All Alone – Musical Thoughts from the mind of a 14 year old

When I was a young teen, I spent a huge portion of my time alone in my room.  Music was my only voice to the outside world.  It carried on a frequency that seemed to transcend class, race, social status, and age.  The loneliness inside was buried deep, and cast a purple, obstructive hue on everything I I dared to dream about.

I loved music, but complications like dyslexia and my unusual way of comprehending lessons made it near impossible for me to understand musical theory, or even read music well.  All the music I heard around me was trapped inside my head, and played in endless loop.  I feared being driven to the edge of insanity.

One year, my parents purchased a piece of music writing software called Cakewalk.  The software had a special feature that allowed me to click on the musical staff and in real time hear the note through an external midi instrument generator.  For the first time,  I didn’t need to know how to read the music.  I could just click on the staff until I heard the pitch on the midi meet the pitch in my head.  Despite this process being painfully slow, I composed a dozen pieces including a  3 movement Requiem, and a Musical scored for a full scale symphony orchestra.  I even won the Ga State title in composition for a piece called Tarantella Russo.

How Sweet the Moonlight Sleeps – a musical no one has ever heard

My musical came to me during first outpouring of musical compositions at age 14.  A scribbled a basic dialogue, designed a few scenes, and wrote all of the major performance pieces.  It was one of the few times I wrote words along with my songs.

The story is about a girl named Catarina, a lost and lonely girl who is so in love with music she fears she will never have the capacity to fall in love with another, until one day when she meets a guy who hears the same song in the moonlight as she.  Originally, I only shared this piece with family and close friends performed without lyrics or layers on the piano.

After performing this piece in public for the first time at Northern Arizona University, the response was overwhelming.  For the first time, I got to feel the reaction of a crowd to music that poured from the deep inner workings of my my lonely, 14 year old self.  It made me wish I could somehow traverse time into the past and whisper to that girl that one day, her music would connect to others.

I plan on finishing the work I started 22 years ago.  For now, I want to present to you the lyrics to the song All Alone.  You can read along while listening to me perform the piece on my violin.

https://soundcloud.com/thelauranadine/all-alone-performance-version

The Lyrics

The night has just begun, and the moonlight fills the sky,

This eve feels never ending, I should be glad to say it’s mine.

All my dreams away they run, never turn to say good bye,

To them I send my blessing, ‘cause with me they’ll never be.

Here I stand, all alone, underneath the whisp’ring moonlight,

Like a bird, sing a song, soft and sweet.

Can I feel the deep green ocean, and with my dreams set sail?

Can I let my mind come open and my thoughts prevail?

Here I stand, all alone, right beside this star struck river,

Like a tree, stroke the blue and velvet sky.

Will I only see a lifetime, where I walk it’s paths alone?

Will I ever cry a tear of joy?

(Instrumental interlude)

Here I stand, all alone, held within a vast horizon,

Like a rock, stern and cold, but always seen.

I won’t fade into shadows; I’ll stand among the bold.

Mark my words, I’ll march on.

The night has just begun, and the moonlight fills the sky,

This eve feels never ending, why aren’t I glad to say it’s mine?

The Way of the Bonsai

There had been great anticipation inside the hearts of the couple who, one day, gave birth to twin girls.  Their efforts to continue in love, the image of themselves, perhaps embodied in the personality of another, rejoiced in their gift, multiplied by two.

As the girls grew, the parents became suspicious of the twins.  They had been taught how twins are alike; how they look the same, feel the same, act the same, and engage in the same practices of play and preference.  These twins, their precious double gift, were not alike.

The first girl was just like her parents.  Even at the youthful age of 11, she reflected her father’s talent in the fine art of baking.  In school, she outshone her peers in mathematics, just like her studious mother.  This child was talkative, outgoing, and loved to be the center of attention.  She was the best of both her parents.

The second girl was different from her twin.  She did not reflect her parent’s talents, and, in fact, struggled to find her own talents.  She was not a Baker, or a Mathematician, but was fascinated with trees.  Every day, she would return home covered in dirt from digging up saplings, and planting them in small pots on the back porch.  Afterwards, she would spend hours talking to them, singing to them, and pruning them.  This child hardly ever spoke to others, but loved to talk to her trees, and about her trees.

Frustrated that the twins were not alike, the parents took the children to town to seek help.  They wanted to know what was wrong with the second girl.  First, they visited the town Physician. The doctor checked the girls from top to bottom.  Brilliant, but limited only to the teachings of medicine, the doctor said,

“I see your second child is different than your first child, but I cannot find anything wrong with her health.  Perhaps she should be on a different diet.”

