Category Archives: Thoughts

Through the Autism Glass

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Update: I previously published this a couple weeks ago and am re-posting in honor of autism awareness day. In the past weeks I have been learning to accept this revelation while remembering that nothing really has changed. I am still me; the same me I have always been and I still have the power to define myself and not allow some label to do it for me. It has helped me to identify areas in which I need work, and I have some ideas on how to go about creating more structure in my life.

Original post: I came across this article a few weeks ago called “The Invisible Women with Autism.” It struck a chord and I recognized myself instantly. I have known about autism for many years and even identified with some of the traits, but it never really fit. This article did. Apparently most models of autism are based on observations of boys and men. Women on the spectrum don’t fit that profile. The traits are similar, but they appear differently in women and girls because we are socialized differently and may learn to blend into the dominant society better whereas it may go unnoticed or misdiagnosed.

I am not officially diagnosed, nor do I think it is necessary for me. It completely fits; I feel like it explains my entire life. In the past week or so, I’ve bought 10 or more books on the subject, taken online Aspergers tests. It all fits. And I could not have realized it at a better time.

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For the past couple months, I have been in danger of becoming completely isolated. For most of my life, I have kept myself insanely busy, so busy that I didn’t have time for, nor need a social life. About 5 months ago, I graduated with my M.A. degree. I had been working two jobs and going to school full time so all I had time for was work, school, homework, sleep. And suddenly, I didn’t have school anymore, I was down to one job which I work 3 nights a week, leaving me with my days essentially free and unstructured. The first couple months I was excited to have free time, started working on two books a memoir about my quest to understand dreams and the nature of reality and a fiction story involving lucid dreams. But then the lack of structure and my odd sleeping schedule merged to the point where I didn’t feel it necessary to get up during the day. At all. My sleep cycle shifted and I became almost entirely nocturnal, sleeping until 5 or 6 pm, going to bed at 10 or 11 in the morning. I had no idea how to stop this. At least before, I would go to bed at 3 or 4 am and wake up at 11 or 12. I was not happy with this at all, but as long as I had nowhere to go, nothing to do, and no one to do it with, I had no reason to get out of bed. I was obsessively shopping on eBay, collecting more gadgets that I don’t need, but I didn’t know how to stop. I tried coming up with things to do, but as long as they don’t involve other people, I couldn’t make myself do them. I bought a bike, thinking I would learn how to ride again (pretty sure I have forgotten). It is still sitting in my living room because I don’t know how to put it together and haven’t figured out who can help. (Yes I know I can take it to a bike shop.)

At least for now, I’ve had my research on autism to keep me busy and have managed my sleep to one full day of recovery after work and have been able to be awake during the day otherwise. I also joined a co-working space, autism support group, and am working on adding more structure to my life.

Apparently some of us on the spectrum have what is sometimes known as executive dysfunction. It could be why I cannot seem to function without some sort of structure in my life, or why when I’m absorbed in a book or a project, it doesn’t occur to me to eat and my cat has to remind me, or why I can’t seem to keep my apartment organized unless I live with someone else, etc.

Since I’ve figured this out about myself, it has caused me to review my entire life experiences through this new lens, and it’s such a relief to finally have an explanation for while I’ve often felt like an alien, like I’m on the outside looking in, observing the ways and customs of this world. So many other Aspies feel as if they were born on the wrong planet, it’s nice to finally know I’m not alone in this.

Being on the autism spectrum generally means that our brains process information differently from those who are not; and those differences give us certain benefits or gifts as well as disadvantages due to trying to fit into a world that was not designed for us and is not particularly friendly to those who are different.

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What has been the most difficult in coming to terms with this is what people usually think when we hear autism or autistic. Everyone on the autism spectrum is different, we are individuals, we cope with the difficulties of fitting into a society that isn’t designed for us differently. Some of us have delayed speech and language processing, some of us don’t, some are extremely intelligent, some are able to successfully cope with our differences and some struggle more. What we have in common is that we all seem to view the world differently than other people. Differently, but in similar ways. It is thought to be a combination of genetics and behavioral factors.

I’ve also noticed that I find myself now wondering in social situations how much I am missing out on, and whether other people find me completely socially awkward. But then I realize that I am still me. I will always be me, and nothing has changed. The only thing that is different is that I now identify with this label, but I don’t have to let it define me. At the very least, it has given me an explanation for what I have been searching for my entire life, for why I have always felt different, why people always see me as different, and that no, there is nothing wrong with me. I am exactly how I am supposed to be, just not how this society expects me to be.

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I often have difficulty making decisions, especially if it’s in answer to an open-ended question such as “What would you like to do/eat?” For me, there are so many variables to take into consideration that I usually go with what the other person wants, because most likely, they care more than I do anyway. Even supposedly simple questions like “what’s your favorite color?” or “what is your favorite music/song?” These are usually asked as small talk in order to get to know someone, but I usually don’t see what they have to do with actually getting to know me. I’m a person, I can’t be summed up in whatever answer I give to these questions. I wonder what people think they’re learning about me when they ask, and I don’t know how to answer.

