“Who says you’re smart?” (June 1, 2022)

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When you start off, from where you left off, do you check your notes? No matter the brain — you can’t just remember without reminiscing on “the time when” or at least your past experienced this reaction. As we grow older, we experience things that have “programmed” us to respond in a certain way; that gasping “WTF” is my favorite to hear from people. It really is that feeling of being today years old when you realize what is actually going on that blows my mind. I walk into most experiences recounting the socially acceptable responses to past experiences.

What am I supposed to take from this experience? How long am I supposed to take it on the chin & pick myself up off the ground just to have it happen to me again? When will I finally see the best in me is also the worst in someone else? This push & pull is making me sick; physically. How can I take this book to heart & find peace in my way of life? How is any of this going to make the world more manageable for me?

I am constantly reminded of the socially acceptable things I don’t do. That’s the “you’re weird” responses from my peers or parents. How we speak to our parents now would never be how we respond to them as a child; let alone a teenager. When we decide to stand up for ourselves (sometimes for our children before ourselves) first against our parents or bullies, friends, community, co-workers. We have to set a boundary we ourselves we never felt before, it’s called wisdom.

What to Do, What to Do

Gary John Bishop’s, Wise as Fu*k (2020) starts with the deconstructed ideals of “wisdom” and the difference between “good wisdom” and “bad wisdom.” Deeps dives into what this book is going to be about and give you a chance to sit with the words he’s about to share; this is important because if you aren’t willing to deep dive you won’t get the full effect of this exercise. He really wants you to know you will need to look through your past only to fix what it is that isn’t working in your life now. Time doesn’t heal all wounds. Most time we forget the wound existed until we are faced with the accountability or responsibility of how to not reconstruct the same outcome.

Whatever your shitstorm is, at least one thing is clear. No one ever sowed you how to handle this.

Where’s the clarity or peace of mind or hell, just an inkling of what the fuck to do when life has crept up out of nowhere, kicked you right in the mouth, and now you’re stopped dead in your tracks?

How are you supposed to sort through the mess or ease the anxiety or awaken the slumbering possibilities of your life while at the same time combating the daily press of your job situation, your relationships, your family, your body, your past, your future, and whatever else you want to throw in the mix like, oh, I don’t know, some sort of global super-virus pandemic or something?

The truth is, we’re painfully ill equipped for the storms and crashes that can happen to any of us.

(Bishop. J) 2020. “What to Do, What to Do,” Wise as Fu*k. HarperCollins Publishing.

As I dig deeper into this chapter, I start to note which quotes bring me to the homework of this chapter. Figuring out what it is that makes me unhappy about my own level of knowledge. How can digging through my own past help me focus less on the others telling me what’s wrong with me & be happy with the changes I am making that will benefit me instead of them:

…wisdom is something we all rely on from time to time, it’s that all-knowing nugget of life that you either learned through lived experiences or in a book or course or conversation.

(Bishop. J) 2020. “What to Do, What to Do,” Wise as Fu*k. HarperCollins Publishing

As Bishop is the way he is, he’s out of control menace with his controversial Instagram (@garyjohnbishop) memes to some but a bad ass savior in my eyes. This man has put the words in the simplistic view of “Hey, fucker listen here” that I can respect. Someone straight forward asking me what it is that makes me tick. What I like and what others don’t that I don’t give a shit about. Gives me the support of my own POV on societal and environmental wisdom we pick up on our way to adulthood.

…Have you ever heard the phrase “you have the life you’re willing to put up with”?

(Bishop. J) 2020. “What to Do, What to Do,” Wise as Fu*k. HarperCollins Publishing

I want nothing more than the power to say, “No I don’t want to do that” growing up. Being bribed as a young teen to interact with kids my own age. They didn’t like my rants about political and environmental impact on us now and what the world will be like in my 30’s. They didn’t want to talk about the changes in our classmates’ behaviors. They were at the damn party to drink, smoke, and get laid.

…They bring to mind the view of life that demands you work your stuff out for yourself, to tolerate or procrastinate no longer.

(Bishop. J) 2020. “What to Do, What to Do,” Wise as Fu*k. HarperCollins Publishing

The context is online memes. When the world is full of one-liners Bishop goes into how they “scratch the surface” of what it is that we need to learn about ourselves, the relationships we are in and how they are affecting the life we are choosing to live. I want to change but #undiagnosed80HD is pushing my executive dysfunction into super drive but giving me so much content my #undiagnosedTISM is feeding off of for weeks. I can thrive on the patterns of my many hats — some I choose to wear, and I am forced to wear on very little notice, more than I would like to admit — just to make it through the first few hours of the day. It wasn’t hard to sit down and take inventory of the stereotypical things I have associated within my lifestyle.

…You are your own hero, but you could just as easily turn yourself into the one who constantly needs to be rescued…

(Bishop. J) 2020. “What to Do, What to Do,” Wise as Fu*k. HarperCollins Publishing

We choose who and what we want to call knowledge. We can be our own advisor or our own worst enemy. We can teach ourselves something and stop one day; decide we have enough information to from that point no longer listen to any outside sources. My personal stance is: Why set yourself for failure? Why question someone who has 35 years of knowledge? — A different perspective is the only way you will see if your theory is skewed or successful. You must bring in outside sources to prove “pass or fail.”

The cool thing is, real wisdom can never be undone, because when you discover something for yourself, such a thunderous, penetrating discovery, you cannot undiscover that thing. But it doesn’t stop with the discovery. You take it on by consciously adopting it, then plow straight into your life and live from it. That’s what makes it so distinct from knowledge. Just about anyone can read something, maybe even memorize it too, but not everyone is learning from it and then living from what they’ve learned.

