Every now and again, you come to situations that seem bad at the time, but are actually very good in the end (or even immediately)! I seem to have quite a knack for positivizing a situation and seeing a blessing in disguise. I have some from very recently, some from a while back, and some from way back that I’d like to share.
This week: Bed bugs.
As I posted on Monday, my room had bed bugs, and the exterminator came to deal with them. My room was insufficiently tidied up, so when I got home on Thursday, my items were all strewn around. Obviously, I was planning to do some room cleaning and re-arranging in the near future, but this situation was a blessing in disguise in that I now have to pick up lest I trip over something! This picture doesn’t fully do justice to the disarray in the room immediately after the extermination. Thursday: Deletion of optional activity (i.e. Bed Bugs part 0).
Well, this partially has to do with the previous bullet point, actually! I had gone to Hillel to bake for Challah For Hunger, and was done at 17:30. I had the option to go to Seabury for SPG Improv open practice, but thought that I wouldn’t have enough time for dinner if I chose that, so therefore I just returned home. A good idea, since I had to have my bike and clothes decontaminated. This took a while of heat treatment, as I had to sit in this weird white suit in the basement. I would have missed the start of the movie “The United States of Autism” if I had gone to SPG!July 28, 2011. Unique experience.
This, of course, was the Masada injury. I realized that I couldn’t let a small injury derail my whole trip. Even though I didn’t get to go to the Dead Sea, I found it to be very adventurous to go to an Israeli doctor clinic and also an Israeli hospital. I positivized it as saying that I was the only one to go to Be’er Sheva. Furthermore, it seemed that the people on the bus took that to be able to understand me better. Sometimes adversity brings out the true character of a person!
July 20, 2006. A fortune cookie tells the truth.
This was a Thursday, and for the previous few weeks, I had been working on some toy problems with field tip emission in the physics lab. At that point, I was in over my head. I went to lunch with my adviser and a few of his graduate students, and I got Imperial Palace at the Union. My fortune cookie read, “You will soon pass a difficult test that will make you happier” or something like that.
A few hours later, when my adviser came to the lab to check in on my progress, he saw I was still struggling, and after showing me what he may have been looking for, he invited me to his office, with the four-word sentence of DOOM:
“We need to talk.”
Indeed, in that meeting, he essentially gave me the option to resign, claiming that I was in over my head. Although I took it a little hard immediately (though not lashing out, as I am not confrontational), after going home and talking with Mom and Dad about it, they agreed that this was best for both parties, and that it’s one of those situations when it was “wrong-place-wrong-time.”
Indeed, if I hadn’t resigned from the lab, I may have never discovered working in the Math Resource Center! Whenever one door closes, there is another one opening (or already open) somewhere!
Sometime in 1993 or 1994. The Asperger diagnosis.
When I was younger than 6, my signs of Asperger syndrome, such as repetitive obsession, nonverbal tendency, and frustration with inability to communicate, were obvious to my parents. Clearly, I had no control over them, but it did not hamper my actual internalization of facts and such. When we went to Des Moines and later found out that was the diagnosis, it was a blessing (maybe not even disguised!) as it seems that my therapy through school counselors was twofold:
(a) To help me mainstream into social situations. I learnt about idioms and figurative language, how to recognize nonverbal cues (i.e. body language), and how to express myself and make friends and acquaintances.
(b) Though this wasn’t explicitly done, I think that since no “heavy artillery” was used on me (i.e. major psychotherapy or any sort of medication), Mom and Dad weren’t looking for any sort of cure, but instead looking for how I could change a supposed liability into an asset.
In some ways, I think that my Asperger syndrome makes me more positive. Of course, you can’t change one thing without potentially changing everything else, but it is certainly interesting to think about. You should always recognize quirks or situations that may seem weird or negative, but are actually blessings in disguise!
Today is the twenty-fifth day of M.A.P.L.E. That makes three weeks and four days.