My Biggest Regret

I’ll be the first to admit I have a lot of regrets in my life, though most of them are quite small. If I had to do some things over again there are things I would absolutely change over the course of my life (who wouldn’t?) but most of these things only had minor and temporary effects on my life. Then you have the moderate regrets which have had lasting but not catastrophic effects on my life, but there is one life decision I made that has had a very negative impact on my life and I will take this negative impact with me to my grave.

So what’s my biggest regret in life? I have no hesitation on the answer to that question. My biggest regret is going to college (and later grad school). If I knew then what I know now, I would have skipped it altogether and not wasted six years of my life and taking on tens of thousands of dollars in debt that I will never be able to pay off.

Like most, I was brainwashed by the American K-12 system into thinking the only way you’re going to have any sort of a decent living is to go to college. To be totally fair, if I were to pursue an airline career it would have been beneficial, but not absolutely essential, to have a college degree. However, I was still in high school by the time I was shut out of that career so that’s neither here nor there. Alas, I went to college, got a bachelor’s degree and spent a year and a half teaching high school math before eventually moving 1,300 miles north to pursue what I was intending to be a DA (Doctor of Arts – a teaching doctorate as opposed to the research emphasis of a PhD).

Alas, that didn’t happen either. Due to some unfortunate home life circumstances as well as the grips of clinical depression and burnout taking a toll I petered out before even completing the MS and I wound up finishing that elsewhere at a no-name college. Of course, I had plenty of time to do so as well – I was unemployed for a period of nearly four years. Nobody wanted to give me a job. Even the lowest level jobs didn’t want me. It wasn’t until a long time friend of mine pulled some strings to get me into my current company that I had the slightest of hope that I’d be employed again and I had all but resigned myself into thinking I was destined for a life either in an institution or on the side of the street begging for change. Of course, if that had been my fate I wouldn’t be here to type this right now as I would have no doubt committed suicide rather than to live that way.

Alas, are my degrees really being used? The answer is absolutely NO. I’m not using my degrees at all. I could be doing what I am doing now with just a high school diploma and some technical training. I don’t have the pure, raw brain power to even think of ever being a P.E. so a low-level engineer is where I will cap out in this career path. If I did have that level of brain power, I would consider college a worthy investment, but I just do not.

So rewind 12.5 years ago, and I’m just about to graduate from high school. What would I do instead of going to college? That one’s an easy one: I’d take the money my parents had saved up for college and I’d invest it while starting out with a low-level job somewhere and being completely debt-free. I’d treat it as temporary and a way of biding my time to self-educate on how to start my own business. Then, when I was confident I could, I would have launched my own business. L&B could be a reality today if I hadn’t fucked my life up with college/grad school.

Now, none of this is to disparage college entirely. It can be a good choice if you have the brain power to be a scientist, engineer or doctor. I’m reluctant to say education is a good choice because it doesn’t pay, but teaching is a noble profession and if that’s your love then that’s what you should do even though you’ll be in debt forever. That said, for most of us? I think college is a bad deal. It costs too much, returns way too little on investment and the average person is worse off for going to college. This much is clear to me now.

So that’s why college is my biggest regret. There is no doubt that I’m much worse off financially and in overall life satisfaction because of it. I won’t say it’s totally ruined my life, but it’s probably the worst decision I ever made and it has had substantial and lasting negative effects on my life. Alas, as they say hindsight is 20/20 and I guess what’s done is done so there’s no purpose in just dwelling on it.

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Calling All “Inked Autists!”

So in my almost year and a half of blogging on WordPress I’m still a bit of an anomaly in that I’m an intersection of sets (using some math lingo here). I’ve seen plenty of autistic (or whatever term you prefer) bloggers, I’ve seen plenty of inked bloggers but I’ve yet to come across an autistic-intersect-inked subset.

I’m sure there are more of you out there, but I just get this feeling that subset is quite small. The reason? Until you get your first one it’s unknown territory and those of us who prefer to stick with safer, known and routine grounds it can be daunting. I know I was that way for nearly 29 years of my life. I was not quite 29 when I got my first tattoo and I had to have my arm twisted a bit before I decided to follow through with it.

