very bottom it said "I should have shot it when I saw it at Marden's," a reference to the old theme song. While I don't condone violence, it made me laugh. Satisfied that I had gotten my weekly dose of D's humor, I sat back down again with Amber, bought a water from Mark, and then we decided to continue on our journey through New England's most beautiful city.

We walked down Exchange and said hello to Anna selling her pictures, and encountered our first street vendor at the bottom of Exchange on Commerical. Our goal is to go see the cruise ship that is docking in Portland for the day, and whatever  street vendors are left selling to the tourists.

Four street vendors are left out of the probably hundred that were there earlier. Lovely, connected, and spontaneous conversations occur with all of them. With one friendly guy I've seen many times before, I sympathize with his long hours and compliment his wares. One recognizes me from my synagogue, I don't know him but that was cool. One tells me how all the passengers today were British and had disabilities, very interesting. I get to hear the accent of one very British woman who comes back to pick up the magnets she forgot. I adore accents, but I can barely understand this one! Oh, what fun, I wish I could hear more. I whisper in my friend's ear "That's so cool!" We glance at the cruise ship when we finally reach our destination and make the long trek back. The breeze and sunshine play with my hair and feel good on my skin. I feel satisfied. I have a meeting that occurs on a bench by the hot dog stand. I then head to the library, spend a half hour peacefully lost in my thoughts, and get the bus home. I end up singing to the songs on my mp3 player as I wait for the bus, something I always enjoy but can never do on demand - it always has to come when the mood strikes me. "She's just singing to the scarecrow,
Trying to let the whole world know how wonderful it feels,To be here on this South Kentucky Farm
Singing to the scarecrow."

When I have days like this, and write things like this, it reminds me that I am part of a community, even though I can't go in many buildings. And I wonder how it differs from the way other people feel or don't feel part of their communities, I wonder if I have more than others and don't realize it, or less, or the same in different ways. I wonder if all of the begging I do for more would be quieted if I had a different way to perceive what I have.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Found: A Sense of Self-Respect


Found: A Sense of Self-Respect

It was hiding in a gift shop down in the Old Port, which contained dozens of magnets, cards, bumper stickers and every other kind of, as my grandma would say, tchotchke with inspirational and just plain funny sayings. I also found some of it in the toy shop where I bought a small rubber foot. The second shop had a rubber hand. The sychronicity was amusing.

Due to circumstances out of my control, including personality conflicts with certain employees, I have made a goal to stay away from the market.

This is a lot harder than it sounds for anyone who doesn't know me well and how much time I would spend in there every single day (6 days a week), and how I arranged my entire life around it, and refused to go anywhere else.

Physical symptoms and emotional symptoms interact to make going anywhere else a very difficult proposition for me, but I did it today.

After many months of refusing.

My targets were the toy store (because who doesn't want a bit of nostalgia), and the store that used to be Communiques many years ago, the novelty store on the corner of Exchange and Commercial. They were the two stores I'd walk past and always say "Some day, I'm going back in there again" but never did.

After the first store: felt a little off but proud of self, feeling a sense of contentment that I did it, sitting resting on wharf by water and listening to a lovely band perform next door.

Second store: felt like a truck ran over me. But hey. There were a lot of cute things in there.

Despite my avoidance of the market, I did manage to score a juice at the smoothie place's second location, which was also at the bottom of Exchange. I have never been so grateful to call and hear names I didn't know. I was hoping it wouldn't be the same people working at the market. It wasn't. They were nice enough to bring the juice outside without hesitation and made it right, (because 2 new places was my limit and I couldn't add a third), and at least I had a reward for all my hard work. And a way to use the gift card my friend had bought me.

So, I still feel as a truck ran over me, but I'm also remembering that it will likely pass.

And I'm remembering that spending all my energy trying to avoid feeling like this was getting me into a lot more trouble, and creating a lot more anxiety, than hopefully this (eventually) will. Because I still have anxiety but I also have self-respect. And that's something you can't put a price tag on.

And the hope that if I take it slow and try not to completely overwhelm myself, that this will lead somewhere, somewhere where that self respect can increase and I can have at least some parts of the life I have always wanted.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Or in this case, a foot that takes that step. (Shows you my new rubber foot). Can you say that this was quite a feat? (This would work better if I was showing you my new cute rubber foot.)

