Hope you're having a nice start to your weekend! It's about 2:54 a.m. here PST at the time I'm working on my blog. We'll see what time it will be when I end! It's one of those nights when I just can't sleep and when I close my eyes, my mind just races. So lucky you, you get to see what my potluck blog of ramblings might bring you. Could be tasty!! Could be yucky. Let me know at the end! :-)
Unfortunately I'm alone all day tomorrow with the kids so I think I'll be running on fumes by the end of the weekend since I have lots of work to do as well. Next weekend I get two days with the kiddos by myself. John is doing Assistant Scoutmaster training. I love the boys but perhaps I can teach them how to list auctions and do website updates...
If you read my last blog post, From The Heart of Someone who has Loved and Lost and you read it from beginning to end, I'm sure you realized that it was an emotional and vulnerable blog for me to write. I appreciate those of you who made supportive comments and/or made it through the blog in one piece.
Any men out there read it from beginning to end or was it just women? (Yes, I'm calling you out, MEN! Raise your hand and go to my comments section and say "me... I'm a guy" if you read it. If you're so inclined, I'd even be interested to know what you think. You see, I worry that particular blog might scare guys away and so if you are a guy, I'd love to know if you read through it, what made you stay? I know I have guy readers but am curious to know if any men made it through that last blog... or perhaps if the title scared them away. Do it anonymously if you'd like but please, humor me. I'm truly interested to know the demographics of who reads which posts from beginning to end. Especially this one... THANKS!)
Here is the link to that last blog again:
Ready to try reading with me again? :-) This blog won't be that emotional, I promise. I can't guarantee it won't be full of tangents. I'm going to try again to write without editing so if you catch a typo or grammar mistake and it bugs you, I apologize.
When I put myself all out there for the world to see, I realize that there is risk involved on many levels. I believe in the good in people and assume that the kind of visitors that come across the Aspierations blog and stick around to read will be the kind of people that are also looking for positive in this world. I figure a bright bunch of really amazing people visit here. Where do you fit?
If you look at the title of my blogspot.com blog, it says,
"Aspierations - Come As You Are... Let Your Light Shine!"
Incidentally, for any newbies out there, welcome! I do know how to spell "aspirations" and it is not a mistake that I spelled it ASPIErations instead. I have Asperger's and an affectionate term for someone on the spectrum with Asperger's is often dubbed "Aspie". I know that most of you have caught the play on words but for those that didn't, I hope this helps!! :-)
Look up again. Then it says,
"Written by an Aspie mom with two kiddos on the spectrum, this blog promotes acceptance and empowerment for those on the autism spectrum, those with Asperger's Syndrome and the family and friends who support them."
When someone happens into my blog for the first time, it can be through a variety of channels. It may be a direct link to a specific blog I have written. Google picks up labels / keywords in blogs and often people will find me that way. They may also find me through links on a variety of other autism themed blogs. It could be through Twitter. It might be through Facebook. It could be a positive reference from another individual. Lots of options...
It could also be from someone searching for the name "Karen Krejcha" and seeing what pops up. (You don't need to do that. I can tell you that my Facebook page pops up, this blog, some various social networking sites I'm not very active with, a couple reunion sites that I am not active with, maybe some pages to do with bowling, maybe something to do with eBay or Count Your Beans and some bizarre "Karen Krejcha will move your corpuscles" among other things pages put up by some mystery fan over 13 years ago when I was bowling on tour. He/she, although it's GOT to be a he... although maybe not since a lot of women on tour had alternate preferences... may have even visited my blog recently. Shout out... I'm still curious to know who you are!)
However someone finds me and whatever blog topic I might be into for the day, if someone is interested in getting to know a little bit about me and my journey so far with autism / Asperger's, etc., it's not too difficult to do.
For those new here, I blog about a lot of different topics. One day it could be about my two sons, one day it could be about something that happened 25 years ago, one day it could be a funny anecdote, one day it could be something romantic, one day it could be about something deep and painful, one day it could be a list of resources to provide autism awareness and support, one day it could be somewhat random and nonsensical. I've done a poem, a blog with music videos... and more are to come!
Whatever it is, what I write comes from my heart. You get the good, the bad and the ugly... and one of my Aspierations friends out there once told me in his/her anonymous comment (feel free to verify gender... I know I have at least a dozen of you Anonymous friends & foes out there) that the good, the bad and the ugly was okay. Thank you for that, Anonymous (male or female?) Hey, it was good enough for Clint Eastwood...
Where am I going with this?
