1. Welcome to Autism Forums, a friendly forum to discuss Aspergers Syndrome, Autism, High Functioning Autism and related conditions.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Private Member only forums for more serious discussions that you may wish to not have guests or search engines access to.
    • Your very own blog. Write about anything you like on your own individual blog.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon! Please also check us out @ https://www.twitter.com/aspiescentral

Featured The World Is Not What I Expected

Discussion in 'Education and Employment' started by 2205, Jul 3, 2014.

  1. 2205

    2205 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    52
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2014
    Karma:
    +81
    I was a "smart kid", started reading and writing at 3-4. I was top of the class student for 12 years. Musically talented, I learned notation and basic music theory before school. Started writing songs at 8. Got maximum points at admissions to music college. I was one of the best at my course. Until the graduation.

    Lately I've started to realize that none of my knowledge, skills or contacts from university matter in real life. You wouldn't believe what different things in life I've been researching.. I guess there are very few things in the world I've not been obsessed about at some point. For a long time I thought I had problems with socializing, so I forced myself to network more, tried working in retail hoping that it would improve my social skills, but nothing ever seems to get better. But now facing the facts (I do have friends, I am able to do small talk when needed), maybe that's not the issue. I've gotten pretty far (in years) in life on my own, so I can't be that awkward socially.

    But somehow I have no job. I have no successful career in music. I have no home. I have no close relationships. I can't get a simple retail job because I am just not that kind of person who could smile to strangers all day long and do some mundane tasks at the same time.
    All of it just doesn't make sense to me. I wasn't prepared for this kind of life. I wasn't expecting that being the most talented kid in my class is not enough to earn a living as a grown-up. I wasn't expecting that having perfect understanding of music and of my instrument is not enough for being a successful musician.

    I have no idea what steps should I take to make use of my skills and knowledge so I could just make a living and have a normal social life and then maybe form some close relationships.


    The reason I'm in this aspie forum is because after reading a book about aspie girls, I could relate to it almost 100%. Being an aspie seems to be the only thing that explains my thoughts, feelings and life in general.
    And also, I could never speak to anyone in real life about these things. No one I know would understand.


    Maybe some of you could relate? Or maybe not.. Anyway, you can just share your thoughts that came up if you read this.
     
    • Like Like x 16
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  2. rollerskate

    rollerskate ร๏гค ɭย๓เภค V.I.P Member

    Messages:
    436
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2014
    Karma:
    +646
    You just told my life story. :) Welcome to the forum.

    I was reading by 3, and was always known as the smartest kid in school. Heck, even got official recognition as one of the smartest kids in the entire southeast. Thought I had it made. Didn't.

    I'm sure some life circumstances affected my failure, as well as some of my earlier attitudes. And of course Aspergers.

    My advice, although I can't say it's been exactly proven technique yet... Accept your Aspie handicaps and find a way to make your life work around them. Focus instead on changing the aspects you CAN change. I'm sure being Aspie hasn't been your only problem... It's also probably been things like attitude and life circumstances/the people that are in your life, etc.

    I know part of my problem when younger was expecting things to be a piece of cake due to how easily I succeeded in school. And if it wasn't easy or held my interest, I wouldn't bother. Part of learning to be more successful in the real world has been accepting just how much time and work goes into a lot of things in life and that a lot of times I'm going to have to force myself to keep going.

    Another problem was the people in my life weren't exactly positive influences, even though there were more of them then than now. So actually, NOT having a social life has been a blessing.

    I think there's a positive and negative to everything. It's my job to sit down and figure them out before I decide what I'm going to do with them.
     
    • Like Like x 10
  3. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    24,633
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2013
    Karma:
    +31,757
    Welcome to AC. Keep reading. You'll find most if not all of us Aspies can relate to your experience quite profoundly.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. I am that which I am

    I am that which I am Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    133
    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2014
    Karma:
    +118
    Hello and welcome,

    I can relate to a certain extent.