Alexythymia is a condition common among autistic people as well. It is characterized by a difficulty in identifying and expressing emotions. I can usually identify basic emotions such as happy and sad, but it is difficult for me to identify and my own emotions in the moment. There are many times when I review a situation and realized I should have been upset about something, but of course by that time, the moment has passed. I think because of this, I am very good at dealing with people who are difficult because I am able to stay calm and not fall prey to their emotional whirlwinds.

I also do not make eye contact naturally. I have learned to do it because it seems to be valued in this society, but it is something I have to force myself and remember to do.

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One of the criteria for Aspergers or autism is self-soothing behaviors, sometimes called stimming. (I really don’t like this word). At first I couldn’t think of many, sometimes I tap my fingers, or especially when I’m nervous I fidget or play with my hair or jewelry. But I realized another one…

I may not talk to anyone else, but I talk to myself. A lot. And for as long as I can remember. I still do. It helps me to process social situations. If it went well, I will sometimes replay it, speaking softly to myself (when I think no one is around) or if it didn’t go well, I say to myself what I should have said. I rehearse future conversations, especially telephone calls. I know now that I can’t predict the other person’s responses, but I need to have an idea of what I want out of the call so that I won’t get lost and forget. When I was little, I used to rehearse entire conversations such as “I will say this, and she will say that, and I will say this, etc… Of course it would never go according to plan because people are unpredictable.

I talk to myself when I’m home alone, when I’m driving, sometimes when I’m walking down the street, or in a store. I sometimes laugh or smile if someone catches me, but I know I’m not crazy.

Most of us also have sensory issues…

When I was little I couldn’t deal with loud noises. My parents took me to see E.T. in the movie theater when I was 2, and they didn’t understand why I screamed and cried. It was the noise. Movie theaters very are loud. So as I got older, I would purposely go to sleep whenever we went to see a movie so I wouldn’t have to hear the loud noise of it or disturb everyone by crying.

I identify very strongly with characters in movies or books. To me, they are real, and what happens to them is happening to me. This is why I cannot watch horror movies.

I have issues with touch. I don’t particularly like other people touching me, especially strangers. I can’t imagine paying for someone to give me a massage. My skin is very sensitive and just a light touch tickles. But surprisingly, I do enjoy intimate touch. I have learned to deal with hugs from people I know somewhat, but anything more than that I find uncomfortable.

Certain patterns are visually jarring to me. I remember when I was little there was a mug in our pantry that I couldn’t look at. It had an array of white lines in a particular pattern that seemed to hurt my eyes when I looked at it and I would have to look away. Another is if you have ever seen a group of little tree frogs together…That pattern hurts my eyes as well.

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I have always been a very picky eater. I have been told that when I was a baby I would only eat ice cream and Jello. My mom was worried there was something wrong with me because I wouldn’t eat. The doctors only said I would eat when I was hungry. They used to try to force me to eat, putting food in my mouth, but it only ended up messing up my teeth because I would just hold it there and not swallow it. I used to take my lunch to school, and I would eat the same things for weeks at a time until I couldn’t eat it anymore whether it was peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, or tuna sandwiches. To this day I still won’t eat tuna anymore. Some of it has to do with texture, I don’t like pulp or seeds in liquid or things that should be smooth. I don’t like bits and pieces of things in my ice cream, ice cream should be smooth and I shouldn’t have to chew it. I don’t like chunky peanut butter or chunks of tomatoes, although I like smooth tomato sauce and smooth peanut butter. The list goes on… but you see my point. I will still sometimes eat the same things over and over… (currently its banana bagels)

I have been called shy for as long as I can remember. To me, it was a derogatory term. I am an introvert and am naturally quiet, but social issues created some anxiety as well since I didn’t know the rules for social interaction. One memory comes to mind. I was around 5 or 6 and I was at school with my best (and probably only) friend when a boy asked her a question. She answered him and then he asked me the same question. I repeated her response, thinking it was an acceptable answer. I didn’t know I was supposed to answer differently. I thought questions had a right or a wrong answer and since her answer was okay, it must have been the right one.

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I have always been an observer. When I was in preschool or kindergarten, my mom would ask me what I did in school and I would describe in detail what everyone else did. And she would ask “But what did you do?”

I watch everyone and everything around me, learning how to copy their behavior in order not to draw attention to myself. It is what I do especially when I am in a new situation. I avoided many social faux pas because I simply didn’t talk to too many people or seek out social interaction. I don’t normally think to share things with others, it usually just doesn’t even occur to me.

They say we sometimes have obsessions, or obscure interests…

I have loved books and words for all of my life. According to my parents, I could read by the time I was 2 years old (hyperlexia), and was reading Jane Austen and all the classics when I was in  1st grade. Books have always been my escape, and I could remember details from every book I read.

