This post is more for myself, I think. Random musings and mumblings ahead…
I’ve been trying to figure out why I blog, and why I blog about what I do. When I started blogging, I did so because it seemed like the natural thing to do. I’d been reading blogs for ages, and had gotten more and more comfortable leaving comments, which often turned into missives. So I decided that I should probably start my own blog, and stop leaving 500+ word comments on other people’s blogs. As far as I can tell, it boils down to one thing: I think that my voice can be valuable. I’m not an activist. I’m not an advocate. There’s a time and a place and a disposition for those things, and I don’t have it. I’m not out to make enemies, or correct people, or tell the world how it needs to act. I’m not into rhetoric or “us and them” or politics. I tried for a while, both as a part of the LGBT community and again, with the disability community, but it’s just not in my nature. I can’t get myself to be able to function and think like my activist colleagues, and every time I delve into that work, I end up miserable and confused and isolated. Yet again, I don’t fit in with my peers, not even my autistic young adult peers in the blogging world. I don’t think they’re wrong, it’s just not something I can do myself. One might say I’m not out to change the world. But that’s not quite true. I’m out to tell my story, and in doing so, I hope to share a valuable perspective that helps others understand, and perhaps better interact with those people in their lives who think differently from themselves.
I’m out to show the world just exactly how my brain works. I know my brain is a bit different from most other peoples’ brains. And I love it. I read blogs, because I love to learn how other people experience the world. The more I understand about how others experience the world, the better of a person I can be. And I want to contribute to that. I think there’s a time and a place for everyone, and everyone deserves to have their voice heard if they want it to be. The internet is an amazing tool for communication. It gives the chance for many people who might not otherwise be able to communicate, to share their thoughts, feelings, and desires. Although this blog has quieted down somewhat, that doesn’t mean I’ve disappeared. My thesis proposal got approved (I now bear the title “PhD Candidate” instead of “PhD Student”*), and I’m teaching a summer class, so I’m pretty busy. Sometimes when I come home after a long day at the lab, I don’t even have the energy to think in words anymore, much less write anything down.
But I continue to come back here. I have several hundred blog feeds in my rss feed reader (sadly no longer Google Reader, but Feedly since the shutting down of google reader 😦 😦 silly google). And I continue to write. I hope that as I continue to write and share and make sense of my own self, that my experience can help others make more sense of themselves and their loved ones. That by sharing my experience, offering a peek into my world, those who read what I have to say will learn my truth, and apply it to their own lives. It may not be much, but I like to think that my words can sometimes touch a mind, and help to change a life for the better, in any way, no matter how small.
And that is why I keep coming back here. I might not be doing major activism, speaking out and helping to shape the (political) autism/disability rights movement, but I think there are other ways to help do some good in the world too. And I like to think that maybe, just maybe, this is my way of helping make the world a better place. One tiny change at a time. So I just wanted to say thank you to all of the wonderful people I’ve met and interacted with online. And thank you to everyone who has read or shared anything I’ve written. I hope you’ll stick around and we can continue learning and growing from the discovery and consideration of each others’ unique perspectives.
*This is a meaningless distinction that only matters if you live and work in the realms of academia. But I get paid a tiny bit more, which is always nice…