And with that, the parents were given instructions on a new diet for the second child.

Weeks passed, and the second child remained unlike the first.  So, the parent’s took the children to the town Psychologist.  The Psychologist checked the girls from hemisphere to neuron.  Brilliant, but limited only to the teachings of the mind, the Psychologist said,

“I see your second child is different than your first child, but I cannot find anything wrong with her mind.  Perhaps she should be in a different class, for people who are different, where she can learn to fit in.”

And with that, the parents sent the second child to a different class.

Weeks passed, and the second child remained unlike the first.  Frustrated, and out of places to take the child, the parent’s returned to town, looking for answers in anyone they could find.  As they walked through town, asking the towns people questions, the second child pulls at her mother’s hand.  Reluctant to go, but wanting to avoid a scene, the parent’s follow the second child into a small, secluded shop of the town flower shop.

The shop was filled with hundreds of tiny trees in pots, just like the second child enjoyed.  The parent’s had never seen this before and were truly awestruck by the tiny forest before them.  Miniature Maples, Pines, and fruit trees were organized neatly into little gatherings, and accented with tiny buildings.  A small model train weaved in and out of the little landscape.  This was unlike most miniature villages, made of synthetic materials.  This was a landscape of living trees, real wood houses, and miniature flowering bushes.  It was as if the town were awaiting real, miniature people.

As they rounded to the back of the store, a man sit trimming one of his little trees.  He was calm, happy, and welcoming.  He looked up from his work, and smiled.  The parents, doused in shock, muttered out their question.

“What is it that you are doing?”  The mother asks.

“I am pruning my tree using the art of Bonsai.”

“Bonsai?”

“Yes.  It is an ancient art form of growing and pruning real trees to grow in containers.”

“You mean, you train the trees to grow how you want?  Well, then, maybe you can help.  My second child is supposed to be a twin.  But she is different from the first.  I have been searching for the way to make her the same as the first, but no one has been able to give us a way that works.” the mother explained.

“Which one is different?”

“The one unlike her parents.  The one unlike her twin.  The one who obsesses over tiny trees, like you.”

“Ahh, I see.  So you have come here, seen my obsession of tiny trees and hope that I have the answer.  Hoping, I have the way to make your second child not seem different.”

“Yes, exactly.”

Without warning, the Bonsai Master steps behind a wooden louvered door.  Minutes roll by, and the parent’s begin to fear that they have offended the man.  Just as they are ready to give up and leave, the Bonsai master returns with a pair of scissors, and lays them on the counter in front of the parents.

“This will solve your problem.  These are special scissors designed for trimming Bonsai Trees.”

“Oh, I see.  You want me to give these to my second child so she can learn, through the art of Bonsai, how to train herself to be like us.”

“No,”  answers the Bonsai Master, “the scissors are for you.”

“For me?”

“I prune the trees to realize their full potential, even when their space is limited.  The tree trains me.  I learn from the tree, and the tree benefits from my hard work.  But, not all Bonsai are the same, and this is good.  It makes for a more interesting forest.  You must learn from the tree.  You must see the tree as the child.  You must prune the child to realize her full potential, even when her world is limited.  The child trains you.  You learn from the child, and the child benefits from your hard work.  But, not all children are the same, and this is good.  It makes for a more interesting world.”

“And this will fix my child?”

“This will fix your view of your child, and she will no longer seem broken.”

-LN

North is Up

I kept getting lost.  It was becoming a regular occurrence for me every time I ventured into a new part of town, which seemed odd because I was always quite good with maps.  I was usually the navigator on family trips, great with a compass and could recall maps in my head whenever I needed.  
 
Being a technology geek, I was eager to switch to GPS once the portable versions became affordable.  I bought a Garmin Nuvi and never looked back.  I loved the ability to search for places to eat and the detour function which rerouted me during high traffic times.  I couldn’t have been happier with my new technology.  But the euphoria didn’t last very long.  Over time, I lost my ability to remember the maps.  Despite having real time directions, I was often lost, frustrated and irritated that I couldn’t orient myself in space.
 
My problem wasn’t just with maps.  My ability to navigate through my own head seemed dulled as well.  In a year I had so adamantly began with a new direction, the year of r, and a focus to change my future trajectory forever, I couldn’t comprehend why I felt so lost.  I could generate a cornucopia of patented excuses like relying on technology too much, a thirty-something slump, or the bad economy, but they would only be excuses, not explanations.  So, I did what most Americans with access to a public library would do.  I decided to pick up self-help book number 182.
 
