Getting to know ourselves is a never-ending process. In this episode, Whitney Lauritsen opens up a vulnerable side to share her unmasking process. Whitney has been on a journey of self-discovery and she takes time to talk about the struggles and realizations she’s had during this. Listen to an honest and raw look into her thoughts about neurodivergence, being on the spectrum, finding community, breaking out of molds, and not living just to please others.
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My Messy, Vulnerable Unmasking Process
Flexible Work And Creating Boundaries
It’s a Sunday, May 22nd to be exact. I don’t usually record the show on the weekends because I have been striving to do very minimal work. It’s hard for me on the weekends. Not minimal work but on the weekends. It’s hard for me sometimes because some things come up. Sometimes it’s convenient to do things on the weekend but there’s part of me that feels like it’s important to have some sacred time. Although, interestingly enough, I found myself thinking about how it’s a little bit strange for someone like me, at least, who doesn’t have children, doesn’t have a very structured career or job.
I don’t need to follow a ton of time structure in terms of viewing days as either weekdays or weekends. I still find myself in that mindset a lot, probably because it feels like the rest of the world operates that way. Although, during the pandemic with so many people working from home, and people resigning from jobs that no longer suit them, it also feels like there are a lot of people that are having more fluid relationships with their work. I was thinking, and have been already doing this. By the way, my brain is in an interesting state where it’s jumping around a lot.
I want to give a little disclosure that I will probably be going on a lot of tangents and having broken up statements in between other statements. That’s part of what I want to discuss now but let me try to finish this thought about the weekends. For the most part, since I have stopped working a traditional 9:00 to 5:00 job, which has been many years. My last full-time traditional structured job ended in February 2010. I have had a part-time job but that ended in 2012. It has been many years since I’ve even had any type of super structured job.
I have had clients that encourage a lot of structure. In fact, two of my clients now are pretty structured. I work Monday through Friday for each of them. I try not to do any work for them on the weekends but I do have tons of flexibility in the time of day that I do my work. It has been so great for me maybe because of my neurodivergence to work as needed. Some days, I won’t do anything until 10:00 PM or 11:00 PM, right before I go to bed then I rush and get the work done. One of my clients, we have meetings every Tuesday. We record our show every Tuesday as well, so that’s required more work.
Now, at this moment I’m thinking, “I could probably do a lot more.” I realized I forgot to do something. This is what comes up for me too is it’s that desire to do work on a Sunday but I have major boundaries because I don’t want any of my clients or frankly, most people in my life to think that they can dictate my schedule. I’ve created boundaries that I don’t do work on the weekends or if I do it, I won’t tell them that I’m working weekends because I don’t want them to assume that.
My Neurodivergence And Feeling “Too Much”
It feels sacred for me and my definition of that. At the same time, I also wonder like, “Why can’t every day of the week be that way?” Some people may say, “That’s not the way the world works,” but I take some issue with that. That is probably the theme of this episode. As I have been exploring the way that my brain works and doing a fair amount of unmasking, perhaps even starting the journey of unmasking because I feel like I’m at this beginning stage of recognizing my neurodivergence.I don't want to live my life constraining myself out of fear. Click To Tweet
If you haven’t heard me talk about is the result of researching and taking some tests around ADHD and autism mainly. This unmasking process of getting to the core of who I am versus who I have been conditioned to be. There’s so much in me that I feel like is coming out suddenly. An example being how my brain today has been bouncing around so much.
It has been nice for that to happen on a Sunday in which it’s socially acceptable to do whatever I feel like versus if that were to happen during a weekday. I would feel more uncomfortable with jumping around and doing whatever I want if that makes sense. I’ve found for the past four hours or so, my brain is like, “How about this? How about this?” Like if you were to look into my brain, it is like all over the place.
I’ve learned to hide that even from myself because so many people have criticized that way of talking, acting, and operating, both personally and professionally. I have felt self-conscious about it, so I tend to hide it and mask it. I found myself wanting to record a show episode but I was nervous, especially that 3 or 4 hours ago was intense. I yearned to record. I felt like all this creative energy coming up and I wanted to talk but I was afraid that a reader like you will read this and think I sounded crazy.
I decided to pause on that. I have been doing a variety of other random things and that feeling, that desire to record kept coming up, so I’m embracing it now but still with a little bit of this fear of being judged. Here’s the thing, I don’t want to live my life constraining myself out of fear. As I’ve said, at least a few times on this neurodivergent journey, how it does not serve me to be put in a box. I’m trying to break out of the box and see what is my natural expression. It makes me think of a visual of a rubber band or some toy like slime.
You know how you put something into a container then when you take it out, it spills out into a different shape like slime could flatten itself probably. Whereas, it has been forced to be in maybe this contained circular or any type of shaped or even I’m thinking about these old Nickelodeon toys. It was called Gak. Wasn’t that Nickelodeon that had Gak and had this other like foamy thing, which was a little interesting considering that now people are into slime but Gak was the original slime. I wish I could remember what that foamy version of it was. Anyways, it was all these wild shapes. The plastic containers would look like splats. Regardless of the container, something like that.