Statistics would say there are definitely more. With whatever the estimated incidence of autism spectrum disorders is now and the ever increasing percentage of adults with tattoos (it’s now around 40% of the 18-40 crowd in the US). Nonetheless, it would stand to reason that I’m definitely a rare breed.

So are you an inked autist? Please share your experiences. How many tattoos do you have and where at? How old were you when you got your first tattoo? How did you deal with the anxiety of your first tattoo and how do you manage pain (if pain is one of your hypersensitivities) and/or the noise of a tattoo machine (if you’re somewhat misophonic).

 

 

Song Lyric Sunday 10/29/17 – Move Your Body

I’ll be the first to admit I never did, nor do I ever now, get invited to parties. Alas, that’s our theme for Song Lyric Sunday. Though I’m not a party animal myself, I always associated this song with dancing and just having a good time and this song was a huge party song in 1999 into the early 2000s.

However, I find a lot of people aren’t familiar with this song at all, though they are familiar with the group. This group was sort of a one-hit wonder in some parts of the world with their signature song, which has already been featured on SLS for the “colors” theme. That said, if you listen to this song, it shares most of the same elements as their instantly recognized hit.

So here then is “Move Your Body” by Italian electro-pop band Eiffel 65 (written by Domenico Capuano, Roberto Molinaro, Maurizio Lobina, Gianfranco Randone and Massimo Gabutti). I’m posting two versions of the song – one is the full version, and the other is the official video. Lo and behold, as with “Blue (Da Ba Dee)”, the video version is truncated, hence both.

Jump your mind mind
Jump your body move your mind
Move your mind mind
Jump your body body
Jump your mind mind
Jump your body move your mind
Move your mind mind
Jump your body move your

|: Move your body
Every everybody
Move your body
Come on now everybody
Move your body, move your body
Everybody come on now everybody : | (3x)

You want to move the world
Start with your body
Yo, come on you gotta start with something
If you want to move your mind
Just move your body
Move your mind, move your mind
It’s gonna cost you nothing
You want to move someone
Start with your body
Yo come on and try to move somebody
If you want to move alone
Then everybody will move along with you…

|: Move your body
Every everybody
Move your body
Come on now everybody
Move your body, move your body
Everybody come on now everybody : | (2x)

Jump your mind mind
Jump your body move your mind
Move your mind mind
Jump your body body
Jump your mind mind
Jump your body move your mind
Move your mind mind
Jump your body move your

You want to move the world
Start with your body
Yo, come on you gotta start with something
If you want to move your mind
Just move your body
Move your mind, move your mind
It’s gonna cost you nothing
You want to move someone
Start with your body
Yo come on and try to move somebody
If you want to move alone
Then everybody will move along with you…

|: Move your body
Every everybody
Move your body
Come on now everybody
Move your body, move your body
Everybody come on now everybody : | (3x)
Source: https://play.google.com/music/preview/Tskgygascbdy7pptdzxqa5jvluq?lyrics=1&utm_source=google&utm_medium=search&utm_campaign=lyrics&pcampaignid=kp-lyrics&u=0#

Definitely a fun song to just get up and, well, move your body to. Hope you enjoyed this one. Party on and keep moving your body! (Well, not so much me today; recovering from a rather large rib tattoo yesterday so I won’t be moving much myself, hah.)

Bell Tattoo Phase 1

So here we go; just got done with the first session of my bell tattoo. Here’s where we are right now:

belltattoobg

Obviously this is a work in progress as there will be color in it but as it is a rather large piece and quite a bit of trauma was done to the skin in this phase it had to be broken into two parts – which is A-OK with me. 90% of it wasn’t actually all that bad – nothing like what I had anticipated. The only part that really fucking sucked was the silhouette as I figured it would. That was some of the worst pain I’ve ever felt in my life. I was spitting out profanities left and right, screaming and I even had to pause about 2/3 of the way through it to walk around because I was getting light-headed.

