Wednesday, November 30, 2022

The Logic of No

If you know an Aspie I’m sure you’ve come across this. Let’s say you have a great idea, you offer it up, and the response without hesitation is a resounding “no”. What gives? It’s more complex than you’d think. 

Why was the answer no? You gave a great idea, the payoff at the end is much better than the current situation and yet the answer was no. For myself, the reasons of no are a bit layered so let’s start with the surface. 

So often, something new will require something socially and because social situations are difficult, I’m not looking at the payoff down the road but rather I’m seeing that, to go with this change, I’m going to have to speak to someone now. This doesn’t even allow me to process if the change is good, but instead I just see that an unplanned social situation will occur therefore the answer will be no without further thought. 

If there isn’t a social situation that’ll have to occur the answer will still be a no off the bat because new ideas bring change. Change brings unwanted processing and unwanted processing brings unwanted feelings and exhaustion. So again, I’m going to say no without even getting to the point of understanding that the change may actually be extremely good. 

Processing is the underlying challenge here. It isn’t that I thought your idea was bad, wrong, or silly, but instead it’s a challenge of my own to avoid the added social factor or the processing factor. You may need to take a logical stance and explain why it’s good. “Because I think so” won’t be effective, but use logic to explain the payoff. Why is this way better than the way it’s been? I don’t like change so that adds to the instant no response, but understanding the reason of the no is key to avoid feelings getting frayed. Remember, the No isn’t a put down of your idea, but rather all the things that’ll come from the change. 

Monday, November 28, 2022

My Biggest Presenting Regret

I can't imagine making it to the Super Bowl, being wide open in the end zone, and dropping what would've been the game winning catch. That type of life event would haunt forever. I have a moment like this. I think about it every day and it angers me. Why wasn't I better? Why was I intimidated? Why didn't I speak up? Granted, I didn't even, if we keep the football story alive, have the talent to be a starter on a high school team at the time, but nonetheless I'm haunted.

It's March 1st, 2010, and I'm awaiting my turn to present at the police academy. It's a big day for me as it's the day I became a full-time presenter and blogger. I'd had never had a full-time job up to this point and it was this that set everything up for the next decade. However, as excited as I am, I am equally as tired as just 48 hours earlier I was attending an Olympic event in Vancouver, and I also just stepped off a red-eye flight and I had been up for well over 24 hours.

It was my 18th career presentation. I'm over 1,050 currently, but this was my 18th career and 13th police presentation. I had never come across "that guy" before. Who is that guy? That guy could be anyone that fits into a stereotypical outline of a guy who just doesn't care, who doesn't get it, and is the worst at their profession. I would meet that guy as soon as my PowerPoint got on the screen.

You're going to get angry. I still am. I write this not to knock police officers as a whole. Since this event I've presented at all levels up to the top levels of the FBI and I have NEVER come across that guy again in my law enforcement presenting career. However, as a rookie, I did, and I crumbled.

The PowerPoint came up and the opening slide read, "Autism and Law Enforcement". This guy, front row and on my left side, said, "autism? What a bunch of spoiled children!" This was before I introduced myself, before I opened my mouth, and in this classroom that had 20 people in it, he became a blackhole of misinformation that sucked in everyone else's desire to learn, and the rest of the room fed upon his negativity. I had lost the room and I hadn't even had a chance to win them yet.

What was I to do? I'm a rookie, a novice, and I have zero confidence. Confront? Absolutely not! I decided, in my almost delirious state of being up for far too long, decided to go status quo. After I introduced myself, and said that I was on the spectrum, I was hoping his heart would turn, but stay to the dark side it did, and each sign, trait, or anything I said was met with a scoff or sneer. When I got to sensory issues he said aloud, "don't you mean you should just man up?" There was no retort from me, just status quo without wavering.

