Life-Saving Advice for Those Who See4 min read

A con­ver­sa­tion from me to you about being neu­ro­di­verse in a neu­rotyp­ical world and about living, unabashedly, unapolo­get­i­cally, and boldly. Or, it’s a con­ver­sa­tion between your soul and your mask. It’s a con­ver­sa­tion between you and the con­dem­na­tion of society. It’s a con­ver­sa­tion you need to have, how­ever you see it.

You: You ner­vous about the fight?
Me: Scared to death.
You: Well, you don’t look scared.
Me: Well, I ain’t sup­posed to.
You: You know, you don’t have to do it.
Me: Sure I do.
You: You know, living with you, it hasn’t been easy.  People see me, but they think of you.  Now with all this going on, it’s going to be worse than ever.
Me: It don’t have to be.
You: No, sure it does.
Me: Why?  You got a lot going on, kid.
You: What? My last name? That’s the reason I got a decent job.  That’s the reason that people deal with me in the first place.  Now I start to get a little ahead, I start to get a little some­thing for myself, and this hap­pens.  Now I’m asking you, as a favor, not to go through with this, okay?  This is only going to end up bad for you, and it’s going to end up bad for me.
Me: What? You think I’m hurting you?
You: Yeah, in a way you are.
Me: That’s the last thing that I ever wanted to do.
You: Yeah, I know that’s not what you want to do, but that’s just the way that it is.  Don’t you care what people think? Doesn’t it bother you that people are making you out to be a joke, and that I’m going to be included in that? Do you think that’s right?  DO YOU!?
Me: You ain’t going to believe this, but you used to fit right here [ in my hand ].  I’d hold you up and say to your mother, “This kid’s going to be the best kid in the world.  This kid is going to be better than any­body ever knew.”  And you grew up good and won­derful.  It was great just watching you.  Every day was a priv­i­lege.  And then the time came for you to be your own [wo]man, and take on the world… and you did!  But some­where along the line, you changedYou stopped being youYou let people stick a finger in your face and tell you you’re no good.  And when things got hard, you started looking for some­thing to blame, like a big shadow.  

Let me tell you some­thing you already know.  The world ain’t all sun­shine and rain­bows.  It’s a mean and nasty place, and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there per­ma­nently if you let it.   You, me, or nobody is going to hit as hard as life.  But it ain’t about how hard you hit.  It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving for­ward, how much you can take and keep moving for­ward.  That’s how win­ning is done! 

If you know what you’re worth, now go out and get what you’re worth.  But you gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fin­gers and saying you’re not where you want to be because of him, or her, or any­body.  COWARDS DO THAT, AND THAT AIN’T YOU! YOU’RE BETTER THAN THAT!

I’m always going to love you no matter what.  No matter what hap­pens.  You’re my soul, and you’re my blood.  You’re the best thing in my life.  But until you start believing in your­self, you’re not going to have a life.

This con­ver­sa­tion, I have mem­o­rized. It’s not mine, but it’s one that has sus­tained me and kept me alive many times. Only today, did the full weight of why it res­onates so much hit me.

You have let the world tell you that you’re a joke. You’ve told your­self that the way to have a life is to be less you and more like the world. You’ve thought that if enough people say it, it must be true. It’s not true, and they’re all wrong. And if they laugh, it is from some deficit that they have– not you.

You’re dif­ferent, and in a world where being one click above or below average is unac­cept­able, you have learned to down­play what makes you amazing and to armor your vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties and feel ashamed of them.

It’s time to stop doing that. Even your weak­nesses are beau­tiful. What makes you child-like does not mean you are childish. It means you are full of wonder and haven’t let the world cor­rupt your per­spec­tive with its grotesque and muti­lated stan­dards of “accept­able.”

You deserve a life. Get one unapolo­get­i­cally. It’s worth it to take the hits, the scorn, the cack­ling menagerie of the jungle of cliques with their ani­mal­istic pecking orders and their social Darwinism. It is worth it every minute of every day, it’s worth it.

You’re wired for the Truth, and until you live it, you’ll never be Free.

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