I just want to say that sometimes I put posts out there that are very special to me. They are topics that are of a sensitive nature and may include people in my present or past. I always do my best to show respect to the people I am talking about and I know that my Aspierations friends understand that and show respect as well when they make their comments. Occasionally someone will try to sneak something across the border into my comments that doesn't belong but it gets deported very quickly. If you run across one of these miscreants, rest assured, Charles Bronson, Clint Eastwood, Jackie Chan, Steven Segal and Arnold Schwarzenegger are on 'em. (See my September 14th blog, Aspierations Friends are Awesome + Clint vs. Arnold, Who Wins if you're scratching your head quizzically at my seemingly random references.)
It has been tough for me in the past 12 years to make in real life friends. I can talk to people and certainly carry on a conversation but I don't have the social opportunities like I used to for a variety of reasons, one of which is that I'm running a business from home with my husband and we're also taking care of our two sons who have a lot of stuff in their lives as well which requires our attention. John has some social outlets for him (scouting, blogging, genealogy, Facebook, politics, online games) but for me, except for the occasional autism support group meeting, blogging is pretty much my social contact with adults outside of business and notes back and forth with the boys' teachers.
As such, my blogging at Aspierations is very special to me. Although I roll out the red carpet and welcome you humbly into my domain (or tiger's lair as I prefer to visualize), I admittedly get nervous at times as to who is going to visit. Likely it isn't anyone I'm related to for varying odd reasons. Likely it isn't anyone that was a former friend or more. (If it is, these people aren't commenting.) Likely, it's people I would have never met or had contact with outside this blog.
Imagine your apartment or home being under constant "open house" mode. You never know who will visit and what he or she will think or say. I realize that every time I post a new blog, for some people out there, I am only as good as my most recent blog. I get that one chance to make a first impression. What if my birthfather or birthmother or someone else important to me visited for the first time and I was talking about something gross like when one kiddo has potty issues? Maybe I was being goofy or extra quirky? Would I get a second chance?
Some people will visit just that one and if it is not for them, they will go, never to come back again. I get that. I'm sure my writing is an acquired taste and does not resonate with everyone. (Of course the awesome people like YOU, you know what's up, right? :-D)
As I am trying to attract people who will come back again and again, I sometimes put pressure on myself to make each blog a really good one.
I think it comes from my sales / entrepreneur mentality. What I was thinking about this evening was that sometimes I don't have to make that sale. If this blog is to also be therapeutic, if it is to be about one coming as they are and letting their light shine, then I don't need to be always be adding lots of bells and whistles, right? I mean, sure, pictures help and graphics help spice things up and I'll continue to do that. Blogging in a style that appeals to an audience is different than writing a shopping list, a factual article or a technical manual.
Random picture... Just for fun. Ryan loved his 1st Birthday Cake!
Sometimes when you're here you'll see that sales side come out. In my experience, in order to move ahead in life towards dreams and goals you want to pursue, you have to be a salesperson. Just think about when you're starting a relationship what those first few dates are like. If you like the person, not only do you to have to sell yourself in a positive, attractive, non-smothering way but you have to show him/her that your features are of benefit to them and along the way, you need to figure out if their features are of benefit to you. And of course... if you talk to someone you have romantic interest in, you better not use "feature" or "benefit" out loud in the date unless you're WAY down the road and are talking about making some sort of purchase together.
When I used to bowl professionally, it was easier for me to talk with people. I'd participate in these Pro-Ams on the Ladies Pro Bowlers Tour (LPBT / WPBT or WPBA depending on the year) where people would pay to bowl with the pros for 3 games. These mini tournaments would happen a day or two before the main tournament in each tour stop and it was a way for amateurs to get to know the pros and for the pros to be positive ambassadors for the game. Amateurs could also win prizes when they added their scores up with the pros so naturally, the pro would want to do well for each person.
Each game, we'd be assigned to either one lane or one pair and although we hoped to bowl well for our amateur teammates, it was also our job to get to know them, give them a positive experience and encourage them to stick around and support women's professional bowling. You'd think for an Aspie or someone who admits to having trouble making friends and keeping committed relationships that this type of social experience would be really nerve-wracking. For me, it was actually one of the easiest parts of being on tour, except of course if I didn't bowl well for them. Then it was a bit embarrassing but I would try and laugh it off with them.
