Lists make us feel better. They tell us what to buy at the market, what to do in a day, what order to play songs for an audience, and in the case of successful people, provide long-term goals and remain on an individual -in a wallet or dresser-drawer -serving as a map for what measurements should hold true.
I had such a list; two, actually. One contains what I want in life, areas I want to improve and constantly strive to continue to work at such as being a good mom and honest with myself; the other a theory I have aligned with major findings in philosophical trends atomically found in both linguistics and education.
Not very surprisingly, I remembered my media theory and forgotten my life-goals. To an even lesser extent, I've found that the list I'd been following for the past two years wasn't even my own, but that of conformity to more traditional "norms" established by the puppeteers who hired me for innovation and talent. They may have been the ones to ultimately cut those strings, but I was the one who tied them to me.
I didn't even do so with inspiration, art, or vision. Rather, I lost myself trying to compete on a playing field that wasn't right for me. The job was, but the choices I made to try and satisfy the movements of the district did not come from within me. They came from a failed attempt to give what I thought they wanted of me. And it wasn't enough; not for them, but really not for me either.
I create. I do so well. I have passion, charisma, empathy, and love not only for vehicles of understanding, but for love. I have loved more children than I can count, and most of their names are forgotten in the happy past of deflated aspirations. My ability to be an amazing teacher was reduced because I tried to follow foreign choreography, instead of taking the shape of the music in my heart.
I compromised myself. Had I remained true, and done what was expected without fear, I could have avoided jumping through the hoops and taken on the obstacle course for the win. My responsibility in my job-loss is less of a sacrificed martyrdom, and more of plain death.
I died. I tried to make everyone around me happy, and exchanged my trademark fire for dead-fish hand-shakes and subservient equivalents of, "yes masser," when called on behavior and judgment that -when provided with the whole story, would have held me in favor rather than left cowering and crying in the next room, confused as to what I'd done wrong because my Aspergers mind thought differently.
My next endeavor has to be true to who I am. I understand boundaries, mores, and situational proprieties now. I know what has a place where. My mistake was giving more than my all, it was in giving all of me. My intentions have always, and will always be for the greater good. I believe I've learned the tools needed to achieve this because I can compromise without compromising myself, can share my love of learning through teaching, and dance to my own music, unashamed, and without any strings attached.