For a while I was obsessed with Victorian times, I wished I could have gone back in time and lived there. I thought I had been born in the wrong century. I wore long skirts and dresses until about 5th grade when kids at school began to talk. I started dressing more like them in an attempt to fit in which was (of course) unsuccessful.

Throughout grade school I had at least 1 or 2 friends, mostly other outsiders whom the other kids made fun of. I convinced myself I didn’t care. We would read together at recess or play ESP games (I really wanted to have Extra Sensory Perception). I read all the time, even at lunch. I remember once, one girl I had been good friends with, got upset because I was reading at the lunch table. I didn’t understand why that was a problem. We were not friends for much longer.

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By middle school, I didn’t understand other girls obsession and interest in celebrity boys and I have never been good at faking an interest in something I couldn’t care less about. And so I drifted away from them because I couldn’t relate.

Once I got to high school, it was harder to make friends. I was at a new school and I didn’t really know anyone. The one girl I did know, had been one of the popular ones, and we weren’t exactly friends. I wasn’t socially rejected, more like ignored. I became invisible. I wasn’t interested in the things they were, I felt like there was no connection. It was an arts high school where I studied music, played violin. But it wasn’t my passion. It wasn’t typical because we were all mostly outcasts from normal schools. I didn’t hate it, but I still didn’t feel like I belonged. I don’t really remember much from that time.

I became depressed after all those years of not knowing what was wrong with me, not knowing why I am the way I am. I was in hidden emotional pain. By them time I got to high school, I started to cut myself in order to make the pain I was feeling tangible, physical, more real. It didn’t last long because my mom found out and because I didn’t want to hurt her, I stopped. I remember crying, not really wanting to die, but not knowing how to live. I still battle with depression constantly. I don’t always notice whether or not I’m sad, but after a while I will notice that I am not eating or am sleeping more than I should.

I was always the good girl, the innocent one, the one who never got in trouble, the one who never participated in class. I recently came across notes from my teachers when I was in grade school. I was in the special reading class briefly, even though I could read better than all of my classmates, they were concerned because I wouldn’t talk, at least not to them. They wanted to hold me back a year, they thought I should see a psychologist because I wouldn’t talk or participate. My parents refused. And at the time, I was glad they didn’t. It wouldn’t have done any good; I told myself if they made me go I just wouldn’t talk to them.

They called me difficult, stubborn, hard-headed, picky, as well as extremely patient, creative, intelligent.

I have never known exactly how friendships and relationships are supposed to work. I watched the other kids date and “go together” and it seemed like a complete mystery to me how they got together. I still don’t understand subtle signs, the nonverbal ones, and flirting. I will often have no idea if someone is trying to flirt with me, or if they even like me at all unless they say it outright.

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Other people have always been a problem for me. I never know what they are thinking, and because I know that since I can think of anything I want, so can they. So in certain social situations, especially in large groups, there’s a million things going through my mind as to what they could possibly be thinking, and since most non-verbal clues are meaningless to me, it is a complete mystery. So I become anxious, terrified if called upon to speak. Who know’s what all these people are thinking of me. They may laugh at me, or think what I say is stupid, or a million other things. Or I may make some social faux pas, and they will think “What is wrong with her?”, etc. And so I may freeze, becoming selectively mute, and I may or may not recover in a timely fashion. Recently I have learned to say that I pass, or some other phrase to release me from my terror.

The first time I remember this happening was when I had to interview to get into a particular college prep high school. I was 13 and they asked me a lot of questions that I wasn’t prepared for; it being my first interview and all. I am not good at speaking under pressure, especially when I am not prepared. I tend to stumble over words, unable to choose the correct ones. It is as if there is a disconnect between what I am thinking and my ability to translate my thoughts into speech. They asked why I wanted to go there, I answered “Because my friends are going here.” I didn’t have an appropriate answer prepared. I’m not sure what else they asked me, but what I do remember is that I froze. A million thoughts jumbled around and I couldn’t focus on anything or think of anything to say, and the longer I was silent, I worried about not saying anything and got stuck in a loop. “On no, I don’t know what to say, try to think of something to say, still haven’t said anything, this is awkward, what do I do now?” And instead of being able to answer the question, I fell into a feedback loop with no way out. Needless to say, I didn’t get into that school. Cynthia Kim describes this really well in her book “Nerdy, Shy, & Socially Inappropriate.”

People are always surprised that I can express myself very clearly in writing, but when it comes to speaking, I can’t seem to get my thoughts together. I stumble over words and probably come across as a little inept.

In college, my friends were my classmates, mostly the ones in my major. We shared many classes and spent lots of time together. I didn’t entirely feel like an outsider for once. I was included most of the time and I would always make sure I could leave whenever I wanted. I have a tendency to leave parties earlier than most.