This self-help book was directed toward women and the mental state of earning more money.  I worked all the exercises, followed the directions and even wrote my thought journey in my journal.  I was comforted by a temporary sense of accomplishment, similar to the comfort of pulling a warm blanket out of the dryer and wrapping it around your body.  It was a lovely sensation, but I couldn’t stand at the dryer all day just so I could warm my blanket every time it cooled.  The GPS, the patented excuses, the warm dryer blankets, they were all just momentary comforts that were intertwined in ways I could not see yet.
 
Early May of 2012 brought a flurry of activity.  I had returned to the library to re-check out my library book for another 2 weeks, and my dryer blanket was wearing thin from my obsession with warming it in my dryer.  Then, a very dear friend of mine needed my help with a move to Utah, so I put down the blanket, earmarked the book and packed up the GPS.  In a 16 foot yellow Penske truck we had aptly named Bertha, my friend and I set out for the west, with Garmin as our guide.  Minutes into the trip, my friend decided that the 3D view of the little car on the road was not satisfactory.  
 
“No, no,”  she said, “North has to be up.”  
She shuffled through all the menus and meticulously changed the settings of the map orientation to a birds eye view with north facing up.  She tinkered with the volume and the brightness of the display and then set the spoken language to Japanese.  No, she’s not Japanese.  Some things are better left unexplained.
 
Even as the GPS shouted incomprehensible phrases at me, I never got lost.  Two thousand miles of new roads and I stayed directly on course.  Visions of maps were burned into my memory and my cardinal sense of direction was returning.  I chuckled at the realization that my wandering wasn’t because I was thirty-something, or that I relied too heavily on technology, or that I needed a warm blanket.  It had nothing to do with where I was, or where I was going.  It was my orientation; my view.
 
When I got home, I returned the book to the library and put away the blankets.  I understood where I was, and suddenly where I was going didn’t seem so scary and unknown.  The year of r had been running smoothly.  I just hadn’t been looking at it the right way.  I organized my obligations, attacked some debts, and kickstarted projects I had left sitting way too long.  I had come to three conclusions regarding the year of r and my view on life:  
 
Number one, I had accepted the art of dreaming.  Dreaming is conceptual art of the inner self; there is no path in life.  When we can accept that there is no path, we can decide on the destination, therefore making the footsteps a perfunctory affair.  Values merely free our hands of baggage so that we may hold hands along the way.  
 
Number two, the danger with warm blankets is that we can miss out on a happiness we never knew could be ours because we were too busy settling for a lesser joy.
 
And finally, number three – North is up.

 

Trying to Fly Lest I Die Alone

My year has taken a sharp, unexpected turn.  In my planning for a year where I solve my trajectory problems, it seems the universe decided I should first deal with my past.  This is not necessarily a bad thing, except that most of my unresolved issues from the past involve either large sums of money or large sums of emotional stress.  Dealing with my past is a much bigger burden than running from it, and I suppose it is time for me to tighten the belt, as they say.  
 
Honestly, I was focused on the injustice of it all.  I had made up my mind that involving people in my life was the primary cause of my stress.  I was angry with people in my past for their lack of obligation to my family, for their lies, for their deception and for the fact that they were off living stable, sustainable lives while I was left to clean up the mess.  Financial struggles are a strange animal.  Some days I feel I can’t breathe and that I am moments away from having everything taken from me.  Other days, I really just don’t care anymore.  Instead of cowering, I strut around with this bold, cavalier attitude of, “Come get me assholes!  Take it all and relieve me of the worry!”  There seems to be no middle road for my feelings toward debt.
I spent a few informative hours with my good friends last weekend after a very full week of family holiday visits and travel.  We discussed a paralyzing fear that intermittently stonewalls my daily functioning, usually after a traumatic experience.  The trigger event, this time, was a dirty jerk on vacation who decided I should be followed and called like some kind of animal.  The event was frightening beyond any I had experienced in many years, thus opening up a black jar in my mind where I had stashed the pain of my past.  Though black jars are effective for hiding pain from the minds eye, the pain is never properly sorted.  Frightening encounters that creep into my solitude, wearing familiar colors and scents, can break open the black jar.  The ensuing battle is an emotional armageddon.
The final catalyst is this underlying urge to journey west.  Since leaving LA a year ago, I cannot seem to think of anything else.  My body is slowly consumed by this desire to live in the bustling city of arts, film and creativity.  Out west, the shore sings in pleasant keys, the ground vibrates in even tones and all of this is in total synchronicity with my own biorhythmic symphony.  Much like the albatross, I was once queen of the sky, until I crashed landed, breaking my wing.  As a bird who broke her wing long ago, I have not yet harnessed the idea that I could fly again, if I would only trust my feet to leave the ground.
 