If you take it out and let it be, it probably spreads out and it looks bigger. I also was thinking of something like a rubber band or rubbery that you can shape into something and make it all tight and perfect and shape if you let it go like bounces out into a different shape. That’s what I feel like the process that I’m going through now. It’s like, “What is my shape when I’m not contained?” The more I notice these things, the more I feel excited. As I was witnessing my brain bounce around and this is maybe the ADHD trait that I’ve never noticed or I’ve noticed but subtly, I haven’t paid attention to because I felt like it was socially unacceptable. People would say things to me like, “Whitney, you are too much.” That I’ve heard so much in my life.
In fact, it even happened right before I started recording. That’s probably the reason I pressed record at this moment. I was in this Facebook group for Tesla Campers. It’s a new group I joined and felt like I went through a stage of reading other people’s posts, and commenting a little. I decided to post and I thought like, “I’m in my zone here. These are other people that like to go camping with their Teslas. These are my people.”
I put out this post talking about my process of trip planning. I remember as I was writing it out, I’m like, “This is pretty detail-oriented. Maybe some people will view this as extreme but they are going to understand. These are my people.” I post it and one person used the laughing emoji on my post as a reaction. I instantly felt either embarrassment or shame like, “I’m too much,” then that person wrote a comment. A one-liner summary of what they do. Something like, “It’s much simpler the way I do it.”
That’s not their exact words but here I was feeling so vulnerable and embarrassed. I’m like, “People saw the way my brain works and rejected it. Now I feel ashamed or embarrassed and I want to hide.” I started to go through some of those emotions like, “Maybe I should delete this post because I don’t want any more people making fun of me. Maybe I should stop posting in this group,” and that was such an awful feeling but I have gone through that version constantly in my life.
I might get emotional about it. I can feel some of the tears coming up. I don’t have a lot of shame around crying. If it comes up, it comes up. Being told so much in my life that I was too much, that what I was doing was too complicated. It was like the word “too” has been used to describe me so much. A lot of people are making fun of me.
Even though part of me feels proud of who I am, I have confidence, I like these parts of myself, there’s still part of me that gets very triggered and feels ashamed or embarrassed and feels like I want to change or hide. The hide is a better word in these cases because I can’t change this. This is the way my brain is. Maybe medication could change it. Maybe therapy could change it.
“If my natural form is one way, why do I have to try to fit myself into a different container to please other people?” That’s the big question. That’s what I find myself asking all the time. I also find it helpful to experience myself alone. I’ve spent the majority of my day alone, although, a few hours ago, I was in my Beyond Measure group, which always I want to pause or express. I should say how much I love that group. That group ties into one of the avenues I found to embrace sides of myself.If my natural form is one way, why do I have to try to fit myself into a different container to please other people? Click To Tweet
Beyond Measure And Finding Community
If you haven’t heard me talk about Beyond Measure, it’s a private community I created in mid-2020. I have to go see the date that we did our first group call, which is the main feature of Beyond Measure. Every week, we have a call. We have been using Zoom and everybody has the option of joining and turning on their cameras or leaving their cameras off, turning on their audio or just listening. Most people use audio at least and chat. We have themes and exercises and we meet up. It has been incredible because my mission with Beyond Measure is to have a safe place outside of social media and outside of whatever other environments where you feel like you can’t be your true self.
I want to have a place where everybody is welcome to be the full expression of who they are. I didn’t even fully know that about Beyond Measure. It’s evolved over time. Initially, I wanted a place that didn’t have criticism because I was experiencing a lot of perceived criticism at least and didn’t find social media to feel very safe but I wanted to connect with certain people that I would meet on social media. That has been the members in Beyond Measure are mostly people I met on Instagram and YouTube.
I always felt a connection with them but didn’t know them. Over the past years, I have had the honor of getting to know incredible people. They show up on calls or we have a private community where you can post anything you want and people will respond to it. It’s a big source of joy. On our call, I found my brain starting to move into this again like manic is the only word that comes up. I’m not even sure if manic is the right word. Interesting how we have definitions in our heads that are pretty vague.
Mania, from Wikipedia, is defined as “A mental and behavioral disorder defined as a state of abnormal elevated arousal effect and energy level.” That’s pretty accurate. It’s interesting that it says disorder because this is like a state, not a syndrome. “A state of heightened overall activation with enhanced effective expression.”
That’s pretty accurate. I found my brain at the end of the Beyond Measure call getting so aroused and stimulated. I don’t even know why. I don’t know where it came from, honestly. It’s a little unusual for me but what if I experienced that more often and I’m trying to suppress it a lot? I remember at the end of the call, my brain was moving faster than I could talk. I felt like my speech sometimes comes out a little garbled and these are all very common traits of neurodivergence.
Even though I knew I was in a safe space with Beyond Measure, I’m used to people judging me. It was so nice to be afraid of being judged but know that I’m not being judged simultaneously. That, to me, is one of the greatest benefits of Beyond Measure. Truly, I’ve never felt judged by people in there because that’s the whole point of it. We are not there to judge each other. We are there to accept each other as much as we can.