Now as an adult, I am realizing more and more that my social skills are lacking. Most likely due to avoidance – I didn’t get to make too many mistakes and learn from them. And also because I think I miss out on subtle clues that others pick up on. I have many acquaintances whom I may call friends, but most likely they don’t know me very well. I will usually have no idea if someone likes me or not unless they say it outright. So even if I were to initiate activities with people, I usually have literally no idea if it will go over well. Which means I usually only talk to people in the venue where we meet, such as school, or work and rarely see or talk to them  outside of those areas.

It is no longer a complete mystery to me how people get together romantically. As I’ve gotten older, people seem to be more direct (well they have to be to get my attention) and I haven’t had problems finding people who are interested, but I still feel like I don’t really know how they really work.

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All of this is why I think the particular master’s program I chose was extremely difficult for me. The classes were primarily based on the sharing of experiences & reactions in a group setting, as well as identifying and processing emotions and feelings. All things that I have difficulties with. I am much better with facts and in situations where there is a right and a wrong answer. Ask me to share my thoughts and opinions and I’m lost. No wonder it felt like a miracle I got through it.

I am writing this because it helps me process everything, so that I can remember, and learn my strengths and weaknesses. So that I can learn new ways to be in the world. I know now that my former adherence to lists and structure is necessary for me, and that I need to try to learn the subtle cues, to make friends and become the person that I know I can be.

A Tale of Universal Relativity


This is a poem I wrote after reading the book shown above. I will post a review soon, but I really enjoyed it. I got it for my dad for Father’s day and we read it together.

A Tale of Universal Relativity

Can we, through the subtleties of poetry

discover the secrets of the universe?