With collection calls 10 to 15 times a day, funds falling short of day to day living costs, broken black jars and wrought with a desire to fly again, it is no wonder that I relapsed through night terrors this past week.  I think even people of the neurotypical variety would struggle to press together all these layers into a coherent fabric.  All I am trying to do is set my children up for the adventurous life they deserve and to avoid a life where I die alone.

When I Was in School – Conversation with mom

I spend a great deal of time speaking about autism in public and helping parents develop life and homework strategies for their Aspie children.  This work is hard, but I feel it is very rewarding to help children avoid the stress and turmoil I had while in school.  Many times, parents will say things like “I can’t imagine you had this problem” or “you are so organized” or the most common, “but it seems your autism is so mild, unlike my son/daughter.”  
 
I know parents do not mean to offend me when they say these things, but such phrases are upsetting to me.  Every time a parent uses these phrases, I am immediately demoted and my hard work goes unrecognized.  The truth is I worked very hard to develop and incorporate strategies that help me function.  In addition to my past efforts, the ongoing work to maintain these strategies encompasses so much of my mental energy that I must plan times to retreat in order to avoid meltdowns.
 
To illustrate my point, and add validity to my plea, I decided to write a two part piece on my troubles in school and how I adapted.  For this first part, I interviewed my mother about how I was when I was young, talking about my struggles in school, my differences and how if affected my life.  In the second part, I will talk about how some of these problems persist and what I do every day to cope with them.
The Interview
For the first time since I went public with my diagnosis, my mother will talk about my struggles in school and what I was like as a child.
Laura:  Thanks, mom, for doing this. You have said in the past that you raised three children before me, my siblings were 17, 15 and 8 when I was born, but that I was different.  What do you mean by that?
Mom:  It’s is hard to outline because it really was just a feeling.  You saw things from a different angle than the rest of us.  You were very dogmatic about your views, even at a young age, and you over-analyzed everything.  With the other kids, if they got in trouble I only had to say with a firm voice, “don’t do that.”  If I did that to you, you would get upset and tell me to stop screaming, even though I wasn’t screaming.  I had to go around the issue to get you to understand what you did wrong.
 
You could do difficult things, but not easy things.  For example, you could do higher math, but you couldn’t multiply.  You struggled to learn to tie your shoes, learn to read, and learn to ride a bicycle.  However, you had an advanced vocabulary and an exceptional use of words, even as a toddler.  One oddity is you could dance at age 4, you could play the violin well at age 9 but you couldn’t tie your shoe until you were 12.
 
Here is an example of how advanced you were; you came to me and said, “I tink I am going to put on my coke and glugs because it’s berry, berry cold outside.”  You couldn’t be any older than two, but you always talked in complete sentences, even though you sometimes stuttered.  It wasn’t stuttering like in the King’s Speech.  It was stuttering entire phrases like you couldn’t get the words out fast enough.  This was still very advanced speaking for a child.
On the other hand, you didn’t like change, at all.  You didn’t like certain clothes because you didn’t like the texture of the fabric or the color, especially if it was yellow.  You said yellow gave you a headache.  Once, when you were an infant, I put out flowers while you were napping.  When you awoke, I brought you into the room with the flowers and your entire body stiffened up and your eyes locked on to the flowers.  Most infants don’t notice these things and even once kids do, they don’t stiffen up or freeze like you did.
I can’t really explain this any better, you were just different.
Laura: I have been told by my teachers that I showed exceptional talent in dance and music.  What did you see?
Mom:  Anything in the arts field you caught onto very rapidly.  If you heard a song once, you could play it.  In dance, you watched a class you weren’t even in and you caught on to the steps.  So, the teacher, Ken Passman, came to me and asked if you could dance in the show.  You did really well, every step was right, but because you watched it from the doorway, you did everything backwards.  You didn’t know to change perspective, but you knew the steps.  Even with instruments, you could just figure it out on your own, like with the piano and the guitar.  Even with the violin, you learned very quickly, played in tune and never squeaked.  Never.
Laura:  When I was in school, I struggled a great deal.  What areas did you feel were my weakest?
Mom:  You had trouble understanding written directions. Every night we would sit down to do homework in the kitchen.  You would try to work and then get frustrated and then I would have to explain the instructions to you.  Once you understood the instructions, you would do it.  It may have had something to do with your reading.  You had trouble reading and understanding what what it meant, but you could memorize your spelling words flawlessly.   You could memorize anything.  At age 6 you memorized all the trivial pursuit cards.
 