    Regarding your career as a musician I personally find it unfortunate that many of the more creative careers are dwindling, particularly in music. I had considered that when I was younger as well but never thought I would be good enough so I did not pursue that. Granted I have written many songs/poems and learned a few instruments. Now that I have little time to practice I do not feel I know those well anymore. Nevertheless I very much love music and am always listening to something or thinking about something. It seems quite difficult to live as a musician and it takes far more nowadays than perfect understanding of music and your instrument. Yes there is a great degree of networking and by some of the crap that is popular barely any musical talent (no offence to anyone, well mostly none). Just showbiz. It is quite sad actually both for the tallented musicians like yourself and those of us who enjoy something that requires talent, creativity and innovation, but I digress. During my university I met one student who had a BA in music but without any job prospects was forced to go into something else. She chose pharmacology and I met her in a related class. I know it really sucks now that you have gone through so much and worked so hard for it you realize that there is not much of a job market for it. It is still possible to break through, but it will probably take even more effort. I would also not like a retail job and found those quite exhausting, hence why I studied in neuroscience for a career in research. But that was just another thing that combined many of the things I loved and was obsessed with. It is up to you what you do, you can try to break through in music, perhaps do something that is related to music, or rethink a career ? For something related to music I gather you would no best. For the latter I personally looked at my many obsessions and interests and picked what fulfilled most of them but at the same time was more tailored for the aspie in me. I did consider going to med school for quite some time but decided that I would rather not have to deal with patients, so I picked research related to medicine.

    With regards to having few close relationships I always felt that I lacked those too. I was actually popular in high school (somehow!) but I found that most relationships were very superficial and actually felt more alone surrounded by friends than completely alone. So I gave up and stopped acting/putting on a mask (that is probably what made me popular). I did not benefit from people loving the mask but not knowing the actor. So I went into a bit of isolation and now am trying to just come out as being myself. I have forgotten who I am since I have been wearing a mask since I was young, but that is another issue. I find it easier to talk to aspies though. Perhaps try opening up a little to people in your life or try to find friends that will understand. This forum is great and as Judge said full of people that can relate to your experience and have gone through and come out of similar things. So feel free to browse around and you will make friends here as well.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Loomis

    Loomis Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    903
    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2012
    Karma:
    +809
    It is sad music talent is so difficult to use to make a living. You are fortunate to have exceptional talent although in your current situation I am sure it is little consolation. I hope you are able to work something out and come up with a marketable skill to pay the bills.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. 2205

    2205 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    52
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2014
    Karma:
    +81
    Thank you for the support! I'm so glad that you understand.

    Usually people (and myself too sometimes) tell that just deal with it. It's supposed to be hard to make it as a musician. Well, I know it is. It's just so frustrating to know that I have some certain skill to do a certain job but I can't because there's not enough pay and I have to spend so much extra energy to figure out what else could I do/learn to make ends meet. Like putting on a mask because the world is not accepting me as myself.

    It also might be the environment. There's not much music-scene in my town and in my country at all. So I'm really considering moving to a new place. I guess it won't be so difficult as it would be to some "normal" NT person, because I'm so used to feeling like a stranger anyway. I'm sure you're familiar with that feeling..
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. asnlifecoach

    asnlifecoach Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    128
    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2013
    Karma:
    +98
    Nothing worth doing in life is easy. Take what you are good at and make it work for you. Do whatever it takes. Do not waste time or energy trying to learn something you will be mediocre at or hate. Do what you love and do it the best you possibly can. There are ways to make money doing anything. Don't blame the world. Bend the world to your talents by doing what they tell you cannot be done. I know you can.

     
    • Like Like x 3
    • Winner Winner x 1
  8. robertwnielsen

    robertwnielsen Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    226
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2010
    Karma:
    +92

    I can sort of relate to what you're describing--in a way, it sounds a lot like my own life. I started reading at around age 4, and was always considered 'talented,' but my talents never really translated to the 'real world.' I started playing piano when I was a child because I had weak fingers (think of that Peanuts cartoon, where Lucy is challenging everybody to arm wrestle, and Schroeder says, "It may interest you to know that we pianists have very strong fingers." Of course, Lucy immediately challenges him, and Schroeder replies, "We pianists have to watch our fingers."), but then I found out I was actually (somewhat) good at it.