of who we are and why we exist

if we even exist at all

If we look to the implications of modern physics

it seems to say that only nothing is real

that nothing

is real

that we live in an observer-dependent reality

negating the idea of of a True reality outside of us

not that we can’t observe it

but that it cannot exist


Who are we in the world of nothing

what then of our experiences

of life

of love

of hurt

and pain

and longing

and grief

of fear

and death

Is there a purpose behind the world of illusions

the world as we know it

according to each of us


There must be some sort of overlap

so that we can share a sense of understanding

of love

Maybe our emotions

or love

as Maya Angelou said

is what holds the stars in the sky


Maybe the world will end in fire

or possibly in ice

in the words of Robert Frost


Or maybe it will not end at all

if it never began

if it always has

and always will


And what of life

and of consciousness

and sleep

and dreams


I go to sleep at night, or sometimes day

and visit a different world

one very different, it seems, from the one I usually see

where things seems to overlap

boundaries are non-existent

and nothing is distinct

a fluid universe of probabilities

only vaguely remembered upon waking

I try to create a story

out of the fragments of my memory

the fragments of my fading dreams


We start out as a mixture of DNA

a blueprint for a being

encoded in strings of molecules

giving birth to a cell

which grows to form a baby

who is born into this strange evanescent world

where we learn of love

of hate

of pain

and hurt

but also of joy

and empathy

we have experiences

interpret them

allow them to shape our world


Once upon a time

my mom told me

she thought she was an alien

I have often felt that way myself

as if I am an observer

learning human ways

And maybe that’s true

that we are all observers

observing the worlds

of everyone around us


It has sometimes been hard to tell the difference

between my dreams and this reality

I seem to have a memory

sometime when I was small

of there being a wall inside of our apartment

just high enough to reach the windows

of course I know

it was never there

but the memory is so clear

and maybe it was there

an internal wall

built around me

that only I could see


My childhood memories are vague

my memories in pieces

shards whose edges have been rounded by time

or is it distance whose disappearance

causes its velocity to be undefined


I look at the child I used to be

all those years ago

now as an observer

an impossibility

my memories shaped

by the person I have become

the one I seem to look at

being somewhat different

from the me I was then

the me that I felt

from the inside


We live our lives from the inside

with only occasional glimpses from others

who have a more objective view

we are only ever able to approximate how we seem to others

interpreted back to us

through their eyes

their perspectives

their biases

because maybe

there is no ultimately objective view

and due to incompleteness

we cannot measure ourselves

but only know ourselves

as completely as possible

from the inside


Some may call this intuition

some of us are good at following it

some of us have yet to listen


There was a time when it saved my mother’s life

she had a feeling and decided to listen

unable to explain why

until we made it home

to find the window shattered

a bullet hole in the wall


She told me stories of how she left her body

saw it lying there on the bed

and how if someone had tried to wake her

she would not have been able to get back in


There was the time she found her grandmother

knocking at her door

coming to see the baby

born the day she died

fulfilling her earthly promise

to tell her granddaughter

what death was like

and restore the baby’s health

for whom no earthly treatment could cure


I was afraid for her before it happened

I could see the signs

She told me to trust her

she knew how to handle it

And I suppose

since she was the adult

I listened

but I was still scared

I was sure he had tried to kill her once before

and was just waiting

for another opportunity

It came a few days later

a week maybe

and I knew

when she didn’t come home that night

when I didn’t sleep waiting for the sound of the gate

but knowing every time

that it wasn’t her

she would not come


The next day at the police station

they did not take us seriously

said maybe she just left

I told them they didn’t know her

they said there was nothing they could do


I knew I had to find her

had to go back to that apartment

find out if the neighbors heard something

My brother went, since he had not been

but I found that I

could not sit idly by and wait

so I put on a disguise, changed my clothes, my hair

and went to join him

in our little escapade

a ruse to get inside


we knocked on every door

to no avail

no one wanted to talk to strangers

no one would come to their door

not until after we broke down the door

and found out what I had known all along

somehow now they opened their doors

for us to call 911


I remember the first few words of a note he left

I was not allowed to see the rest

I remember being afraid

that he would come after us too

they found him after a week

as he was about to be released

from the hospital after claiming to be hearing voices


Once upon a time

I kept my secrets to myself

kept my heart locked in a castle

only rarely allowing entry

to those I had given a key

never allowing them to see me

barely daring to enter myself


But maybe sometimes

it’s okay to open the door

to show you around

maybe it doesn’t have to be

a pandora’s box

where hope is the only thing

that cannot escape


As Emily Dickenson says

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –

That perches in the soul –

And sings the tune without the words-

And never stops – at all

My Story So Far

So, I want to tell you a story…

Actually sort of a recap of my life for the past year and a half since moving to California.

I remember how when I told people I was moving, they were always more excited than I was. I had no interest in moving here, it wasn’t really something I even wanted at all, it was something I felt I had to do, some unknown force. (Especially since I avoided California when applying to schools as an undergrad due to fear of earthquakes.) But this graduate program felt like something I needed to do. What I was excited about was going back to school (too bad it’s not quite what I had expected). And in hindsight, I realize I should have done a little (a lot) more research, and a little (a lot) more preparation. It’s hard to know what to expect when moving across the country on your own without family/ friends (although for me, it’s not the first time…I was seventeen then, an undergrad-with very few things…but I digress) to one of the most expensive areas (SF Bay area) in the country when you’re broke and dependent on an unknown (at the time) amount of student loan income, in a recession with unrealistic expectations of the length of time it will take to find a job in your field…

After two months, I put all of my things in storage and left my ridiculously expensive shared apartment and my jerk of a roommate whom I found on craigslist and chose as being the better of two unappealing living situations (the other having been less expensive but with four other people who didn’t seem to get along very well), having had only 1 week to find a place to live for me and my cat… (not to mention how pet-unfriendly most places in the area are…) and went back home (Chicago) for a month, where I subsequently lost, and found said cat, and decided to give California another try. This time with a little more insight (still nowhere near enough). But at least I was able to find a slightly better living situation (month-to-month lease, my own bedroom/bathroom/yard, but still shared, and still way too expensive for a struggling unemployed grad student with too many bills.) While I was home, I had told myself I would find my cat, find an apartment, and find a job. And within 2 months I had done all three. Although in hindsight, I should have been a little more specific…

I got a job tutoring high school students in math and science part time, which was cool for the most part…the kids were great….but it would have been nice if they paid me on a regular basis…

So at this point, I was ready to leave, move back to Chicago, Philadelphia, anywhere at all. And if I hadn’t gotten my current job, I would have…but apparently it seems to be in the cards that I stay, at least for now. And even though my grad program isn’t quite what I thought it would be, I have learned a lot (mostly about myself, which I guess is why they call it Consciousness and Transformative Studies). I’m still not sure if I will finish it, but I’m taking it one quarter at a time…

Even with my job, I couldn’t sustain life in the Bay area, so I moved to Sacramento and am definitely much happier there, even with the commute. I really don’ t mind the drive, but for me an hour commute isn’t terrible…(in Chicago, it usually takes about a half hour to get anywhere anyway so I’m used to that). I’ve noticed that most people seem to love San Francisco and the Bay area. I am not one of them. They’re definitely great places to visit, but not places I want to live…(SF = expensive tiny apartments, multiple roommates…I like my privacy too much, even Oakland and Berkeley are not much better); so now I have my own studio apartment in Sacramento and I feel much more at home :). It’s more suburban than I’m used to, and I may move to midtown when my lease ends, but my rent is affordable and no roommates (Yay!)

So I made another vow; to stop focusing on the problems in my life and know that everything will be okay. I have food to eat, a place to live, a job…that’s all I really need. Every problem, I think, has a solution and life is about finding them. The solution may not be obvious and you may have to be creative, but it’s there.