Other problems….I never understood this really, but you would come to answers that were correct, but you couldn’t explain how you knew it.  It is sort of like you playing the piano.  You don’t just play chords, you play complex classical tunes with the proper fingering, even with no instruction.  How do you do that?  There were certain things you were not taught, but knew and knew in great detail.  Sometimes you would speak in detail about off the cuff things that shocked us all.
 
With school, you never understood the concept of school.  You didn’t understand why you had to go.  You said you knew all those things so you didn’t need to go.  You especially hated the first two weeks of school when they reviewed last years material, and you liked to take every Wednesday off.  Yet, you loved to learn.  I think it was the approach schools use that didn’t appeal to you.  You liked learning at your own pace and you don’t filter out anything.  All the things the teacher would say and all the text in the books were all equally important.  You couldn’t understand why they wrote a paragraph if you only needed to know a part of that paragraph.  It was like you felt you had to memorize verbatim everything at school.
Prioritizing was an issue too.  For example, lets say you have a list of things to do.  One might be to make a cup of tea and a piece of toast.  You put the bread in the toaster, which means you can check that off the list.  Next you make the tea, but as you are making the tea, your toast starts to burn.  Instead attending to the burning toast, you would ignore it and would finish the tea.  You wouldn’t know which needed your attention first.  You had trouble deciding which things are more important, not in a selfish way, but you are just unable to prioritize incoming events.  You still do that.
Laura: What about emotions.  Did they affect the way I performed?
Mom:  You would prepare and prepare and prepare for a concert.  You were meticulous and conscious about what you had to do, but then we would get to the concert and discover you forgot to bring your music, or your violin.  You seemed to get overwhelmed with the excitement, which hindered your ability to stay organized.
Emotions would make you freeze.  No one could look at you and know if you were enjoying yourself, or were upset.  I would know you were upset because you would play your violin or rearrange your bedroom, which I found strange because you don’t like change.  
When it came to school, you were always frustrated.  ALWAYS.  If we had known then that it was Asperger’s, I probably would have put you in a different school where they had people who could deal with autism.  I would have had ammunition to get help for you, and it would have relieved my mind a lot.  I couldn’t understand why these things happened to you when you seemed so capable, but a diagnosis would have given a real reason making solutions available.  You were so intelligent, I couldn’t see why you struggled through school.  Knowing autism tells me why.

Accepting Change Leads to Tier 1 Penetration – And I like it.

After a weekend of adjusting to change, and processing the emotional fallout of those around me, I have reached some level of clarity.  Perhaps the change was good for me.
 
As one with autism it is understood, and on some levels expected, that I would have difficulty with change.  Change means processing new people, habits, patterns and input.  This creates in me the need to define everything, working them into a series of measurements which I refer to as algorithms.  True, algorithms were not designed for use in humans, so to speak, but they are for me as the host of a brain that runs more like a computerized machine than a fluid under the effects of evolution.  I am an alien.  I know that.



To avoid rewriting my algorithms, I found it easier to avoid change.  But is this wise?  Perhaps change is one of those necessary evils that can produce a positive outcome, even for Aspies?  I need to weigh the data.



To begin with, I must list the changes that have occurred recently in my life.
  1. Accept new people into my inner circle (or what I call Tier 1).
  2. Adjust my schedule, especially to make room for more spontaneity.
  3. Converse more.  More people means more conversation.
  4. Face my fear of the telephone.  Coordinating socio-economic activities often requires a discussion on the telephone, as does maintaining friendship with those who do not like to type.
  5. Process more emotions.  Anytime you add people, you add their emotional color to the social exchange.  I know this even though I can’t always read it.
To weigh these, I use my negative weight scale, or n-weight.  Each of the items on the list hold a 1 n-weight, making this a 5 n-weight list.  The scale itself measures from 1 to 8, with 1 being a minor adjustment, 5 being a significant change and 8 being a total life over-haul.  For example, taking care of a plant for someone has a 1 n-weight as the change in my surroundings and routine is minimal.  Having a baby, on the other hand, is an 8 n-weight, as it requires complete change in every aspect of daily life.  A 5 n-weight list may contain a series of 1 n-weight items, but the sum of them is still 5.  This means I must undergo a significant paradigm shift to adjust to these new changes collectively.



