Note For Anyone Writing About Me

Guide to Writing About Me

I am an Autistic person,not a person with autism. I am also not Aspergers. The diagnosis isn't even in the DSM anymore, and yes, I agree with the consolidation of all autistic spectrum stuff under one umbrella. I have other issues with the DSM.

I don't like Autism Speaks. I'm Disabled, not differently abled, and I am an Autistic activist. Self-advocate is true, but incomplete.

Citing My Posts

MLA: Zisk, Alyssa Hillary. "Post Title." Yes, That Too. Day Month Year of post. Web. Day Month Year of retrieval.

APA: Zisk, A. H. (Year Month Day of post.) Post Title. [Web log post]. Retrieved from

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Different People Value Success Differently

Copying the starting point from earlier, since it's only a few paragraphs. It was written on August 27, 2013, and I'm adding/finishing posts based on both of the ideas I have of where I might have been going. The first such post is here, talking about translation related stuff. These are the original couple of paragraphs.


I saw that as someone's background for their laptop on the train to the airport to orientation for my study abroad program. Yes, I read Chinese, and also I can write and speak. I've actually got a tag for things about China/Chinese, and another for things that are in Chinese

Anyways, this was translated as "Different people value success differently." Which is true. It's not exactly how I would translate it- my understanding is that this is about what people think success means more than how they feel about success, but it works. [I am not saying the translation is bad or wrong. The meaning I think the original is saying is one of the meanings the translation can have, it just seems easier to get a different reading from it than the one that I think is intended.] I'd have translated it to "Different people have different ideas of what success is."

I'm guessing that I was going to talk about translation, like I did yesterday, or about the actual content of the thing. Because both of the translation possibilities (“Different people value success differently” as per this person's computer screen and “Different people have different ideas of what success is” as per my own understanding of Chinese) are things I could talk about.

Different people valuing success differently I think means people attaching different levels of importance to this thing called “success.” I don't think it's about different definitions. I think it's that for any given definition of success, different people will have different ideas of how much it matters to them. If your definition of success is “college education and not in poverty,” it's something I'd like to achieve for myself. I wouldn't demand that other people get the college education if they don't want to, and I'm aware of the nature of poverty. Getting out once you're there isn't easy, and it's not always possible. But that's in the “definition of success” part, not the “how much you care about success given a definition” part.

Another definition I've seen, thank you Radical Neurodivergence Speaking for this one, is “college degree and a full time job.” I don't actually care about this one. If I can support myself part-time or by mixing part-time stuff, that's fine with me. If I do it by writing fantasy novels (ha ha not likely but this is November and I'm writing fantasy for NaNoWriMo so let me dream, especially since I'm actually well aware this isn't likely so you're not telling me anything new,) that's fine with me. So I don't put all that much personal value on “success” if that's what success means. Whoever made that definition clearly does put value on that definition of success.

So yeah. It's kind of important to realize that for whatever version of success you have in your head as what you want, well, not everyone's going to care about reaching that version of success themselves. If your idea of success for an autistic person is “can pass for neurotypical,” I'm making no effort to reach that goal. Not sorry, not on my to-do list.

Now for the “different people have different ideas of what success is” bit. I am apparently echoing myself, because I didn't actually need to check to make sure I'm using the same personal translation consistently. Yay echolalia.

For me, success looks like self-supporting, enough time that I can do at least some writing (getting any money off my writing is optional, but would be nice,) probably an educator of some sort, someone other than me does things like making sure that food and laundry and organization happen because I'm not great at that, and friends. I don't care much if I'm generally interacting with said friends online, though I'd like to be able to see any given friend in person at least once every few years and a friend in person at least once a month or so. Online contact needs to be possible pretty consistently- that's something I want daily. Kids will probably be a thing at some point, at which point “be a good mom” is a goal, pretty much as defined by kid-once-grown. Or kid-most-of-the-time. I've no illusions that I'll be perfect, but being able to admit it when I mess up should help?

Oh, and I don't want to live with my parents. It's not personal, I just need my own turf. A sibling might be OK once they're old enough to have their own place, but... not as a “I live at their place” kind of thing. It'd need to be a “we got a place together” kind of situation or a “they crash at my place” kind of situation. And I need my own room. That's not optional, long term. Might not need to be where I sleep every single night, but I need a room that's mine that I have the right to kick everyone else out of if I need to.

So there. That's an Alyssa definition of success. I've actually got a decent number of those things, and I think it's totally possible for me to get the rest over time. I probably need to finish college and get a job that's more full-time than what I currently have before I can do it, but I think those are goals I can meet.

The ideas of success that I listed as examples or from other people? Some I will meet. Some I won't meet. Some I'd like to meet (I do prefer not to live in poverty, thank you very much.) Some I give no cares about. Because different people have different ideas of success.

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