    But one thing I've rediscovered is my love of writing. First through fanfiction about my number one favorite TV series of all time, Airwolf, (Which shows you how old I am), then most recently through a manuscript called Armageddon's Clock, that I'm shopping to agents and publishers. In fact, it was feedback on my fan fiction that encouraged me to write something that I could actually publish. :)

    You're not alone, trust me! :)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Loomis

    Loomis Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    903
    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2012
    Karma:
    +809
    I do not agree. It is easy to say do what you love and make it work but there are times when that is bad advice. To take an extreme example, suppose what I am good at is playing basketball. If I am good enough to make it to the NBA as a pro I will make millions but how many people are in that category? And don't say teach basketball or become a youth counselor; that is changing the rules because I may be lousy with people.

    Music as a career is not unlike sports. If you are a violin player and good enough to play in a major symphony orchestra you will do just fine. I knew an NT violist with great social skills who was playing in a second rate orchestra. It was rough for him to just make a living. He just scraped by and lived on very little money. Eventually he saw it was a dead end and got his teaching certificate and made a career as a secondary orchestra teacher. This is not an option for an aspie. I have seen the incredible stress placed on secondary level orchestra teachers.

    I say all of this because my son has studied violin since he was three and is probably one of the 20 best youth violinists in his state. Is he good enough to get a seat in a major symphony? Maybe. He is beginning his college program in violin performance at a big 10 University with a great professor who thinks highly of his skills. But he has few options outside of being a violinist. I worry for his future.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2014
    • Like Like x 4
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. lark265

    lark265 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    12
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2013
    Karma:
    +15
    I guess accepting anything adverse that happens to a person in their life is difficult.......it has been extremely difficult to accept my Aspergers. Like other posters on this thread, I excelled at school and college and thus expected my future career life to be a breeze......because the implication is that college is preparing you for career life......and they imply to you at college that "If you do well here you will do well in your career." Not so with me.......and not so with other Aspies I'm sure.........sometimes I think what if I was born blind or lost my sight somehow......I know there would be a period of selfpity......how come of all the people in my (city, state, country....whatever) this happened to me!!? "It's just not fair!!" I hope that at some point I would come around and sort of accept things and carry on.....I might even be able to still have a good life......just like millions of blind people have..............I hope I can accept my Aspergers like that....but so far I haven't......I still strive to take jobs that require social adeptness......something definitely don't have......in theory, if/when I can accept my self, I might strive to get a job that would consider my Aspergers (like working with computers or something else in tech that lets me work relatively alone, with machines, not people).......I feel like I'm a long way from that though.........thanks everyone for posting here...........
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. xNIGHTPAINx

    xNIGHTPAINx Active Member

    Messages:
    47
    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2014
    Karma:
    +21
    It's so hard to deal with reality when we were all set up to fail by being constantly fed the lie that doing well in school and going to college was going to give you a good life. That all your hard work would be paid off with the perfect job and everything that came along with that dream.

    I feel so deceived. My life wasn't supposed to end up like this. Nearly 23, on my own. Can't hold down a job because of my anxiety. The job of my dreams turned out to be a complete nightmare that crushed all my hope and ambition. The artistic talent I used to trust in never seems to measure up. Even thinking about getting another job sends me into a full blown anxiety attack. I've been told my whole life that I needed to do something with my art or else I'm wasting it. But what? I'm terrible at finishing projects. Great at starting them. Great at giving up and getting overwhelmed.

    This isn't the life I wanted for myself. But this is what it's turned into.

    12 year old me would probably have broken down completely had she known this was what she had to look forward to.

    My fiancé is literally the only good thing in my life. He's the only reason I have to try and get better. I don't want him to be stuck with a pathetic person like me..
     