On the flip side, comfort is also measured.  Let’s say that I stay the same.  I accept no changes and live nestled into the scenario to which I am most accustomed.  No change = comfort, to which I assign 2 positive weights, or p-weights.  Comfort outweighs change 2 to 1.  This means that against a 5 n-weight list, I have a 2 to 1 comfort ratio, making the resistance of change a 10 p-weight motive.  Clearly not changing is a more positive result, on my scale.



But what happens when the change brings something or someone into my life that ultimately brings comfort, once I have adjusted to the change?  How then can I weigh the differences?  Three of my changes on the list above are impacts from the inclusion of one person or event, whereas the other two are derivative events.  These changes were all n-weighted in the start, but as I proceed the changes to my current paradigm, the added comforts out ranked my 2 to 1 scale system of no change versus change respectively.  As a matter of fact, the new comforts are still undefined, as to origin and weight assignment, but seem to display quite clearly an overall p-weight that reached beyond my system.  How is that possible?



How is that possible?



Maybe this is what Susskind said as he saw particles move as a wave?  Maybe this is what Pavlov said to his dog?  Maybe this is what onlookers said as they saw science students disappear under a fabric they invented?



It seemed like a problem.  Then there was the Planetarium.  I was attending a presentation at the Fernbank Science Center on “Bad Astronomy.”  Essentially the program debunked the validity of alien sightings and the accuracy of Astrology.  Anyhow, during the presentation, they posted Newton’s Law as a basis for their argument over the effectiveness of planetary gravity on human behavior.  I was quick to contemplate the math and use it as a perception filter for recent events.



F=GMm/d2, was the formula presented at the planetarium.  It was used to explain how distance effects the gravitational pull plants have on humans here on earth.  The greater the distance, the less effect gravity has on the mass of the two bodies.  When I saw this I knew that G is a gravitational constant, simplified as 6.673×10-11Nm2/kg2 with a standard uncertainty of 1.2×10-4, and immediately thought this could be why my human p-weight versus n-weight system is failing.  I never considered that p-weights increased in mass as the subject grew nearer to Tier 1.



As distance decreases between two humans, it changes the effect they have on one another.  As long as I remained in a constant state, or unchanged, I kept the p-weight effect of people on me minimized.  The distance lessened their p-weight.  Distance helped lessen the n-weight effect of change itself.  Comfort was also based on distance, but proportional to  the avoidance of pain.  This made a perfectly logical host for the 1 n-weight to 2 p-weight system.



In the past, I had never considered the inverse, the positive effects of people once they broke through my discomfort barrier.  The positive effects of love, companionship and even mutual idea exchange grow stronger as the theoretical distance between the two subjects decreases.  Context of human interaction has crept up on me from behind, again.  I had never thought to calculate the diminishment of distance.
So, if I am adding comfort weight based on no change at a 2 to 1 rate but then decreasing n-weights as distance decreases, my n-weight versus p-weight system is obliterated.  What does this mean for me?  Is the score set at Libido 1, Logic, 0?



I decided to head out of the house to search for clarity.  I went to Starbucks for a tea, grabbed a NY Times and snuggled into a large chair to read the paper.  My mind halted at the sight of an article title in the science section of the paper “…Proposal Puts Practicality Ahead of Sacrifice.”  It suddenly made sense what I needed to do.  I needed to put what was working ahead of my sacrifices, system or no system.
My system was ideal for weighing medial, day to day decisions such as what movie to watch or what food to eat.  When it came to the complex interaction of humans, I would have to accept that personality can not be weighed nor could I predict the impact of personality on me. The need to quantify everything had removed me from the prison of fear but transferred me directly to the prison of isolation, at least where Tier 1 penetration was concerned.   The system was effective at holding out trouble, but it inadvertently filtered out the amazing people who could change my life for the better.  Much like antibiotics, I was taking out the good with the bad.



My life trajectory has changed and for the better.  I have learned that the unexpected can usher in enlightenment, change can bring about comfort, and, as said in  This Side by Nickel Creek, “sometimes the unexplained can define you.”  Unexplained, this change in my life is, but unexplained doesn’t mean undefined, I know that will come to me one day.  Unexplained can mean immeasurable, and that I am ok with.