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Beach Boys Concert on Pier with Nate


Random rough draft of rambling thoughts I want to record from the Beach Boys and Temptations concert Nate and I were lucky enough to see at the ferry terminal/pier tonight. It looked like it was going to rain but it didn't, thankfully! 
I have good thoughts fighting with bad thoughts, and I want the good thoughts to win. I am fighting anxiety right now. I can't take 2 nights in a row of panic, but it was worth the very awesome beach boys concert concert we went to, nate and I. I have such good friends, I am so happy he was willing to come with me and bring my chair so i could sit and enjoy the concert without being in agony omg it was really cool! so it started off really slow but we just made fun of the first few songs to entertain ourselves, they started out with Let's Do It Again, worst beach boys song ever, boring, so hey it could only go up from there right?
Then every surfing song known to man right in a row, lol.. surfing safari, surfer girl, etc. altho surfing USA was later. they were ok but kinda boring. oh so there was this woman sitting next to us, she was very friendly, i chatted with her before i found nate. she was so much friendlier than the people who were next to me at the kenny rogers concert!! also she knew who petula clark was who they played in between the temptations and beach boys on the sound system which was awesome.
Oh yeah 6 temptations songs got 20 min of the 40 they played not bad they did do i wish it would rain but thankfully it didn't! not until a little after 9 when i got home! very lucky we were!! Ball of confusion, my girl, the way you do the things you do, papa was a rolling stone, just my imagination.
Anyway so after like 45 min of decent but mostly un-exciting songs they finally hit the jack pot! SLOOP JOHN B was very fun. Despite feeling like i had no energy to sing cus air was a little thick i sang cus omg fun song which was followed by wouldnt it be nice which is so awesome and then followed by a raeally good cover of "and then he kissed me" which the crystals did
I don't know why but i dont feel same writing here
Then they did CA girls, and God Only Knows! Songs you can sing along to!
There were the most awesome people sitting by us. These two older guys, I didnt notice for a while. But I started a convo with one about his dog. So cool! The one guy was singing along to some of them, we both sang to CA girls so i think that was my favorite song for that reason. other guy said "you're too young to know all this" lol and said "i can tell you're an enthusiast!" and said "this is incredible" cus he had just come in from ferry from peaks and saw the concert!
So the part when those 2 guys were there and talking/singing/guessing what songs would be next was the best part. Nate and I were also guessing what songs would be next and making fun of the bad ones. All in all it was a very fun 90 min and other than my hand from clapping I actually didn't injure anything for once. Kind of amazing, given me. Finale was Good vibrations and fun, fun fun.
Song list (Yes I wrote them down, too overwhelmed to process it when it's happening so I want to remember them! )
I could identify nearly every song within about 5 seconds and that made me feel good and impressed the people around me  you got to be good at something! that rush of - is it adrenaline, or just joy, or both , When you recognize a song you like - even if you dont like it much - the surprise factor - THAT is what I love about concerts! and need more. it releases all my happy endorphins! it used to happen on the radio.
Do it Again
Three surfing songs - surfing safari, girl, usa etc
new original song
cover - why do fools fall in love
when i grow up to be a man
be true to your school
don't worry baby
little deuce coupe
409
I get around
cover - CA dreaming
original new song
Sloop John B
Wouldn't it Be Nice
And then he kissed me
CA Girls - this is the one the guy sang with me
God Only Knows
Do you wanna dance
All summer long - boring but obscure-ish
Help me Rhonda- great crowd response
Kokomo-boring but Nate likes it
Break, then good vibrations
and fun fun fun to end it!
Twenty five songs in all, not bad at all!
Then I was able to get the cab back in 3 minutes amazing timing so i wouldnt have to walk back to the square and try to time it with the bus which was a good choice esp cus it started raining right as we got back!
I met this interesting guy on the bus this afternoon, he had a bunch of bottles, he was young, intellectually disabled, kept talking about how he was going to falmouth, but then he got off at congress sq which doesn't connect with the falmouth bus so i felt bad for him and hoped he figured out how to get to falmouth. 3 more stops and he would have been in the right place but i couldnt get to him to tell him. hopefully he walked there.