I Can Be The Loneliest Place To Be - Or Not
The I in PIES is for intellectual attraction. It's not about your IQ or how you do in algebra. Even though it's intellectual, it's more about how interesting are you?
Remember, these things have to be measurable. How do you measure your intellectual attraction? Of all the PIES, this was my hardest to tackle, and it is still a work in progress. I am working on it in different arenas all at once.
When I first started doing PIES, I started off rating all my PIES to find which one I lacked the most. It was I. Hands down. I chalked it up to years of disease and disease modifying drugs. Allow me to reiterate: years.
As the years of illness and medications dragged on, my intellectual abilities took a nose dive. When I started getting better, I recognized I had a serious deficiency. I could hardly add two simple numbers together. As I learned about intellectual attraction and knew I needed the most work in this area, I also recognized it was going to have to start slow. I started by teaching myself how to play cribbage to learn how to add simple numbers. It worked! Not only have my basic math skills improved, I have also become more intellectually interesting because I have a card playing skill now. I'm not very good, but I'm good enough to enjoy the game.
Next, was my writing career. Even though there were stories that wanted to come out of me, my writing career had ground to a halt. It's been way too long since I pumped out a book. (I am getting so close with Power of Ketchup!) But, as my Lupus began to diminish, my brain started to feel as if it was turning back on. Not fast like a light switch. It was slow in development. And then, it felt stalled, as if it had come back as far as it could. I forced myself to both read and sit with pen and paper or laptop and simply jot down ideas.
I invested in a life coach. He talked me through some things and we created a game plan together. We decided to work on my ability to make decisions first. Not that I could make adequate decisions yet. I couldn't. I needed more brain function first. But, I needed to feel I had the right to make decisions for myself. I had lived in so much fear of Lupus harming me further, that I had become isolated. In isolation, I lost my sense of intellectual self. I lost my own God given rights to think. I battled this by focusing on the concept of self-determination. I looked it up, studied it, read up everything I could get my hands on it about it. I still am.
Self-determination includes things such as autonomy, self-respect, self-confidence, finding my own voice again, and most of all, giving myself permission to put words to paper again. That even if I created a total piece of crap literature, I could still give myself the permission to do it. After all, all first drafts are shit. Ask Brene Brown. First drafts should be shit.
How do I measure these things? PIES must be measurable. The first thing I set to measure was how much writing I did per day. I wrote that shitty first draft of The Power of Ketchup in a month and a half. I had it done just in time for Thanksgiving 2020. Then, I set it aside until after New Years 2021. When I picked it back up, it was terrible. I started rewrites.
Next, self-determination, I recorded how much reading I did per evening and any major decisions that had to be made, did I make them, and what process I used.
For finances, I unfortunately discovered that due to being sick for so long, the banks deemed my no longer living. Literally. I had no existing credit whatsoever, barely had an identify. You'd think that would be great, wouldn't you? To start with a clean slate? No. It was hell. But, I found some solutions.
I have discovered two very important lessons. First, an unexercised mind will lose power. However, it can be revived. Maybe not all the way, but it ain't dead yet. It's called neuroplasticity. It means connections in the brain can and do happen throughout life. This is why even an old human dog can learn new tricks.
Second, one way to measure how intellectually interesting I am is to see how interesting others find me, but more important is how interesting I find myself. In growing in my own intellectual attractiveness to myself, I have found I enjoy taking myself out for dinner once in a while in a crowded restaurant. In the company of others, it's great, but sometimes in the company of myself, it's even better. I can study people for character ideas. And people find me, sitting by myself, very fascinating. I've had people come up and ask me questions while I am sitting there taking character notes on the interactions I am observing.
Do others find me interesting? Apparently. How do I know? Well, you're reading this. And I do have friends and family with whom I often have deep conversations.
Not everyone has to like me. Nor should they. Nor should I like everyone else. I am not everyone's cup of tea. I need my tribe, and my tribe needs me.
Thanks for reading!
Humor In Chaos
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