November 2017
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LJI topic 4: successful prediction requires elimination of unlikely possibilities, which I can't do.


icon: "Ma'at (a photo of one side of a brass balance scale, with a feather inside the bowl. The background is sky blue. On the bottom of the image, below the photo, is the word "Ma'at")"

Some people can predict the future, at least a little bit, because they're good at recognizing the factors that come together for a result, and they can dismiss the unlikely ones and be confident in the most likely outcome. I'm not, mainly because I don't experience a sense of weighted likelihood. I can plan to be somewhere and be pretty sure I'll get there, but my car might break down or I might have some kind of emergency -- I can't know that that won't happen. (And of course there's being neuroatypical and having mental issues like depression and anxiety. I can't predict when I'm going to be suddenly wiped out and unable to function socially -- I just try to leave enough slack that when that happens it doesn't fuck up too much of my life.) I can sometimes give you 99.99% certainty but I'll never be 100% sure of anything -- yeah I mean literally anything. I'm not 100% sure that I exist.

So I almost never say "I will do this thing" I just say "I'm planning to do this thing" or "I'll do my best to do this thing." If there is something that could happen at any time outside of my control, I can't count that out just because it's unlikely. Other people get frustrated with my block about ruling out the unlikely, but my brain just doesn't work that way. I have to consider all possibilities, even the ones I know to be hugely unlikely. This makes it difficult for me to ever think about the future or plan more than a month out, especially since there has been no real stability in my life for years -- anything could happen.

I have been practicing acceptance of impermanence/cycling in my relationships for about a decade now. The person I've now been with for more than four years is someone I started dating thinking that it would end within the month. I had this expectation for the first two years of our relationship, because they warned me when we started that they hadn't done much long-term romance and they couldn't imagine it working for them. I think now that we're likely to continue for a while yet, and we have committed to friendship indefinitely but I can't predict how long we will be romantic and I wouldn't try.

Honestly I don't wanna know the future at all when it comes to the development of my connections. I want to decide each day on that, and not have any external false sense of security but rather the real security of knowing that no one is with me because they feel obligated or not up to the work of disentangling or nostalgic about the past, but only because they want to be with me right now. I would like to know how long it will be before I fall in love again but no one can tell me that.

Part of me would really like to have such a secure life that I can be like "Next year I'm going to ____." But every year for me has looked so different from what I would have guessed that I can't even imagine that.

For 2016, I never would have guessed that I would have this job, or that it would be handed to me like it was. I never would have guessed that I'd fall in love with someone who was spirit-kin with me and even less would I have guessed that that person would completely detach and break my heart. I never would have guessed that a spontaneous offer to someone in need would bring me one of my most cherished friendships, or that proximity would be the catalyst to end a friendship with someone who claimed distance as the primary reason for their lack of effort. I wouldn't have guessed that my relationship with Topaz would metamorphose into something even better than it had ever been before.

I'm never gonna be able to 'skate to where the puck is going to be' but that's okay; I'm good at going where the puck might be, and adjusting constantly with each moment. What I lack in prediction I make up for through adaptation.

connecting: ,

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Comments
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dutyacceptance ══╣╠══
Extremely good...!!
belenen ══╣writing╠══
thanks!
ragnarok_08 ══╣YGO ★ a few more tomorrows╠══
What I lack in prediction I make up for through adaptation.

That sounds both intriguing and very inspiring!!
belenen ══╣exuviate╠══
thanks! I am in a constant state of change.
queerbychoice ══╣╠══
I think humans in general tend to be much worse at prediction than we generally imagine ourselves to be. Prediction is just plain extremely hard to do. Adaptation is a more useful skill, because it's more likely to actually work fairly reliably.
belenen ══╣analytical╠══
quite true! and a reassuring thought.
br0ken_dolly ══╣╠══
i also prefer to say "i'm planning to..." rather than "i'm going to...."

i can be unpredictable (or rather, my body and health can be), so it feels more honest. also sometimes i think it can help people understand (or at least remind them) that i can't commit 100% to anything because of my health. no clue if it works. heh.
belenen ══╣progressing╠══
*nods* I am much more predictable now that I had several years of therapy and am on medication, but can still crash unexpectedly. I understand being literally unable to predict your own abilities for things.
ryl ══╣Diana Trent╠══
I think being adaptive is the more useful trait in the long run.
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
I agree.
dmousey ══╣╠══
The ability to adapt and adjust to what is tossed at you is priceless. The only constant IS change, so 'ride the wave' to wherever it takes you! Hugs and peace~~~D
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
thanks for the well-wishes!
dee_aar2 ══╣╠══
This was such a good read ... in ways that it so relatable in so many parts. " What I lack in prediction I make up for through adaptation " ... such a beautiful line. I could see parts of me in may paragraphs. The fear of unknown future does build up insecurity in me so much so that I do end up not enjoying the present even if momentarily many times.

Hugs.. and I have to say this again ... I loved this.
belenen ══╣writing╠══
thank you! I am glad that it resonated with you so much.
rayaso ══╣╠══
This was a very personal, philosophical entry which I really enjoyed. You raised a lot of interesting issues.
belenen ══╣writing╠══
thanks!
penpusher ══╣Question╠══
I think we all want to control as much as we can of what happens to us. It makes sense! And your essay certainly backs that up. Even within the thought that you don't have control, you want to make certain that everyone knows you don't have control, which is a way of controlling, which makes this a fascinating examination of the process!

Or, that's my interpretation. But I could be totally wrong.
belenen ══╣amused╠══
haha! I can see that interpretation!
marlawentmad ══╣╠══

This was so refreshing to read.

belenen ══╣writing╠══
thanks!
kajel ══╣╠══
Lovely read. Adaptation is such a useful skill.
belenen ══╣writing╠══
thanks! glad you enjoyed.
bleodswean ══╣╠══
Yes! This is a perfect response to the prompt and it's perfectly penned. Great job!

This, in particular - Honestly I don't wanna know the future at all when it comes to the development of my connections.
belenen ══╣writing╠══
thanks so much!
mamas_minion ══╣╠══
thank you for sharing this personal insight. Adaptability is wonderful skill to have especially since the world is unpredictable.
belenen ══╣writing╠══
you're most welcome, thanks for the comment!
cheshire23 ══╣╠══
I know for myself, I don't want to give my word and then break it, so I feel like I'm always tentative with plans as well. I also know it annoys people, though other people with disabilities that vary in intensity, and other parents, are usually at least somewhat understanding about this kind of thing.
belenen ══╣queer╠══
*nods* I tend to feel safest with other people who are non-neurotypical, have mental illness, or are disabled because one of the ideas I find the most demoralizing is the idea that people are in full control of their minds & bodies and can do anything they decide to do. People who understand that that is not true have the basic ability to understand a big part of who I am.
sinnamongirl ══╣╠══
I like your take on this quite a bit, so far it's different from the others, where people (including myself) talk about how hard we try to get to that puck-point, and you can accept that it's not something you're going to do and have learned to live life that way. Very good!
belenen ══╣writing╠══
thanks! glad you liked!
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on communication, social justice, intimacy, consent, friendship & other relationships, spirituality, gender, queerness, & dreams. Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.