    • Like Like x 3
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  12. I am that which I am

    I am that which I am Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    133
    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2014
    Karma:
    +118
    Yes it is hard to sort through all of the lies and unfortunately dreams do not always come true. I guess we sometimes have to be more savvy and research what we plan on doing a lot more before investing so much of our energy into it. It is hard to keep going with anything after the bubble bursts and the dream is but an illusion. But we can always take it in stride and try to learn from it. Although I am not saying that is easy either. Especially when the bubble has been growing since childhood it can take a long time to get over.

    To 2205: Good luck and I really hope it works out for you.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Ereth

    Ereth Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,377
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2013
    Karma:
    +2,067
    I wouldn't say that this is a hundred percent true. Of course, we can't assume that we will use everything from school in the world at large, but it goes both ways. Don't give up. What you need right now is a plan for a day-to-day job while you pursue music in your spare time. I'm working two unpaid internships right now, but I've also got a gig as an editor for an independent game developer. You can make it work.
     
  14. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    24,633
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2013
    Karma:
    +31,757
    Even in the worst economic circumstances, you never know what unexpected opportunities that might come along. Life- and economics is inherently dynamic. Don't give up your dreams, but keep them in a proper perspective at all times. You might eventually get to where you want to go, but it's just not likely to be a linear path of success.

    Something I realized only with a great deal of time passing.
     
    • Like Like x 3
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. Tourist

    Tourist Active Member

    Messages:
    18
    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2014
    Karma:
    +14
    I can relate a lot to this. Upon entering high-school donned a mask. There was almost no people who knew me before, so I put a lot of effort and time into it and - voila, welcome the new, renown me. Though it did bring some issues: first one, it's not really me; second, I forgot who I was before; third, my grades dropped.
    It was fun while it was new, that is, it was fun acting normal. Learned a lot of things about people, but would rather read a book about it instead, if I could chose again. It wasn't worth it. None of it. Should have focused on my education.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  16. Thea

    Thea Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    161
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2014
    Karma:
    +106
    I understand this too. I was a poor student though. I didn't have any study skills, no real support at home, couldn't learn the way others did and had trouble paying attention. Some how I managed to stay in the middling bottom of the accelerated math class and pass 6th form/year 12. I bombed in 7th form/year 13. After that because I didn't have any passions/obsessions that could be translated into a job but I knew I liked music I started a degree in Commercial Music (Music Production/Songwriting). I got halfway through and started struggling so I cross-credited my music papers to my BA and majored in English which I've always been good at (adult reading age at 10). Unfortunately an adage I've come across and believe to be true, at least in regards to job prospects is that a BA stands for Bugger All (meaning nothing for those not familiar with the slang). Now I'm back at University doing Computer Science because it's really the only thing I might be proficient at that will get me a job. The only other options would be continuing to work in retail (and keeping the NT mask up which is tiring and soul crushing) or going into teaching (again, people). I find many of the skills you really need in life were never addressed in school. Also I find things like finding a place to live (e.g renting or flatting) to be overwhelming. No-one I know would understand this if I told them.
     
  17. Thea

    Thea Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    161
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2014
    Karma:
    +106
    We have the same Aspie score. Aspie twins! Lol
     
    • Like Like x 2
  18. I am that which I am

    I am that which I am Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    133
    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2014
    Karma:
    +118
    Ha Good eye. lol
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. DylanKP

    DylanKP Active Member

    Messages:
    16
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2014
    Karma:
    +7
    I understand as well. When I was in band, not only did I have a thorough understanding of my instrument (bass clarinet), but I could also play every other instrument on a professional level, except percussion. Then I turned sixteen I was incarcerated, and will be on parole 'till I'm 31. My dream was to be a band teacher, but parolees don't get to become teachers.
    Now I unload trucks for Meijer. Not a bad job by any means, but far short of something I'd consider a career.
     
  20. Tourist

    Tourist Active Member

    Messages:
    18
    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2014
    Karma:
    +14
    Hello Denmark. That is, if I'm not mistaken.