A couple of months ago, I started a full time temporary day job thinking it could be a solution. Because, although my rent is now affordable, my total expenses have not decreased much (the law of conservation of expenses has converted it into gas for my commute). Well it definitely helped, but not in the way I had hoped. I worked there for a week and a half before I quit. I found that I could not work a full time day job, part time (30 hour/week) night job and go to school. The work was boring, tedious, and I was so exhausted I could barely function. But in that week and a half, I learned something. It was because I hated it so much, that it made me realize everything I love about my current job (never having to set alarms and wake up early, not having supervisors monitoring my every move,  having free time during the day…)  It made the negatives mere annoyances (non-compete clause, ten hour shifts (as opposed to twelve), etc.). It helped me truly understand that I am lucky to have a job, especially one that I enjoy and that allows me to go to school. And I am definitely grateful, because a lot of the people I worked with there don’t have the luxury to quit.

So now I look forward to going to work (I work as a sleep tech). And I started taking math classes at another school as well during my free time during the day. I’m currently taking a Linear Algebra class (which is where I quit math as an undergrad) here’s to hoping I can get through it this time around…first math class I have ever had difficulty with and I took Calculus through Differential Equations…conceptually I love it (vector spaces, etc.) but I can’t seem to finish the exams… This summer, I’m taking Discrete Structures and a few courses in my other grad program probably on psychology of consciousness and starting my research project. I’m also working on writing a sort of fictional memoir as well as  starting a science literary project and preparing to apply for PhD programs… I think I have finally figured out that I am a philosopher after all and am looking into programs in Philosophy of Science (neuroscience, physics, cognitive science, etc.) because I love to think about this stuff… (and if I got to do that all day, it wouldn’t be work).

A few weeks ago, I attended a conference on consciousness in Tucson, which was very interesting…I will post my thoughts on that very soon… So until next time…

Latasha Monique

Letter From My Future Self (as an old woman)

So yesterday, I was thinking I wanted to get a glimpse of my future, you know, like flipping to the back of the book to see what happens. So then I started thinking that I should just start writing my story from the end so that I create the ending myself and that’s how this letter came about. I thought about myself as an old woman and tried to look back on my life from her point of view. I thought I could discover details, facts, but in writing the story, it turned into a letter to myself, and I realized that the facts, the details didn’t matter. What mattered is who I become. And now I have this vision of myself the person I want to be, the life I want to live.

To Latasha Monique (Age 32, 2013)

I know it’s late, but I have something to tell you. One day, years from now, you will become me. I remember I used to have so many questions. I wondered if I would travel, if I would ever find happiness, if I would find love. There were things that I knew. That I would have this beautiful silver hair. And yes, I had already found love – and yes it was real. For a long time I didn’t allow myself to feel. I mean really feel things. I was protecting myself. But you can’t live if you’re protected; if you push everyone away. Life is about experience. Experiencing everything that life gives you. The facts don’t matter. They don’t make your story. What matters is being true to yourself. I thought I had experienced love, but I had only scratched the surface. You will experience everything life has to offer if you just allow yourself to feel. I wanted a fulfilling life, and I believe that it has been. I haven’t always been happy. As you know, it’s an ongoing battle. But I have accepted that this is who I am. I understand my place in the world. I understand why all the struggles were necessary. Don’t rush through life to get where I am. Take your time. I have perspective now. As they say, hindsight is always clear. I hope that you will live your dreams and trust in yourself. You hold your mother within you; you are her daughter after all. She would be so proud of you. Listen to her voice inside you. She will always be there. She will guide you and she will never steer you wrong. Remember her advice.

Don’t lose your passion, your spirit, your love. Allow yourself to believe. When you feel the darkness taking over, you fight; you hold on to the light, don’t let it escape you. And remember, I am here because of you; I am who I am because of you, because you survived, you followed your voice. Because of you, I am. Of course you will make mistakes, but you will learn, you will understand. You will learn to be a part of this world. You will force people to think, to change. You will learn to say what you feel, to experience what you feel. And not be afraid of the passion. Not afraid to be a passionate person, a person who cares and feels, deeply, with all your heart. You are learning, but self-awareness takes time. It is a process – Do not rush it. All will be as it will be. And you will live through it. You may even enjoy it. Do not forget me. I only exist because of you. If you think I am wise, it is because you learned a lot on your journey. If you think I am happy, it is because you learned the value of true happiness. If you think I am fulfilled, it is because you learned to open your heart. If you think I am generous, honest, kind, it is because you are all of those as well. If you think I am beautiful, it is because you have finally allowed yourself to experience the beauty that exists within you.


Monique (Age Eighty-Something)

Death and Dying

Ever since I was a little, I’ve been fascinated (some might say obsessed) with death and dying. I didn’t realize until maybe college that my daily thoughts on the subject were possibly unusual. As long as I can remember, I would play out scenes in my mind. (Did I subconsciously have a death wish?) I don’t know, but I would just picture scenarios where, for example, I would get hit by a car, or the man across the street suddenly points a gun at me and shoots, among many, many others. They weren’t frightening to me, it was just my way of acknowledging many different possibilities. It would just flash through my consciousness, and then pass, and it was so common to me that it had no effect. It was just a thought that crossed my mind. It was almost as if they were fantasies and it wasn’t until I realized what I was doing that I started to be able to control it. It’s just always been the question of “what if?” and I try to think of all possible scenarios. Maybe it’s just that the negative ones were more interesting and thus stand out more. Even now, I still wonder what it’s like; an unknown experience.