Twenty minutes went on and my confidence, or what was left of the little amount that was, was now a burning crisp of overcooked popcorn. My 50-minute presentation turned into a 35-minute express version, and I got out of there as fast as I could. What was supposed to be triumphant day had turned into a nightmare. What had happened? How could someone's heart be so blackened that they felt they had to disrespect the presenter to their face? Why did I do nothing?

Nothing... this is what has haunted me for a dozen years. I did nothing. I could've challenged him, perhaps won over the rest of the room. Perhaps I could've notified a supervisor. I could've done anything more than what I did. 

I often wonder what happened to that guy, and I do this not out of anger or spite but of true curiosity because I don't understand how someone could be so cruel in that moment. After I had time to think about it in 2010, I vowed to never be walked over again as a presenter, and I haven't. I learned tact, such as the time a director of special education for a large school district was amazed when they learned from me that routine is important for those on the autism spectrum (she didn't know this, or many other traits that are almost common knowledge) and I was nice and cordial about it. I learned compassion when a teacher broke down in tears thinking about how they did everything wrong for a student when they thought they were helping a kid before they knew autism was in play. And I learned how to be someone else's voice when they said, "Could you explain why I... we do..." when referring to behaviors of the autism spectrum. However, I never got the chance to go toe-to-toe with that guy. In 96,000 live attendees at my presentation, I came across "that guy" when he would've been around the 600th person to see me speak. I didn't have a chance, and even though I know this, I'm still angry at myself. Maybe though, the other officers there that day saw me attempt to power through. Maybe they saw me not be confrontational. Perhaps my professionalism in this assault of disrespect resonated with them after the day when they were removed from the black hole he created. I hope so... oh, do I hope so.

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

The tale of the missing pencil

As I've said many times, I don't remember people in my memories. Because of this I need to remember people through other means and the #1 way I do that is through physical items. In 1993 my family moved from Indianapolis to Saint Louis. A lot of people were lost in my memories, but I had a couple pencils that I remembered them by. The pencils were from the school I went to and had the name on the side of the pencils. Through this item I still felt a connection with where I came from.

On my second day of school in this new place my classmates wanted to "test" me. I had been warned that this group always played some sort of small prank on a new kid, and I thought I was prepared, but nothing could have prepared me for what was to come.

For one reason or another I had to leave the room, and when I came back all my pens and pencils were gone. Normally I could have cared less as the best way to prank a prankster is to not give them the benefit or acknowledgement of the prank ever taking place. However, my pencils from what was still home to me were gone. 

At that point in time I was not diagnosed and I probably couldn't have explained to anyone what was going on or why, but what everyone saw could only be classified under one word, "meltdown."

I became so frantic and irate that no one wanted to claim responsibility. I tore that classroom apart until I found my pencils which someone had placed under the teacher's podium. They say a person can't make a good second impression as everything is based of the first impression and this was true. From that point one I was a social outcast in my class because no one was able to understand why I reacted the way I did. 

This story had not been thought of for many years and when I thought of it today in the middle of my presentation it furthered my passion to do what I do even more so. I mean, what if my classmates had been able to understand that I didn't just "flip out" over an irrelevant pencil, but rather my means of remembering a place I no longer lived at as well as the friends that were there. 

See, spectrum and not, we aren't that different. Everyone has those items that remind them of someone, someplace, sometime, but for me it can be a seemingly irrelevant item. Those items, whatever they may be, become highly valued and to simply lose an item, like the day I described in 5th grade, creates a sadness that can only be described by explaining it would be like someone deleting your memories. On that day I felt as if that had happened and that's why I had my seemingly overreaction.

As with most things like this it was a misunderstanding on many levels and this states my purpose and passion. If there's just a little bit more of understanding in the world perhaps an incident like what I went through can be avoided, or at least better understood. I wasn't given a 2nd chance by my peers, but I'm okay with that now because it motivates me because it doesn't have to be that way. By you writing this today maybe I've come a little closer to creating a better understanding and for that I thank you.

