Do What You Like, Not What Others Like

About a week and a half ago, I finally handed over the completed applications at the Social Security Office for my disability benefits. I feel no shame. It will be a long time before I find out if my information qualifies according to them, but I am glad I finally gave them the papers and had that long interview with them. Given my terrible job experiences and that last major blow a month ago, I really could care less what they think honestly. I know in my heart I qualify. Whether the system agrees is something that only matters in the sense that they have the power, but of course, I don’t trust them. And why should I? They wouldn’t give a shit about me unless I was diagnosed with bipolar earlier this year. Having Aspergers Syndrome isn’t good enough for them. And while there are plenty of #ActuallyAutistic advocates like me who would immediately call me a Aspie Supremacist for daring to refer to myself as that, I still don’t believe I am given a fair play. It is going to take a lot of people proving me wrong to change my mind. I have worked my ass off so nobody can say I am “entitled” and spoiled.

Anyway, one other thing I wanted to say in this post is about a new semi famous person who has inspired me to continue on the path I have been taking when it comes to being myself only. This person is Daniel Johnston. He is a musician with bipolar and schizophrenia who sings about his raw emotions and how he sees himself in the world he feels isolated from everyday. He is about as raw and non commercial as you can get. The most celebrated recordings from him are his most early recordings. These were literally just home cassettes he would use in a boombox to record himself singing folkish songs he wrote himself while playing the accompanied piano or occasionally organ with sheet music he also wrote himself. What I identify with most is his individuality and rejection of anything you would consider “normal” depending on what society expects from people. He has a song called “The Story Of An Artist” which details the lonely life of an artist who enjoys life for what it is and does what he enjoys, while everyone else puts him down for not getting a job or watching TV like regular people would. The overall message to quote an album review is “do what you like, not what others like”. In that same album (titled “Don’t Be Scared” and recorded in his mother’s basement in his early 20’s) there is a strange interlude called “And You Love It”. This is simply a recording of Daniel’s mother screaming at him for being a “lazy bum” and an “unprofitable servant” because he won’t tithe at church with his family, most likely because he either doesn’t have a job and/or he rightfully doesn’t believe in serving God by giving money to a product of organized religion (his family was ultra conservative and lived in Texas. Go figure). His mother clearly didn’t like what he did with his talents either, whether it be music or art, because it’s “profane”. This to me is no different than the expectations we get from society. It doesn’t matter whether it’s about religion or not. Often being creative and doing what you are good at AND enjoy isn’t good enough if it isn’t “a job” that you can instantly apply for on Indeed. Like retail. Like anything Business related. And even if you are a musician, you have to “play the game” and “make connections” within industry politics and then it’s just another humbling job. I don’t do that and from now on I’m sticking to that mentality. I thankfully am in a position where I don’t desperately need money to put food on the table. So I am following my own standards. Not the standards of society. That last retail job early this fall was the last straw. And one of these days, me and plenty of millennials with a disability and/or mental illness in the same position as me will change the standards of society and change the system.
PS I am so relieved I was able to make it to the polls this past Tuesday. The midterm election results went pretty well for us Blue Wavers. Democrats taking the House Of Representatives and with a few women taking seats as well. Trump to put it mildly is not happy.

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