Not gonna blow my first blog post ever


Hello,

First of all, I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing. It’s not my intention to get a million hits here or become famous or have my face on the side of a bus or any other vehicle. I’m doing this, as they say, for love of the game. I’m doing it because I enjoy writing and I’d like to give back somehow. Right now I’m not even sure what this blog is going to be “about.”

So, I figured I’d start with the subject that’s been on my mind most as of late, and see where it goes.

One of the things I keep running into is being “different” as a woman. I walk an unconventional road, either by my own choice or the peculiar set of circumstances that has been my life. First of all, they think I have Asperger syndrome, and being in a world full of non-AS types can be like walking through a minefield. I’m not married and may never marry; who knows. I don’t have kids, I don’t like Jane Austen (not enough helicopters exploding), I don’t like getting my nails done, I’d rather work in a warehouse than at a front desk, would rather chase wild boars through thick undergrowth than sit by a pool reading Sophie Kinsella.

Does any of this make me bad? No. It makes me different.

So, it was always a challenge for me to find appropriate female role models. My mom, bless her, is one of the most patient types I know, but always found herself perplexed by this strange person with XX chromosomes calling herself a daughter.

The ones I did have, those few, were, if nothing else, unconventional. My favorite high school teacher was as plain as she was smart…and I still thank her for instilling in me a love of history. She wore her hair short in a no-nonsense $7 haircut and spent more money on books than clothes. She is also still happily married and is one of the most content people I know.

As I got older, the role models were fewer, noticeably the female ones. I showed a kind of aloof scorn for any kind of female gathering, whether a girls’ night out or a Bible study. I was suspicious. I stayed firmly on the perimeter of such things, an outcast of either my own choosing or theirs. I despised my gender, And then, recently, something wonderful happened.

I started meeting others like me, who happened to be women. God was showing his strange sense of humor. And that’s usually a way to get my attention: through irony.

To protect their privacy, I will refer to these women through pseudonyms and not refer to their true identities and locations. If they read this, they will know who they are.

Two of them I met in the most unlikely place of all to find spiritual guidance: the fandom of a show that’s been off the air almost 25 years. I have, and always will have, a strong need for fantasy as a refuge, an escape from all the bombardment on my senses that is the Real World. Like fashion, every few years or so I might change it, inexplicably and suddenly.

2008 was one of those changes. I was in a new fandom…the first I’d taken “serious” participation in since my rather lengthy foray into the world of Xena: Warrior Princess in the late 90s to early 00s. This fandom, The A-Team, I was rather surprised to discover was largely female. The show itself, of course, was and is a love song to red-blooded American masculinity. It was all the things I wished I could be doing. So how did I come across these women, who have made such a difference in my life?

I have really no other guess other than God trying to answer, in that roundabout, ironic way, a prayer I’ve had for a number of years. How in the world could I, as a nontraditional, anti-establishment, rebellious woman, possibly find favor with him? Did he see me as valuable? Why were none of the others like me? I’ve found my answer.

The first woman, “Abigail,” was once a professional in another field who gave that up to be a missionary abroad. She is always so modest about what she does, but I admire her immensely. She, like me, is single and has never married. She literally works and lives in one of the more dangerous parts of the world  so that she might do God’s work. She could be making loads of money and prestige working in her field back in America. But she doesn’t. She is a role model for me, not just “when the purple wobblies start to wobble.” If this really were The A-Team, she might very well be its Hannibal Smith, a natural leader with plenty of courage to spare.

Woman #2 has also become my friend, in a relatively short period of time. She is more a B.A. Baracus type…strong, working in a very physical position, no-nonsense and plain-spoken. “Toni” is the one I’ve never actually met, but who has been a wise, kind voice of reason and also brought me back to a relationship with God for the first time in a long time. She is older than I am, as is Abigail, and I’ve come to think of both of them as almost-sisters.  She sees my potential and tells me to “shut up, fool!” when I really need it.

And then there’s “Rose,” whom I’ve actually known the longest, and has been more counselor than friend, although I’m proud to call her my friend. She is the elder statesman of this group; older in fact than my parents. I come to her with my problems week in and week out. I pay her to listen to me. Then again, we’ve developed a close friendship and mutual understanding. She plays the “Faceman” (or Facewoman) to my wild, crazy Murdock, always asking questions and pulling me closer back down to earth for an hour or so.

There are others. There is “Tina” whom I’ve only recently met, “Mimi” who always encouraged my zany side and was unafraid to laugh out loud with me, “Marilyn” who saw my limitations not as weakness, but as potential strength…

I have no doubt now that God brought all of them to me…or me to them. He was whispering in my ear all this time, and I was too stubborn or too busy to even notice.

So maybe I do know what I’m writing about. I’m writing about all the things I’ve wanted to and needed to say for a very long time, which is “Thank You.” It was Toni who mentioned to me that we sometimes don’t understand the impacts we have on the lives of others until much, much later after the fact. This is exactly one of those “oh, so NOW I get it” moments. I’ve had friends all along who are willing to help; the first step is just realizing they are there.

Now, if I can just start being a little more outgoing myself, we’ll see where it goes from there. If I can make it through a group meeting without crying or stimming or having an outright panic attack, there’s a start.

Just don’t ask me to the Jane Austen book discussion…I’ll be too busy watching the helicopters explode, OK?

~Heather (miz)

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~ by Howlin' Mad Heather on August 15, 2010.

2 Responses to “Not gonna blow my first blog post ever”

  1. I LOVE this!!! Heather, you did it. I am so proud of you, and I very much look forward to reading more of what you have to say in the wonderful ways you say it. You are a blessing.

  2. Great idea H….I know you’ve wanted to do this for awhile… I just wanted to give you a shout out from a woman who likes watching helicopters blow up while getting her nails done… And maybe after that, will go walk the invisible dog in her kimono:)

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