Sunday, November 13, 2011

An Outlier in the Single World

At some point recently I stumbled across a ministry called Boundless which is a young adults' ministry run by Focus on the Family. It has articles both for people in the Symbio and Rock demographics.  A lot of the articles are about dating and preparing for marriage. Luckily there are also articles on college and career choices as well. 

When skimming the site, I realized that I'm probably an outlier when it comes to the single world. 
On this graph, I'd probably be in one of the end (light purple arrowed) categories. Boundless and even Symbio are probably geared toward the average and out to 1 standard deviation (within the orange arrows). Average being the average person in their mid 20's - mid 30's. Meaning, probably the average person has 4-5 years of post-secondary education, has had in 3-5 years of Summitview or church ministry involvement, and stands I'd say about a 70% chance of getting married before age 35. 

Going by those statistics, I'd fall within 1 standard deviation. 

But if the statistics were this: Average Symbio female has desired dating or DWAPing for 3-5 years, hopes to marry within 2 years of joining Symbio, and 30% have been in a previous relationship, than I'd be more of an outlier. If the statistics for both male and female were: 90% of the population has frequently prayed for a spouse within the past 6 months, than I'd DEFINITELY be an outlier. 

*Note, these statistics were completely made up without me doing a formal study haha.*

In the Rock I had liked guys and wanted to get married, but that's not my reality now. Over half of articles for single people are about how to deal with life when you really really really want to get married but it hasn't happened yet. I've found one article about a person consciously choosing singleness. It sort of bounced around which was a little difficult, but it was decent. 

I think I've finally settled that for now I've chosen singleness and honestly is really is because I'm on the autism spectrum. It's not because I feel less worthy than my neurotypical peers, but because I honestly don't think I could handle dealing with another person's emotions 24/7. Was seeing Dr. Grandin's path of life right after I got diagnosed a factor? Yup. But it wasn't the only factor. I've been thinking about it a lot. 

So going back to the outlier thing, what am I to do when I realize that ministries like Boundless and to a lesser extent Symbio is geared toward the average population? One thing I remember is God does not treat me as if I'm outside of the statistical norm. He works with everyone individually - those within the average and those on the far sides of the bell curve. And the statistical norm isn't inherently better. It's just what it is. I have to remember that. 

And finally, maybe I can find some other outlying friends, which I actually have. There are other people who are content with being single and aren't planning on getting married any time soon or agonizing over it. We can support each other and see how God wants us to work with and fit in to the rest of our local church family. 

Monday, November 07, 2011

Nerds of Greatness

So today Google had this drawing of Marie Curie on their homepage.
One of my aunts told me about her. I think it was in a conversation about the Nobel Prize.  I had said something about the Nobel prize of medicine. 
Anyway I read up on Marie Curie.  She didn't become a fixation,  but I still thought she was cool. Other scientists I thought were cool were Stephen Hawking,  Ben Carson ( neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine), and yes Bill Nye the Science Guy. 

Throughout my childhood Helen Keller was still the main famous intellectual I looked up to.

With my current fixation still being Dr. Grandin,  I realized a trend as I looked back: most of my  childhood heroes were not celebrites or athletes. Rather they were nerds of greatness. I guess that makes sense for a girl who slept with science books under her pillow for a while.  

Having nerdy role-models made me feel better about my intense interest in science and medicine related topics. When I got teased at school my list of nerds of greatness made me feel less alone.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Passing on Musical Memories

In an earlier blog post  I wrote about my connection to music as a child. Today I had yet another cool realization. One of my clients really likes Elvis. 
Technically Elvis is one of his special interests. I'd say it's his main special interest.We as staff motivate him by talking about doing stuff like Elvis. This client named the group home van Elvis. A while back he got a DVD box set of about 10 DVDs on Elvis' life and footage of live concerts and recording sessions. We watched those all day today. 

An older co-worker told me that Elvis covered a lot of old songs because I recognized some of the songs from the radio when I was a kid and Mom would listen to oldies. He covered Simon and Garfunkel's Bridge over Troubled Water and "Sweet Caroline." He was basically a cover-artist who knew how to shake it. 

Those songs brought back memories of listening to old records on Mom's old record player and later on tapes. I remember Mom actually would sing "Sweet Caroline" to me. I guess I really liked it when I first heard it. She may have even sang "Bridge over Troubled Water" to me. Those two songs may have been really soothing. 

As I was cleaning up the breakfast dishes in the kitchen today I found myself singing those songs as they had been played on the Elvis documentary. Suddenly I realized my client was singing along as much as he could. He was on the stairs trying to dance like Elvis while singing. He had a really big grin on his face. 

Suddenly I realized that God was giving me an opportunity to re live my childhood memory of singing the oldies with my mom. It was a neat feeling - I guess what some would call touching - that here I was a grown up in a caregiver role singing these same songs that I enjoyed as a child to another person for his benefit. I think it's cool how God can use stuff like music - sometimes the exact songs I enjoyed to pass on those good memories on.