Monday, November 21, 2022

The A Team

The final checkered flags flew, the 25th running of the SKUSA SuperNats had come to a thrilling conclusion after five days. My muscles ached, my feet were blistered, and five days of extreme adrenaline was now over, and I became sad. I wasn't sad over the loss of being so close to the action (and sometimes, too close) or the indescribable atmosphere that almost 600 racers from 60 countries brings. Nope. What made me sad was the ending of being on a team that worked seamlessly together.

It's difficult, unless you see the SuperNats, to know just how intense it is. The racetrack is a temporary circuit with barriers lining the track and trouble can escalate quickly when this occurs. It is at this point that, everyone working together, has to 100% know what the other is going to do. It's odd for me to say this, but the teamwork that's needed came easy to me.

I've never been a team player. I don't mean this in the sense of, "there's no I in team but there's a ME!" What I mean is that I am always on the wrong beat of the drum, or that I instantly think my teammates will know what I expect and do it simply because I know what should happen. Team sports were never my thing but working ground level on a track is a different animal altogether and the slightest error could have dire consequences. 

Being a member of a team is something I've heard is difficult for many on the spectrum. In school, I loathed group projects. I didn't want to rely on someone else when I could do it myself. It wasn't easy to just let others control my fate, but on the racetrack, that teamwork is paramount.

When an incident would occur in my section, it became to a point that nothing needed to be said as to who would cover, who would rotate, who would respond, and what the sequence of events would be to clean the track. Mind you, this is all happening on a track that has about 40 karts making a lap under 50 seconds. There's not much time, and as mentioned, the stakes are high because we are putting ourselves in the line of fire.

It just wasn't in my area that this unspoken teamwork developed. We were 11 different turn stations operating as one unit and as I sit here at the airport, not even 24 hours removed from that exhilarating and dangerous environment, I'm craving it again. 

Maybe this is an indescribable event. Perhaps there isn't a way to relate to you what it is like to fully trust those around you when life and limb is on the line. I wish there was an easier way to experience this. Why couldn't I have done this in school, or at other jobs? Whatever the case, the offseason begins now. The wait for the race season starts now. It'll come soon enough with SKUSA in January and INDYCAR in February, but until then I'll be dreaming of the time I just had with full trust, excitement, and working with a track full of friends.

Thursday, November 17, 2022

The SuperNats

It’s hard to describe how I’m feeling right now. It’s almost 7:00 in the morning in Vegas and we are about to start day to of the SKUSA SuperNats. 

This is the most physically demanding five days I have of the year, but it feels good to be back. This event was the event that first got me visibility for the pathway that allowed me to reach INDYCAR.

I wish I had the mental space to write more about what this event means, but day one kicked me in the teeth and we are less than an hour from going green, so I’ve gotta get ready to work the event that is, and helped me achieve, my ultimate Kansas. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

The People we Knew

Since I started writing I’ve harped on the fact that I don’t like time. Time equals change, change is bad, hence time is an enemy. I’m sure most are like this though and this doesn’t set me apart. However, it’s the better than average memory I have that makes it a true challenge. 

For those I interact with, they have a special place in my memories. I don’t open up to many, but to those I do I remember more than most. I may not be able to say anything to let them know what they mean, but they mean a lot. That’s why, when I find out about something like I did over the weekend, I’m frozen in place. 

I bowled for many years and and had some great teammates. The team I was on for about a decade happens but chance as I subbed for them one evening. Oh, it was great! I was 19 and when needed I’d rush from my bank job as a teller and bowl with a group of men that knew each other for a rather long time. 

The person that first recruited me, Charley Fuchs, passed away from cancer a couple years ago, but over the weekend I saw a post from a friend on Facebook wishing his dad a heavenly birthday. I was shook. I didn’t know. How didn’t I know?

For several years, retired newsman Dick Ford was on my bowling team. Conversing with him became one of my favorite parts of the week. He knew everything about everyone in Saint Louis sports and, well, I do think he knew everything. 