Thoughts on happiness, childhood, etc

I’ve been thinking about happiness lately and how it’s always seemed to elude me. Of course I’ve experienced it in moments, but mostly I seem to deny myself. I usually have to force myself to do the things I know that I enjoy, as if I feel I don’t deserve it. Being sad or depressed is such a natural state for me, I fight with it on a regular basis. Sometimes it can be weeks before I realize it and then it’s only through symptoms. I’ll notice that I’m not eating, or I’m sleeping more, to the point where I’d rather be asleep than awake, or I lose interest in things I usually enjoy. It is only then that I realize and can begin to come out of it. As if by acknowledging it, it loses its control over me. I don’t remember a lot from my childhood, I only remember fragments; as if I’m remembering someone else’s dream. It always amazes me how much other people seem to remember. Maybe those were happy times for them; but I was always searching for an escape. Which I found in books; I could forget everything around me, my entire life, and become part of a different world. Until the book ends and forces me to return to this place. Dreams are another escape for me; in them I have completely different experiences; apartments, a whole other life that only exists in fragmented pieces in my mind; only accessible to my spirit, my sense of self, or my dream body so to speak. But back to happiness; it seems so fleeting to me, like a fragile state that can be shattered at any time and has to be treasured because it never lasts. I wonder if maybe for others, it is more stable…

Fragments of a Fading Dream

So I’m pretty excited! I’ve been working on self-publishing a book of my writing including some of the poetry that you see here. It will be called Fragments of a Fading Dream and it’s a collection of some of my writing throughout the years on various topics such as dreams, illusion, reality, consciousness, science, love, etc. I am publishing it as an e-book as well as in print and it will be available for purchase via all the major e-reader sites as well as in print on this website and The cover art is tentative, still working on it… Let me know what you think.



We like for things to make sense, to be in an order we can recognize. Dreams are not necessarily either of those things, which may be why they are sometimes disturbing. Maybe what our waking brain does is to organize the information we receive into an order that makes sense to us and at night when we dream we get a glimpse of the unorganized, unedited version which is why our rules don’t exist there…

Random (or not so random) Thoughts

Ok so I know I haven’t posted in a while…

I could say that it’s because I’ve been so busy, but that’s not it. Usually I just don’t really know what to say, or if anyone is reading it anyway, but tonight I seem to be in a different kind of mood.

I’ve been thinking about the things we do in private that would probably seem crazy or strange to other people, but have become completely normal for us because we do them all the time.

Ok so here’s one. I talk to myself. A lot. I don’t think it’s that strange since I spend a lot of time alone and have no one else to talk to. I don’t really think there’s someone else there. Sometimes I imagine there is, or I fantasize about conversations with people in my head, but I know they’re not really talking to me. Sometimes I catch myself doing it in public though, but I usually don’t care.

I talk to my cat too. She doesn’t usually talk back though, except when I’m dreaming

I had a dream once that I met a man in a playground with building blocks who knew all the answers. I asked him and he told me everything I wanted to know, but when I woke up, I couldn’t remember.

Oh and I think time travel could be possible, in our dreams…seriously

And I think dream worlds actually exist and that everything that happens in our dreams is real, just in a different way

What else…

I usually leave my tv on when I’m at work at night or on vacation so my cat won’t feel alone and I program it to turn to different channels depending on what I would watch if I were there…

sometimes I think I would enjoy being in prison…lots of time to read/write, don’t have to make too many difficult decisions, maybe I’d feel a connection with  the other inmates since everyone is in pretty much the same situation – same goes for a mental institution

Oh, I would like to have an hallucination, or hear voices, or actually live in a dream – I have seen ghosts before when I was young, but didn’t get a chance to talk to them, maybe next time

I think that words are very important, that the specific words we use have meaning. There are many ways to express ourselves and the words we choose say something about how we see the world

I think that is it possible that the people we say have mental disorders may actually be seeing or experiencing a different form of reality

I think that characters in books/movies may actually exist, maybe on a different plane or dimension and our view of them is only a glimpse into their lives

I think it’s possible that each of us are characters in other people’s dreams, and other people are only characters in our own dream that we call reality

I’m not sure if I believe in coincidence, or true randomness

I don’t care for conflict, never have. Most of the conflicts in my life stems from people trying to force me to share something before I’m ready.  But I have always stood up for my right to my privacy. In school, I used to write extremely small so the teacher couldn’t read what I was writing from over my shoulder…

I only really feel alive when I’m traveling…I think I see myself differently then, like I can be anyone – I don’t have any restrictions on my life – like all the possibilities are superimposed as in a quantum state, whereas when I’m at home, everything is determined, the box is open…maybe that’s the key…

maybe I need to be able to create that uncertainty anywhere – I’ve always loved the idea of being an actress or a spy, so I could be many different people, live multiple lives…

No wonder I’m not satisfied with just one profession…

I’m interested in a lot of things, but I get bored after a while. I don’t remember facts unless they’re of some specific importance to me. I don’t debate things because I know I’m not an expert and don’t wish to be.

