Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Microstory 382: Self-awareness

Click here for a list of every step.

I first became self-aware when I was three years old. I remember playing in the leaves in the front of my home in Springfield, Missouri. I have fragments from before then, namely one of me looking up at my sister and our neighbors in a jungle gym they said I was too young to get up on, but the leaf thing is the first real memory. It’s when I realized that I was this free-thinking individual capable of making complex decisions without the direct influence of others. And yes, even though I couldn’t form those words, that’s exactly what I remember going through at that time. I was having an existential crisis as a toddler, and it is from that moment that I started being able to question everything I encounter. I’ve always known that I was autistic, even before I actually did. I even couldn’t bear to watch the second season or beyond of Parenthood because it just hit too close to home. There’s a young boy character in it who was diagnosed on the spectrum and I identified with his struggles far too deeply. When I was a freshman in high school, our swim team manager gave me her locker combination so that I could retrieve her philosophy textbook when I needed it. I ended up trying to study philosophy in college, realizing rather quickly that it wasn’t for me. What I discovered was that my philosophical nature was about figuring out how to solve problems, and understand things that actually do have an attainable answer. I look at the world through these meta-lenses. I’m constantly thinking about the fact that I’m thinking, and I never accept what I see as just the way it is. Normal people don’t care about such things. It doesn’t bother you that we spend the first quarter of the year preparing taxes when today’s computers are more than capable of tracking our income and expenditure practices as they occur. Here’s why I’m telling you this. I’ve been noticing these things my whole life, but I’m only now gaining control over them. I’m becoming aware of it, and I’m learning how to manipulate my world to accommodate it. I’m becoming more and more self-aware. As the old saying goes, know thyself. Don’t I know it.


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