He was impressed with my speaking work and he gave me advice that was all too prophetic, “Aaron, here’s thing…” he said in the voice I’d heard on the television for many years in Saint Louis, “when you’re hot you're hot and when you’re not you’re not. You w got to capitalize now because there will be people jealous of how hot you are and will want to see you not.” 

The rest of the morning after finding out I just felt ill. I wasn’t family, and I wouldn’t even consider myself a friend as we were teammates, but I felt a considerable loss. 

My memories stay in the moment they happen. It ducks having such a visual memory because just earlier today, as I drove past the bowling alley, I could see my usual day. I could see walking in, starting the weekly crossword puzzle, Charley would come in, we’d chat about the week in sports, or a recent presentation, and then the other teammates would come in, including Dick, and I had a weekly taste of normality. There’d be laughs, strikes, perhaps some misses, but while bowling was the activity it really was the interactions with the teammates I enjoyed the most. Oh, to be 19 again and have everything be the way it is supposed to be in my memories. 

Monday, November 14, 2022

Dear autism

 Dear autism,

I’ve never written you before because, well, I don’t exactly know how to describe you. You are a part of me but that’s all I can allow. There are times you do all that you can to define me and it takes all my strength to fend off your ways. Is it worth it? I often find myself asking that but without you I’m not myself. 

How can I love you and hate you at the same time? Just yesterday you put me through hell because I couldn’t say a simple “hello” and yet at the racetrack you give me an advantage that hovers near superhuman abilities. In either case I have to fend off that it is I in control and it isn’t you who are defining me. 

I often wonder what my life would be without you. Would I be happier more often? Would I still be my naive self that sees the world in a positive light without cynicism? Would I still do what I do pushing my body to the absolute limits of exhaustion between traveling for racing and presenting. 

You, autism, are a challenge and while I must not let you define me I also don’t know how to define you. Are you a disability? If you look at certain times you most certainly are but that’s only part of the story. There are other times I know I experience joy beyond what anyone else is capable of and have some skills that have set me apart of which you are most certainly involved in. 

When I’m down I don’t know what to do with you because your ways make me worry more than most will understand. You are relentless in your ability in allowing only one thing to matter. When that one thing is positive then I fly but if that one thing is some sort of worry I don’t have control over you give me a panic akin to being stuck on a railroad track in a car with no gear left in the car and the doors are locked and there’s no way out. Because of this sometimes I curse your name and call you cruel. 

You aren’t always cruel though. Sometimes you’re beautiful and you let me see the world in a way other don’t. Each day I learn more and more about my potential and I’m 39 years old. In others I’m sure you show yourself in similar ways and others probably struggle trying to grasp what you are and why your ways are the way they are. Why do you sometimes block happiness? Why do you make only one thing matter? Why do you have to make things that aren’t concrete so darn to understand? And yet, why do you make our souls so unique that “if you’ve met one person with autism you’ve only met one person with autism?”

Traveling down the road of life with you is tiresome but you’re riding shotgun with me for all my days. You’ve given me amazing gifts and gut-wrenching setbacks. You make me want to be alone and yet I’m lonely. You’re a contradiction of a puzzle and because of this I want to close this letter to you that, even though I hate you, I wouldn’t get rid of you if I could. Others might because you can rob us of some of life’s simple joys but my joys and emotions are more complex. You make it hard to express this and that can make you much harder on those around us like family members and teachers to understand why we are the way we are, but you are what you are and, most of the time, it’s beautiful. Other days though... you make it so rough I don’t know how I can make it another day but from this I’ve grown stronger. That’s one thing you’ve taught me to tell people; even though we may be quiet, shy, or sometimes be absolutely incapable of the strength it takes to navigate a single day is astounding and I don’t think those that don’t have autism in their life can understand. We may look weak, we may act weak, and sometimes even I believe I’m weak, but in all actuality I’m not. I’m strong because of you. I’m resilient because of you. I stand my ground (sometimes for too long) because of you so for that I can’t simply say “thank you” because of the hardships you also provide, but instead I’ll just tell you, autism, that I’ll gladly accept that your along for this journey through life from the extreme highs to the lowest of lows. One last thing; because of you I’m not normal and I must say “thank God!” because normal seems so boring.

