Blogging In The Beginning:
There was one ranking system. Rankings weren’t based on SEO, keywords, or anything like that, but strictly on how many people read your blog.
Blogging was new. The first blog post was written in 1997–seven years before I began mine.
“The Facebook” began in 2004 but was only open to college students in selected colleges. Twitter was a twinkle in Jack Dorsey’s eye. Social media didn’t exist in its present form when I an “older” blogger began. I’m proud I had the nerve to do something so different.
Blogging was exciting. Blogging was like writing while walking on a high wire without a net. If you know me you know that’s impossible. Yet…..
Courting Destiny was #2,540 out of 55 million or 60 million. Ok it was a long time ago but damn that was exciting. My “A” rating lasted a long time.
Learning About NLD
I had no idea that I was about to set off on the journey of my lifetime, as I hadn’t yet learned about nonverbal learning disorder/disability (NLD, NVLD.
A friend who was writing a book about learning disorders called that June, to say that he had spoken to somebody about NLD, and she sounded a lot like me. He gave me her number…..
I spoke to her. Then I went to the psychiatrist who had refused me to give me an Asperger’s diagnosis in the 1990s though I thought I begged nicely. He had said that it didn’t fit me at all.
I asked why he never told me about NLD though it was so obviously The Diagnosis.
He told me there were several reasons that he never told me though I definitely had NLD; my verbal scores were much higher than my nonverbal scores to put it simply.
But I was doing so well!
Very little seemed to be known about NLD. I don’t have the socialization problems often associated with NLD, (though I can be socially anxious there’s a difference, he said.)
My psychiatrist thought that I was insightful, could easily see the big picture but seem to love to become mired in details. There were many other reasons why I had NLD and why he thought it shouldn’t make a difference in my life. I wish he had told me about NLD as knowing about it should have been my choice.
Wrongly Revisiting My Life
I read the little I could find on NLD. My parents were dead but I remembered my childhood–and had family and friends who knew me through every life stage. My childhood friends claimed that I was a leader–I did make up all the games my then best friend and I played. They either involved Nancy Drew or the Kennedy family–we loved them passionately.
Much of Courting is about my life in my 20s and 30s. I loved that stage of my life as I loved my childhood and my late teens. Actually I passionately love life. Even when I hate it I know there’s no place I would rather be than on earth.
I knew what I had accomplished with my life and vehemently disagreed with “the experts” who talked about adults with undiagnosed NLD.
We were supposed to be suicidal (either have “big” suicidal ideations, try it or die by suicide–I knew that was the last thing I was,) or we were supposed to “end up institutionalized.” And we weren’t supposed to have achieved success in life. Really? Then what was this blog?
Why did I get several managerial promotions when people with NLD weren’t supposed to read people well enough to be a manager? I was known at both computerized litigation companies that I worked at for being exceptionally good at managing. Was my life a lie? Had I only imagined the good?
Instead of staying in Manhattan and learning all I could about NLD I ran. But I looked and looked for help in the city. NLD help didn’t exist. Later I realized that my friends and family were valuable resources. Some of my best friends ever were my former supervisors and/or managers. They could tell me truth.
I should have gone to every hospital, every graduate school of psychology, and social work and asked for help in establishing a program for adult NLD. We’re not supposed to have life regrets. I don’t believe that.
Leaving New York
In 2008, I bought a house in a place that hadn’t ever been on my radar. But friends I originally knew from NY had a townhouse in North Myrtle Beach and it looked so darn pretty. Still is, but growing faster than a weed between my pavers.
I knew I was a spatial and physical organizational zilch. Strangely I made the house work. Though the original renovation oh god the original renovation. I didn’t even know that you’re supposed to level land prior to putting something on it or that when you’re putting tile where once was carpet you’re not supposed to put insulation under the tile. Little big things like that. Slowly I learned.
Ten Years Later
I spent much of 2019 renovating. Some renovating was left for “next year.” The work begins Monday. The worst of the old renovation was redone two years ago and this years work shouldn’t take six months or more. (I’ve blocked it out.) The 2019 renovation allowed me to process something that changed my life.
I very accidentally found my birth father in September, 2018 as we were waiting to evacuate for Hurricane Florence,. My birth mother’s name was Florence, and I always thought of her as a hurricane so it was fitting.
I am writing a book about my new reality as everything I had thought was real about my birth father was wrong. My birth mother became more complex to me and consequently more interesting.
I found out I have great DNA. Instead of wondering if I will die in my 70s, I have to prepare for a possibly long and healthy life! I am unduly excited about that.
I was getting everything together. Then 2020, the year all of us will remember forever, happened.
I live alone and took Covid more seriously than many in the South. It was an interesting year. I didn’t get that much done. My house and I survived, better for the wear, I think. That’s enough. Facebook became a great place to complain on!
A Very Quick Primer On How Blogging Has Changed
Creativity and quirkiness are no longer encouraged in blogging. That’s sad.
It’s easier to monetize a blog if you write about one subject. People, often, find a subject they think will sell. Then they expect to make much money. Some do.
Everyone’s an expert on their subject whether or not they have a background in it. People give advice and others take that advice.
So I Should Be An Advice Blogger
I have a degree, work and life experience, that makes me qualified to give advice; but my inner “something’s not right about this,” comes out, and I hesitate to put my expertise out there.
I wrote about NLD from the perspective of someone who is living with it–because I am. I comment on NLD groups, and answer from that perspective. I believe that everyone is an expert–even if they don’t yet realize it–on themselves.
I should be an expert on older age as that’s what I studied in grad school and worked in. People say that when we retire, for example, we’re supposed to put ourselves out there, be with as many people as possible, do as many in person activities as we can, or we will wither, become demented and die. Probably not quickly.
We now know that it helps to have many solitary activities–counter advice to all the advice we were always given. The NY Times is filled with articles on always living a less pressured life.
I always admired the woman in the nursing home who sat in the doorframe of her room, refused to take part in activities that were at a Kindergarten level, and do other things the nursing home admin thought she should. Instead she observed people and would tell me fascinating stories about staff, residents and visitors. I was supposed to write her up harshly. I refused.
Retirement bloggers found ways to get around their original advice so they didn’t look like idiots. No two people live the same exact life, with the same dreams and goals. We are learning what works for us, and hopefully will work for us in the future.
I wrote about NLD from the perspective of someone who is living with it–because I am. I comment on NLD groups, and answer from the perspective as I truly believe that everyone is an expert–even if they don’t yet realize it–on themselves.
Rena McDaniel, blogging wizard and friend,sent an email or Facebook message with ways to see old posts as they were then (old blog templates, yeah!) I looked up my blog. Suddenly I remembered that once I thought my blog was something special. Sometimes I still do.
Thanks Rena for making me remember!