Mados is a species of fish, a virtual name inherited from when I created the blog years ago planning to use it to share underwater photos from snorkelling. I still love water, but my blog is not at all about fish*.
The stripey fellas are mados, stalking Bluey (the blue groper) around like a sticky underwater cloud
After its failed underwater photography mission, my blog went through different phases: workplace sociology, virtual freelance work skills development, entrepreneurship. Most were brief fads because I wasn’t genuinely interested in them, but invented them as utility justifications for writing a blog, when I really felt I ought to adult up and spend my time more usefully, like: find a job or freelance work.
More than anything, I’ve tried to use it as a tool to obtain skills or knowledge which I could be useful to try to solve my chronic employment/income problems. For a long time its purpose was to motivate myself to learn and practice skills that would empower me to work freelance online, such as:
- Acquire knowledge about how to start and run a small business
- Motivate myself to undertake freelance jobs, and make them more interesting by making them into analytical process studies or therapy
- Improve my English Writing Skills
- and force myself to put my head around extremely boring useful concepts like:
(I’ve long ago deleted the few posts I managed to write about the above shown types of topics, because I felt they sounded stilted and fake. Same with some of my early general business posts)
It was not a bad strategy. I did learn things about freelance work, improved my English writing skills (I think) and cured myself of Telephobia, but didn’t manage to build the fundament for succeeding as self-employed: motivation for writing product marketing content, superficial bulk articles, and other sellable freelancer services. Utility just isn’t a powerful enough engine for me.
Initially when I wrote about self-employment, I carefully filtered out my mental challenges. I either didn’t write anything personal at all, or I kept it superficial, jovial, mentioning only aspects that I thought were “business relevant”. My mental situation peaked out indirectly through my general employment situation and the challenges I was trying to work on (the reason I needed the utility focus), but otherwise my mental reality was largely muted in my writing; too weird to name, to nameless to describe.
Muted aspects included things like: how irrelevant details in the surroundings overwhelmed and invaded me, how I was thinking my way through social interactions trying to script like crazy, how it was often awkward and surreal to be around other people, how I struggled to grasp what was expected from me in conversations and to hear and understand what was being said while constantly trying to filter out all the irrelevant aspects of the surroundings that intruded, overwhelmed, distracted, startled, dominated with different meanings, tinted, fragmented situations that were supposed to be shared social realities. how conversations could be like surreal verbal carrousels.
Then I discovered the world of aspie blogs*** and found descriptions that were like conceptual mirrors, reflecting many of my mental challenges back to me, now with names on and a broad label stuck across it all: Asperger’s Syndrome**. The blog evolved into a research base and virtual identity that enabled me to safely explore, discuss, and later blog about, aspects of Asperger’s Syndrome****.
I combined freelance projects and employment with Asperger’s, now using my mental challenges as a lens instead of blocking them from the descriptions. Then I stepped back and took broader perspective: inspecting my family, social, , cognitive structure, organisation challenges, pets, books, and much more.
I could frame my blog as: my life as a late diagnosed mature woman with Asperger’s, but I don’t really like how it sounds like a personality template. There are many aspie blogs around running on a fairly similar idea: life with Asperger’s from an individual perspective. What can I contribute that hasn’t been said already?
Well, it doesn’t really matter. First of all I don’t need to justify being here: no one is forced to read my blog (as far as I know!), people can come and go as they please.
Second, every perspective is unique and contributes new information. While it has been a great help for me and very interesting to see some of my challenges and underlying traits seemingly reflected in the life experiences of others, no one is precisely like me or face the same life situation. Mirrors can be healing; a diversity of mirrors give perspective and breaks down stereotypes.
That was end of the current chapter of my blogging history.
* To make matter worse, mados means “cooking odoeur/smell” in my native language, although I didn’t think of that until a fellow Dane pointed it out.
** Technically it is now called ASD Level 1, but I hold on to the name Asperger’s to define it separately from severe autism (and yes I’m aware this is politically incorrect in the online autism community; that a lot of people take issue with the functioning labels and want to break down the distinctions. I see their arguments, that functioning levels fluctuate for each individual and vary across different life areas, so that “functioning level silos” aren’t appropriate. I find that policy (and most language-policing in general) very impractical. Sure functioning levels isn’t an accurate reflection of a person’s full set of abilities and disabilities, but the reality of people with essentially high functioning VS low functioning autism comes with totally different sets of options, expectations and life challenges to deal with)
*** Aspects of Aspergers was one of the first blogs that turned the proverbial light on for me, so I am forever grateful to it
**** although I was extremely reluctant to use the label and lingo for a long time (and still don’t feel perfectly at ease with it), and didn’t want to take it on in case it turned out to be wrong