Thursday, November 10, 2022

The Return to the Stage


It had been too long since I had a live presentation. It’s amazing how our brains can forget how something feels when we aren’t in the midst of it, and while I remember all the place I’ve presented in the past, I forgot just how much it means and the connection with an audience that forms.

Yesterday I had three presentations at SUNY Canton, and I was amazed at how quickly my lines were remembered. Halfway through my first presentation my soul was already soaring, but it was what happened in the second and third presentations that the scope of what I was doing was made clear.

I’ve had Zoom presentations since the start of the pandemic, but it always felt empty to me. It’s odd, since I don’t like to socialize all that much, that what I’ve missed most is the interaction with the audience, and the questions in the second and third presentation were what I had been missing for years. However, it was a bit overwhelming.

Being removed from interactions with parents for the past two years had sort of created this illusion that we had made all the progress we needed on autism awareness, but more importantly the acceptance and understanding aspect. I mean, I hadn’t heard any horror stories of misunderstandings in a while so that meant they didn’t exist, right? It was a na├»ve thought, but out of sight and out of mind. Reality was reintroduced to me through the questions and comments from the audience and that myth of a world where there’s no issues was quickly dismantled.

As I heard some of the stories, comments, and questions, my level of compassion rose to a level that I haven’t felt in years. It had only been seconds, but I miss the sheltered, disconnected world I had lived in. It was much easier to think the need had subsided, that pain and unnecessary misery weren’t in existence, and that each person on the spectrum, wherever they may be, would be given in an environment to become the best person they can be.

It became difficult to concentrate as I wanted to say something, anything, that would give a glimmer of hope. To be honest, I wanted to cry. This experience was like starting anew on my speaking career. Anger crept in as I remembered every one of these stories I had heard in the past, and to any organization that thought advocacy work, and presenting, wasn’t worth it, but the anger quickly got harnessed to motivation to give the best answer possible to each question.          

I’m grateful to SUNY Canton for inviting me back for a fourth time and allowing my voice a platform to be heard. I won’t fall into the trap of complacency again. The stakes are simply too high. The potential in each person to grow, thrive, and be happy is not something to just think that “well, we can learn more about autism next year.” No! Each day of misunderstandings, each day of needless pain due to ignorance is one too many days. As I’ve said, “understanding is the foundation for hope” and “the earlier the better” have never been more important. We can either look at what was or focus on what will be and I want to make that world that I thought existed when I was disconnected become closer to a reality. I can do. You can do it. We can do it, together moving forward by sharing our voices, experiences, and reaching as many people as possible to give those on the autism spectrum the best environment possible to reach their full potential.

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

The Mission is Calling

The alarm blared its warning. The dark of night was in full force at it had just turned 4:00. I'm not a morning person whatsoever, but this morning was different. This morning it was time to take to the air and it's been a full year since I was on a plane headed to a presentation.

I've missed this. This was my life for many years and getting up at 4:00 to make the 6:00AM flight was commonplace. The long days, long flights, early mornings, and long drives were my commutes. The reward was the destination and the presentation. Tomorrow, that reward happens once more.

I'll admit I'm nervous. I haven't been on a stage in a year. I present with a fast tempo, and to forget one word in a story can make the next story seem out of place. I can easily recover presentations that go off the rail, I've done it many times, but I'd much rather be in mid-season form.

Tomorrow, I'll also have the pre-presentation nerves. The pressure before an NTT INDYCAR Series race is quite similar so my body is used to the adrenaline that comes before showtime, but there's still going to be a high level of apprehension as I find my footing.