I figured it really sucked for two reasons – 1) black fills are about the most painful thing due to the number of passes to get it that dark and 2) it was right on my ribcage. I mean, we’re talking pain level 4 on the tattoo pain chart.

Anyway, as far as phase 2 for the color, we’re setting our sights on black Friday. Stay tuned!

My Pre-Tattoo Routine 

I’m about an hour and a half away from starting my bell side piece so I figured I’d do a real-time post about my pre-tattoo routine to help me get in the zone. 

I start about an hour and a half before with a substantial, but not huge, protein-packed meal to help sustain me through the session and stave off hunger. You don’t want spikes and dips in your blood sugar as can be caused by the hormones that rage through your system during painful and stressful procedures – rather you want a steady source of fuel. It will make things less stressful and reduce the risk of passing out. 

After that, I go have a cigar to relax me and get me ready to go. Do what it is that calms your nerves beforehand. For me, it’s a light body cigar without any real nicotine kick. 

Also, hydrate with water. Avoid caffeinated drinks and alcohol prior to a session. Just water is your best option. 

And that’s it for me. That’s what I do and it works for me. What’s your pre-tattoo routine? 

Fall/Winter Tattoo Preview!

So for those who’ve been anxiously awaiting the preview after I alluded to it in my video blog, here’s the current sketch:

belltat

I decided to get a tattoo symbolic of my love of change bell ringing – one of my favorite hobbies (my British readers will know all about it). After the last two months of back-and-forth this is what the talented Jade drew up for me. I wanted some stained glass and a bell, but she took it to another level with the addition of the silhouette. That was fucking killer.

This will be going on the ribs as mentioned, which I am VERY nervous about. I’ve heard the ribs really fucking suck pain-wise, but I’ve heard other people claim the ribs aren’t nearly as bad as they’re reputed to be. I guess I’ll find out; if all goes well phase one will go down this weekend (black/gray) with the completion of the coloring to happen around a month later. This one will definitely be a two session tattoo and I’ll definitely be having some Vasocaine on hand if it just gets too shitty to cope with.

Wish me luck as I go under the needle again!

Song Lyric Sunday 10/22/17 – Please Be Happy

Peace. Such a difficult topic for me given my current life situation, but that’s our theme for Song Lyric Sunday. Well OK, I guess – I could go for the cliche songs but I’m sure they’ll be duplicated so I’ll go with this one instead, which is really appropriate given where I’m at right now.

Needless to say I don’t have peace in my life right now at all, and it’s getting harder and harder to be happy. It seems like for every small step I take forward I take two big leaps backwards. It gets harder by the day to “pick up the pieces” as it were and go forward, but I do long to have peace and happiness again soon, and I know so does every one around me (many of my IRL friends and family have even said the stress has changed me for the worse).

So with that, the song I am choosing is called “Please Be Happy.” This song played on my mix at work on Wednesday and the words made it almost seem like it was written for me and being sung to me. I know it wasn’t but that’s how it felt – the feeling was so strong it made me break down and cry right at my desk. So here’s the song, written and performed by Roland Orzabal (of TFF – though this is not a TFF song nor was it ever officially released).

Please be happy
Cause you know I cannot bear to see you in this state of melancholy, curled up in your chair
Please don’t worry
Cause the world won’t break apart as easy as the glass you dropped and smashed when You tried to climb the stair

There was a time, not long ago
You stood right by your window
And your arms were bended feather-like
To assure that you could fly

But these days it’s like a wave is breaking over you
Dragging you in with the undertow
If you lay among the graves you will see other ghosts
I still believe this love can grow

But these days it’s like a wave is breaking over you
Dragging you in with the undertow
If you lay among the graves you will see other ghosts

Please be happy
Cause you know I cannot bear to see you in this state of melancholy, curled up in your chair
Source: https://www.letras.com/roland-orzabal/please-be-happy/

Well there you have it. Probably not what Helen or anyone else had in mind for this theme, but it was the best I could do this week. Sorry to be such a Daniel Downer, but I really am trying to see the light at the end of the tunnel right now because I really do long for inner peace once again.