I’m starting school in the fall for Consciousness & Dream studies – don’t quite know where it will lead, I just like to think about stuff like that.

I don’t like to do things I don’t want to do, so I do my best not to do them

I like to work and do things that make me feel useful, otherwise what’s the point?

I don’t have a favorite of anything, it changes all the time

I don’t believe that anything is permanent, or that I have ultimate control over the future

I think it’s possible that everything we “know” is an illusion

That everything I see could be created in my mind

That if I think it, I can possibly make it real

That belief is extremely powerful

That we create our own reality

And that maybe


is impossible

Well that’s it for now

Until next time…

It is human nature to find ways to connect with other people, to form groups. It is those of us on the outside, who have never fit into these groups who best see their divisive quality.
We are complex beings it is impossible to simplify us into a few minor qualities…sometimes we forget that we are all essentially the same, that we are all human and that we can find something in common with every single person on this planet if we are willing to try a little harder and look past the small differences that separate us.

Quantum Uncertainty

The future is like Schrödinger’s cat, its state of existence uncertain, holding within it the possibility of multiple realities.  Time is the quintessential observer, causing one particular reality to come into focus as it passes. There is a kind of freedom in that uncertainty; in the possibility of various outcomes. Not only does time uncover the present as it passes; it’s also changing the pool of possibilities for the future.

Sometimes it takes a personal paradigm shift to see that…
The future consists of a pool of probabilities

The World as ‘I’ Know It

(a poetic interpretation of the Being Human Conference)

There once was a world
and in that world there was an ‘I’
‘I’ have a body and a brain and something called a mind
all of which ‘I’ use to interpret the signals that surround me
these signals tell me that ‘I’ am a human
and that there are millions of others like me
and that they, like me, are human too
and share my world
that they also have bodies, and brains and minds of their own
and that each of these bodies and brains and minds are different
that they interpret the signals around them differently than ‘I’ do
and perceive the world (that we share) differently
can ‘I’ be sure that they really exist
that they aren’t just my mind’s interpretation of the signals that surround me
so ‘I’ learn how to communicate with them
discover some similarities
some differences
share experiences
create bonds
they are as real to me as anything else ‘I’ know

‘I’ know that our bodies work in a similar way
the mirror neurons in my brain allow me to empathize
to see myself in them; to imagine their experiences as my own
to become their reflection
‘I’ am able to trick my brain, even though my mind knows better
to alleviate my phantom pain
my contextual reality, how easy it is to trick the brain
it still believes the illusion, even when the mind is freed

our thoughts and experiences shape our world
how we interpret the information we have been given
they comprise our chosen deception
they are the filters through which we perceive

‘I’ can essentially “see myself see”
which is awareness you see
but ‘I’ cannot see how ‘I’ see
that is the unconscious me
thus ‘I’ cannot see the unconscious me
due to oversimplicity
you see the conscious me
only knows the summary
to understand the full story
would require many more words
than are in my vocabulary
to understand the unconscious me
would require the entire dictionary

‘I’ have been informed that there is a sense of self
that exists within my brain
that ‘I’ project onto this body
but can also be transposed
onto a different body
to trick my brain
into thinking it is me
how is it that my brain
cannot see the holes in its own reality
these are just simple deceptions
that my mind can see through
but what about something more complex
something like my unconscious me
that my mind cannot fully understand
how do ‘I’ know
if what ‘I’ think ‘I’ know
is real
or is my ‘reality’ just a projection
of my unconscious me…?

Various Thoughts on Being Human Conference

culture is the shared interpretation of information.
what if no one person exists
all aspects of the mind of god
all parts of the hologram that contains the whole in each
one aspect of the whole,
we surround ourselves with ‘people’ who are similar to us, who share the same worldview, who interpret the world in a similar way to us
what if there are no people, there is no one else
maybe the purpose is creativity, to create our world
i think therefore i am – i cannot be sure about you
how do i know that you really exist, that you share my world
that you are not just in my mind
a trick, an illusion
how do i know if i see you as you really are
or is what i see only a projection, my interpretation of the information of you

gravity…electromagnetic fields…abnormal

gravity…interesting way to put it. is there really a force that can pull you toward someone, like if you feel drawn to someone or something? actually that’s not a good analogy since gravity is a weak force, but what about a magnet? can we subconsciously detect other people’s electromagnetic fields? Auras?

Why is it that when we find people who experience the world differently, everyone is so quick to label them as being in some way abnormal, and call it a disease or disorder?

sometimes I wish I didn’t love you

because then

being away from you

wouldn’t hurt so much