I'm traveling to Canton, New York which is where I'll be presenting. It'll be my fourth time presenting there, which is such a neat honor to be invited back so many times. 

I don't have much time left here in Atlanta, where I write this, but if you or your organization want to get involved and have me have an early morning headed off to places near or far to have me present, tell my story, and give the audience a better understanding of what living life on the autism spectrum is like, head to and send a message. Onward I go, tomorrow is gonna be AWESOME!

Monday, November 7, 2022

False Alarms

It was 6:56 this morning and I was in the midst of a wonderful dream that saw me traveling to far away lands. Then, in my dream, I heard the unmistakable sound of the Saint Louis area’s civil defense sirens. When I hear this in a dream I instantly wake up because I know it’s not a dream and even though I knew it was the first Monday of the month, the day the test typically is, I knew it wasn’t 11AM. 

Panic ensued. I knew the weather was clear and that there would be no reason for a weather alert to happen. My brain went to the only logical place it could think of and that was a calamity the size of WW3. 

Adrenaline raged through my body. I fumbled trying to get my phone to confirm the end of the world was at hand. As quick as the sirens blared their warning of the end, they quit. All this happened within six seconds time, but as I checked news websites there were no mention of missiles, asteroids, comets, or space giraffes invading from Neptune.  

Slowly, I realized it was an error. There was no test, but there was no emergency. Even though the siren’s noise had ceased, I could still hear it. I hate this aspect of my brain on the autism spectrum; for my entire life the tone and note of a civil defense siren gets etched into my brain in that I continue to hear it for hours to come. 

I’m not sure why there was an error today with it. With the instability in the world, a mistake like that is, I feel, inexcusable because of the connotations that such an alert on a clear morning in fall brings with it. It occurred a little over three hours ago and I’m still on a bit of a heightened alert with the inability to let it go. Eventually I will, things will go back to normal, but it’s still baffling how a false alarm of this magnitude could occur  

Friday, November 4, 2022

The Routeless Destination

 Stop me if you've heard this one; a person on the autism spectrum doesn't want to do a specific subject in school because, "they'll never need it because they know what they want to do in life." I've heard this many, many times but have never had the best way to describe the reasons as to why it is there. I realized that the way I feel now is similar to the reason why a certain subject in school will be simply omitted by a student's brain.

I have so many ideas and these things need to happen but I'm overwhelmed by all that has to happen to get there. How is this in any bit the same as the school example? We both know the destination but getting there is the uncertainty. This can play out two ways; we either know exactly what we want and will hyper-focus on it exclusively, or we will see the destination and realize it's a million miles away and become overwhelmed on the trip to get there. In both examples the destination can be seen but the way to get there is full of fog, you don't have a GPS system, and when you look it up on a proverbial Google Maps the response you get is, "good luck?"

It can be highly difficult to know exactly what you want the destination to be and be oblivious to all that needs to be done to get there. Looking at it from a strict logic standpoint it makes sense, right, that if a person wants to be a mathematician why then should they sit through semester after semester of science, and chemistry, and world history? There will be no sense of direction through this routeless destination because the destination is already thought of, and known, so why worry about the now when the destination is already known and accepted? It will be lost that grade averages are cumulative and to get to a good university they are usually needed.

On the other hand, this too can operate the way it operates within me and that is becoming overwhelmed by everything that has to happen to get to the destination. Of course, remember, if you've met one person on the autism spectrum you've only met one and it's great that this concept can be used in two different ways. Anyway, so many times in my, when there's a project to be done, I become overwhelmed by seeing everything all at once. A good real example is this; now we can use a GPS system that will speak out to you each small step on a long trip so you, as the driver, won't have to worry about turn #32 unless you really want to. However, when I drove to Las Vegas in 2003, my dad printed out a thing from MapQuest and it broke down every turn and I had three pages of it. In the end it's the same system, but my ability to see everything at once made the trip a little bit more intimidating. Thankfully, driving and real directions comes easily for me but this driving metaphor is a perfect example of the potential issues seeing everything all at once. Quickly, I can see every turn, ramp, and exit all at once and the way to get to the destination is as impossible as driving over Mount Everest. I may know where I want to go but getting there seems impossible because there's just too much stuff and everything has to work just right and since we may have the mindset of, "whatever is now is forever" we may never see a way to navigate through the routes to make it to the destination.

