Thanks to youtube, I recently learned about a study by Arthur Aron (and others) that explores vulnerability and intimacy, and involved 36 questions that are supposed to help speed along intimacy between two strangers. I’m pretty bad at allowing myself to be vulnerable, so I like the idea of tools to help me along. And really, vulnerability with a bunch of internet strangers can actually be a lot easier than vulnerability with someone I already know. So I figured I would answer the questions here on my blog. Part practice at being vulnerable, and part all my lovely readers getting to know me. an autistic adult who likes to write. Now, these questions are intended to be done with a partner and some of them really reflect that, but I’ll just do my best answering them myself.
The questions come in three sets of 12 questions each, and I’m going to give each part it’s own post. So here we go with part one!
1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?
Ugh. I always feel really awkward having dinner guests. My house is always cluttered, I don’t have a proper dining room table, eating happens in the living room. But that’s not really the point of the question, I think. It’s about who I’d like to have a meal with. So taking out the “dinner guest” part of the deal, then… um… I don’t really know, actually.
I’m not super interested in dinner with famous people. I imagine that it would just be a performance on their part. So I’d want to dine with someone I could connect with. I don’t know who that would be, though.
2. Would you like to be famous? In what way?
Sort of. I want my blog to be more popular. When I started it, I had a fantasy of eventually reaching an audience of hundreds, or even thousands. I think being blog-famous(ish) would be pretty cool.
3. Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?
Not exactly. I used to – I would rehearse out exactly what I wanted to say – but that always went badly because no one else followed their script. Now, I never, ever call people on the phone just to chat. Of course, with the rise of texting it would not surprise me if talking on the phone just to chat is going by the wayside anyway. Right, so when I make a telephone call it’s because I have something to say to someone. Before I call take a notebook and write down all the points I want to make and all the major things I want to say. I also write down my phone number and, sometimes, Nee’s phone number as well. If I think I’ll need it, I’ll even write down my home address.
Every phone call gets it’s own reference sheet.
4. What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?
It would start with having gotten a good night’s sleep. I would wake up rested and ready to do stuff. I’d spend my day crafting and creating, maybe learning a new craft in the process. At some point towards the evening I would get to spend time with someone I am close to, complete with cuddles and conversation.
Only this is a really broad “perfect” day. It’s a day I could have every day and still feel really good. However, if we get more infrequent, I would want to include things like going to museums, seeing more of my friends, and connecting with new people. Those are things that are wonderful, but I always need recovery time from. I couldn’t do them every day.
5. When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?
Ooh. The closest I get to singing to other people is singing to my cat. Which I do a few times a week, I guess. To myself? umm…. eesh. Close to never, really. I really like singing in groups, not so much by myself.
6. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want?
I don’t think I can answer this one. I mean, my mind is housed in my brain, right? My mind ages because my brain ages. Only my brain is part of my body, so if my body is of a 30 year old, then my brain is of a 30 year old, and thus so is my mind. I’m sure someone will tell me I’m nitpicking this and that it’s supposed to be about outward appearance or something. However, I am who I am, I answer how I answer, and the answer you get is overly literal. You can blame autism if you want.
7. Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?
Honestly, I used to think I would eventually commit suicide and that was how I would go. Now that I’m on these antidepressants, I don’t so much think that anymore. I haven’t replaced it with any other thought on how I’ll die, though.
8. Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common.
We both enjoy crafty-type things.
We can both be very analytical.
We’re both terrible at remembering dates (holidays? anniversaries? birthdays? all terrible).
9. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
This is going to sound cliche, but I’m honestly really grateful about where I am right now. Sure, there are things I would improve if I could, but I’ve been with Nee 10 years, I’ve managed to control my depression and anxiety, I know I am autistic and can understand myself better, I am slowly pushing my comfort zones, and all of this is really wonderful. I’m not sure who I’m grateful too, exactly – it would include Nee, my psychiatrist, my horse riding instructor, the people who helped me find the aforementioned individuals, and probably others.
10. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?
I really wish I could have been properly diagnosed as a child. Growing up autistic when no one knows it is really awful. I wish my difficulties had been treated as actual, real challenges, rather than as personal, moral failings.
11. Take four minutes and tell your partner your life story in as much detail as possible.
Well, I’m doing this for all of you, so how about I give you a really quick run-down of my life so far? I was born and raised in Wisconsin, in an extremely conservative Christian family. I totally bought into all of it because I generally figured that if someone presented something to me as a fact, they must have strong evidence behind it. It took me a long time to learn that people don’t always work that way.
I went to a super conservative christian college, where I learned that I was REALLY not ready to be out and independent like that, until I got kicked out of college for self injurious behavior.
Then I lived on a sheep farm for about a year.
Then I went back to WI for a few weeks or so, before heading off to central PA. I lived in Gettysburg for about two years.
Then I went off to the Philly area, got together with Nee, and we’ve been together ever since. Sometime last year we reach the 10 year mark together!
12. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?
Oh, goodness. Um. The ability to drive on highways. Seriously, how do you do merging? It’s so awful!
And those are my answers to the first 12 questions! I would soooo love it if you answered any of these questions in the comments. Let me learn things about all of you lovely people who read my blog!
Continue to part II.
Continue to part III.