(Bishop. J) 2020. “What to Do, What to Do,” Wise as Fu*k. HarperCollins Publishing

Not one person knows the exact knowledge as another because we all have our own personal level we come from. My husband had more chances to higher education than I did, he choose military over college, I choose the opposite. What he knows is not opposed to what I know, his is a deeper understanding of things I can’t do. He teaches me that I am loved for who I am not just what I can give. That breaking my body doesn’t have to be for someone else, it can be to eventually nutrients for my body to thrive, building my physical body back to something I can use.

…this book about wisdom, I’m talking about the kind of learning that genuinely changes you. Makes you wiser. Presents opportunities for growth. You see, the things that I have authentically discovered in my life changed me. Forever. There was no going back from it. When you realize it’s been you all along, it sticks in your throat when you try to blame someone else. You can smell your own bullshit from quite a distance after a while, too.

(Bishop. J) 2020. “What to Do, What to Do,” Wise as Fu*k. HarperCollins Publishing

Who reads for fun? I have heard this one so many times, from my partners, and it gets me every time. Why would being a lifelong learner lose me points in the future? Not everyone learns from sitting still and I have never claimed to either. I “learn on the fly” or “by the seat of my pants” when it comes to socializing, why can’t they see that?

Before we get in too deep, we’re going to figure out what truths guide you. To work that part out, it’s critically important to distinguish good wisdom from bad wisdom. We’ll spend the next part of this book learning how to tell them apart. And it’s trickier than you might think. By the time we’ve brought good and bad wisdom to light we’ll be ready to get into some fundamentals of life.

(Bishop. J) 2020. “What to Do, What to Do,” Wise as Fu*k. HarperCollins Publishing

That people pleasing is a way to dissociate myself from the awkwardness I know THEY feel. I had to learn to stop judging people for their ignorance. Learning that this is not the time to squash their lack of knowledge with an infodump of common-sense facts was my bullshit I could smell from a mile away. Sitting back and watching things unfold and not giving my 2 cents had the other half of people around me calling me a fake person. I never seemed to win the game I didn’t know I was playing.

It’s a process of continually looking at the wisdom you’ve discovered and asking yourself, “Given this truth, which parts of my life are out of sync with it, and what do I now need to do to have them line up?”

To live a powerful life you need something that lives outside of your everyday responses, a voice that’s independent, reliable, and brings you back to a settled place, Wisdom.

It adds depth and meaning and quality to our lives.

(Bishop. J) 2020. “What to Do, What to Do,” Wise as Fu*k. HarperCollins Publishing

Taking 20 years of avoiding others from making fun of my awkward body, mind, and/or wardrobe choices — I can honestly say this quote made me smile. The parts of my life I choose to give up seemed to open up my schedule for self-care and creating a whole personal business. I stopped handing out free advice & finally proved I will not settle for less if you cannot respect me, for me. Forcing others to rethink how they react to me hasn’t always been the plan but since I tore that Band-Aid off — the world seems to be a bit more truthful with their intentions. I have a right to deny you service because my bills and food are paid for.

“The wiser I become, the weirder I sound to some people.” — Gary John Bishop

(Bishop. G) 2020. “What to Do, What to Do,” Wise as Fu*k. HarperCollins Publishing
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People disagree, people get pissed off and sanctimonious, others get confused with a healthy dose of WTF.

When we hear or read something, if it fits, we like it, if it doesn’t, we might ignore it, but if it fiercely collides with some deeply rooted truth or belief, the urge to voice our disapproval can take over. When it all comes down to it, this is about survival. The survival of your own comforting little mirage of reality and safety.

(Bishop. J) 2020. “What to Do, What to Do,” Wise as Fu*k. HarperCollins Publishing

Bishop gives me the giggles because he knows the world itself is full of assholes living their best or fake life, running over others to help someone out of their own situation. Bishop brings things out of me in this chapter I didn’t know I had to confront because he asks you to take time to really think of his POV & why it does or doesn’t bother you. Then dig deeper into those “why’s” and “why not’s” to simply change your brains connection to that reaction. No one wants to be the person in the room asking or answering the rhetorical questions. If you were forced to be the devil’s advocate in your own space, how would you get out of that argumentative headspace?

You might need to deal with a harsh truth you had never considered or had perhaps even willfully ignored. It’s not just others who might get a little fucked up by your sparkly new transformation. You most likely will too.

Like a lot of what I write, be prepared for that experience arising in the turn of any given page here.

No wonder new stuff can bend us so spectacularly out of shape. It becomes a threat. As I said earlier, as your wisdom grows, you might become a threat to someone’s else’s mirage. It’s okay. Be responsible, be compassionate, and let that shit go.

(Bishop. J) 2020. “What to Do, What to Do,” Wise as Fu*k. HarperCollins Publishing

Do you take the time to address the trunk and not the whole elephant in the room? Taking criticism has always felt this way to me. You want to nitpick my faults due to sensory overload but never address why these things bug you other than, “You’re weird!” For instance, the courtroom. Filled with bright buzzing lights, microphone feedback times 4, paper shuffling and condescending anecdotal on what your allistic headspaces allows you to conform. Neurodivergent people are being forced to “mask up” while allistic people exploit them for their “superpowers.”

Just these quotes bring so many questions to mind on what I should be putting on this new “honey do this now or keep suffering” to do list. No one starts out with the intent to do anything but change their own POV or even bridge a gap. This book leads you head on into the void of change and the guides you through what your aftermath might contain and ways to cope with your new adventure you will inevitable find yourself on. What questions did you ask yourself while reading those quotes? Leave your comments below and let’s start a conversation on the hard stuff.

On to the next one…

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