Bowling was something I had been doing since I was about 4 and it was something I knew and was comfortable with. With pro-ams, you already had an audience or group of people coming to see you so it was instant acceptance. It was always so bizarre giving autographs and posing for pictures but it didn't freak me out. With kids it was wonderful! They were my favorites, by far! One of the funniest things to me was when gals or guys that I KNEW 100% would have NEVER had anything to do with me in high school or probably even college would attend these Pro-Ams and be all excited and enthusiastic and sometimes a bit "star-struck" (even though I certainly wasn't a star). Sometimes for fun, I'd go out to eat or socialize with various pro-am participants. I enjoy watching people and learn how to adapt and mimic very quickly so I never had a problem "fitting in" during these types of events. Occasionally I'd have trouble reading intentions and remembering that if I smile at a guy even though I think I'm doing it to be nice or friendly, he may be reading it very differently. I have had problems with that for decades!
Now get me off the lanes after competing in the actual tournament (the one for money and not the pro-am) and it would be different. I was much more into my shell again. Mask off...
Often the whole tour experience reminded me of acting and being up on stage. I had a little stage fright but not too much. Acting and competing had a lot of similarities. Generally I'd have more stage fright when years later after the musical or tournament was over, I would dream it was time to go out on stage or out to compete again and I had forgotten my lines, my equipment or occasionally even my clothes! Don't you just love those naked in public dreams? Oops, I just happened to be going out to perform in this big tournament or act in this performance on stage and golly gee, I forgot to get dressed! Silly me! (I know other people have had these type of dreams so if you're shaking your head no like I'm the only one and I'm crazy, well PFFFFFFFTTTT to you. Just watch, it will happen to you tonight. Kidding!)
As I said above, it has been tough for me in the past 12 years to make in real life friends. If you read my last blog, you'll see that it has even been difficult for me to keep relationships with relatives and past significant people in my life despite best intentions.
You know, that's embarrassing for me to say but it's true. As such, oftentimes, I feel lonely. Don't get me wrong, I have lots of love for my family but every once in awhile I crave deeper connections. So many of you Aspierations readers have told me you have a strong network of family and friends and when you say that, I'm truly happy for you. I don't know what that feels like but it sounds magnificent.
When I call you gals and guys, "Aspierations friends", it is with affection and appreciation for the time that you have taken from your day to spend here reading the writings of someone you have never met and likely never will given the geographic locations people are visiting from.
If you happened to read that last blog of mine, the one that any of you men who read will soon be admitting to because you're real sweethearts and want to humor me, you might have noticed a bunch of comments in the comments section.
Someone posted recently a barrage of very mean and personally hurtful comments that crossed WAY over the line and attacked not only me, but my husband, my first boyfriend and his family, my children, my parents and my birthparents. As with all the rude and mean comments lately, I've tried to pursue the high road and just delete. I've tried to ignore. I've tried to forget. These comments... well, they were beyond bullying and I didn't notice them until they had been posted for many hours. I just wanted to say that if you happened to read any of these comments, they were very embarrassing to me and shameful and I hope you will not judge me by the things that some people may choose to say.
I try really hard in this life not to create enemies and although I think most people who have met me would say that I'm nice, I also have this tendency to attract a dark element and it started when I was younger than one might guess. If you knew all my stories, you would say it is a very statistically improbable dark element... I have spent much of my adult life and about 5 seasons of watching "Criminal Minds" among other things trying to figure it out and to see if there is something about my personality or the way I talk or write or carry myself that is a magnet to people who would want to hurt me. I do know I've got a magnet for quirky, analytical or slightly eccentric people but I find these peeps super cool, wonderful, amazing, beautiful, strong and sexy human beings with their own flair for life and their own way of doing stuff.
If I were to play a character on TV, it would likely be some sort of cross between Abby Sciuto in NCIS and Penelope Garcia in Criminal Minds. These smart and charismatic ladies are both stand-outs for their uniqueness and quirky traits and despite them not fitting into Hollywood's size 0 - 2 cookie cutter model for what they think is beautiful, they are actually some of the most popular and well-loved characters on TV. Of course I wouldn't mind a role like beautiful and smart ladies Stefanie Powers or Stephanie Zimbalist had either. (If you can figure out which characters I'm talking about, post in the comments section and you get 25 bonus points.)
My mind is starting to drift and so maybe it's time to try closing my eyes again and counting tigers. (I find sheep baaaaaaaad to try falling asleep to, how about you?)
Tonight you have reached the end of Karen's Potluck blog. I had hoped to be done sooner. Perhaps you would have hoped for that as well!
Feel free to say hi, say something nonsensical, share something insightful or let me know if you're a guy who made it all the way through this blog and my last blog. I want to see which gender sticks with me more. Over the years, I would say it's the men but there have been some uber cool and bright women here at Aspierations who are followers so, let us see which gender feels like giving a shout out.
By the way, what's your definition of a super cool woman? Men and women, I want to know!
Until next time, my awesome Aspierations amigos!