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Don't tell me what to think

 f you want to see resistance in its truest form I suggest you tell me what to do, or tell me what to think. As far back as I can remember I have always put up a strong resistance to being told what to think, or being told what to do without logic. One line that has never worked with me is, "Because I said so!" One reason it doesn't work is I already know you said it so why are you stating that you said it? Secondly, and more importantly, it doesn't allow me to know where you are coming from and the logic you are using. I never had a teacher use that line on me, but I heard them tell other students, and had it happened to me I am sure the ensuing result would have been worth at least 17 blog entries. It's not that I am 100% against what you want me to do, but if you don't give me a logical reason why then I am lost. I am so entrenched in my ways and routine that if you want me to change what I am doing now, I know that will affect what I am going to do three hours from now. The whole routine will be derailed and that requires too much thought to do if it is simply because, "you said so". Another issue in this same topic is that I will get irate if someone tells me what to think. I joke, although it is probably true, that advertisers can't gain my business but they can certainly lose it. I can't stress this enough, DON'T TELL ME WHAT TO THINK. I have had many times in my life where someone tried to tell me what to think and I get furious. Why is this? I'm not sure, but I tense up and just get full of anger. 

I have a story that may turn into a classic example of this: Several years ago my dad wanted me to go to the store. I think I complained one too many times about my food selection so he handed me a $20 bill and suggested that I go get my own food. I was at a loss of what to get so he made some suggestions, and then said he wanted, some "golden delicious apples".
On the thought of those apples I stormed out of the house in a fury. Rage was boiling through my veins as I could not believe the tenacity of my dad. Why would he tell me that golden apples are delicious? I know what is good, and apples, at the time, didn't make the cut.
As I got to the store my rage had not subsided and I was still furious that my dad would try and tell me what to like. "If apples are delicious I will say they are" is what I kept thinking to myself.
When I entered the store and saw the fruit aisle I was astounded. You see, I had never heard of the "golden delicious apple" variety and in fact I thought an apple was an apple. All my anger towards my dad was for naught because he wasn't telling me apples were delicious but rather he was telling me what type apple to get.
Confusion aside, the previous example has been repeated many times in my life. I wish I knew what causes this immediate reaction when told how to think, or told what to do. My mind is astoundingly independent and being told how to think sets off a stern reaction.
The final thing in this area, as it is all connected, is my complete disregard to hearing other people's advice when doing something. When I was young I loved going to the bowling alley on Sunday afternoons after my dad's church service. Being six, and seeing how the professionals put hook on the ball (bowling was something that was must see tv for me when I was young, I think it was a sensory thing) I wanted to bowl like the pros. My dad tried to teach me something, but I don't even know what it was because his advice was just noise.
Even today I usually won't listen to someone when they give me advice. Rob, whom I went to the Olympics with in Vancouver and have played more games on NHL for the Xbox than should be possible, gave me advice on how to always score on a breakaway. Did I listen to him? No. After 30 failed breakaways I had a penalty shot to win the game and I asked him what I needed to do. He got mad because he had told me no less than a hundred times, but he told me what I needed to do and we won the game on that goal. I had heard many times what to do, but because I "know it all" his words were meaningless even though he had scored on a breakaway and my attempts were best suited for the blooper reel.
There is a big issue here and I hope to dwell on it and come up with the reasons why this is. I do find it interesting that in a crunch, or crisis, I will seek advice and actually listen. Until that time I will usually disregard it and throw it out. After all I am always right, until I am wrong and need help now.