It’s human nature or conditioning for us to judge one another but for the most part, we can be mindful of that because if you are aware that you are afraid of being judged you become also hyper-aware of the fact that other people feel that too. It’s like, “We are in this together. None of us want to be judged and coming here to be judged. We all want to be accepted.” That’s Beyond Measure. If you want to join, the door is always open for you. I’m planning to move into a paid version of it for the first time.
Understanding My Neurodivergence
Considering having elements of Beyond Measure be free and the more in-depth participatory elements of it are paid but there will be a free trial at the very least for everybody. No matter when you are reading this, you should be able to experience it for free and decide how much you want to get involved if it appeals to you. Anyways, witnessing my brain starts to go in those states and practice allowing it was something I tried. Also, tuning into how I want to move forward, being present with what serves me and what doesn’t.
It was interesting and it was the week after I returned from my two-week road trip. I found myself feeling so tired, which was very frustrating. I don’t like that feeling. I wasn’t able to accomplish as much as I wanted. I also overextended myself more than in hindsight. I don’t like to use the word should but it would have been better for me to have less on my schedule. I’m trying to be very mindful of what I add to it. Luckily on Monday, I don’t have anything. In fact, one thing I can take is I’m tempted to take off my schedule.
I have a bunch of things that I would ideally like to do. I’m someone also who thrives with a to-do list and a calendar but I also, at times cannot stand looking at a lot of things at once. I’m looking at my digital calendar and it feels like there are sections that I wish weren’t there but if I delete them, then I get out of order, so I keep them on there. I don’t know if you can relate to this but my brain knows when I’m overstimulated. I have to try to find this balance between organization and overstimulation.
That’s an interesting thing, too. I feel like it’s important for me to share these experiences because AI recognizes that because I’m neurodivergent, most people won’t be able to relate like in that Facebook group. I almost wanted to write in there, “I’m neurodivergent and that’s why I do these things.” I’m starting to desire to share that with people because I hope that people will keep that context in mind and maybe judge me less. Granted, not everybody understands what it means to be neurodivergent.
This is part of why I would like to have an official evaluation almost as if I can proudly wear a certified ADHD or autism, or something. That’s the only reason I want to be fully evaluated but then part of me is thinking, “I could technically use those terms publicly more often to convey these things, to ask for accommodations.”Some people operate vastly differently than you. Click To Tweet
Part of me is afraid that it will get in my way more than help me if that makes sense. It’s tricky. I watched the new season of Love on the Spectrum on Netflix and this time it was featuring people in the United States in the past. If you haven’t seen this show, it was filmed in the UK. It doesn’t matter where they are located because I’m super fascinated. It mostly features autistic people. Although, they have often featured people with Down syndrome. I’m not sure if that is considered on the spectrum, to be honest. I’m pretty ignorant of that. They don’t seem to highlight ADHD that much.
It just seems to be about autism. This season from my memory is the first time there were a few people that were from a different part of the spectrum, not quite as extreme in certain traits. It was refreshing to see because now that I know I’m on the spectrum, there are times where I’m afraid to tell people that because I don’t exhibit some more extreme. I don’t even know if I want to use the word extreme.
One thing, for example, in autism is trouble making eye contact, which I don’t have. It doesn’t manifest in the way that it seems to for other people that can’t easily make eye contact. I enjoy making eye contact. Although, I have noticed there are times where I don’t enjoy it and I’ve forced myself to make eye contact even when it’s uncomfortable. I will look like I’m making eye contact but technically, my brain is in a different space.
I’m doing it with myself, so with my video setup. I have my webcam up on top of my computer and I can see myself displayed underneath because there’s a video component that I eventually post on YouTube. I’m looking at the webcam but my vision is almost blurred or something. I find myself, it’s hard to describe. I’m curious how many other people do this. In my brain, “Everybody must do this,” but now that I know I’m neurodivergent, I’m like, “This could be part of my neurodivergence.”
I do this a lot when I’m having conversations with people. Maybe it’s like a coping mechanism where they think I’m looking at them but I’m looking through them or almost like using my peripheral view and looking beyond them or outside of them. It’s convincing them that I’m looking at them. I was talking to someone who has ADHD and he said that he has a tendency to blank stare at people and not be processing anything that they are saying but it looks like what I’m describing.
It’s fascinating because I wonder how many other people do these things that I assumed were “normal.” The more that I talk about it, the more I’m like, “I don’t know. I can’t assume that it’s normal.” Part of this point too is not making assumptions. I am so grateful to have learned so much about neurodivergence within myself and others. Similar to the show Love on the Spectrum, it shows you that some people operate vastly different than you.
One thing I’ve heard said a few times since I have been on this journey is the possibility that everybody is on the spectrum. Part of me believes that but then part of me is afraid that diminishes those that are on a very specific part of the spectrum if this makes sense because even though at times it’s hard when you feel different than others or different than the majority, at least.
Other times, it feels nice to at least put yourself in some category. A lot of us relate to that. For so long, I would call myself introverted and now, I don’t even know if that applies to me or others is what I defined as introversion being on the spectrum or being neurodivergent. For example, I enjoy being around other people but I have trouble socializing. I get drained. For so long, the definition of an introvert’s typically that you are drained by social environments and you need to step away and be by yourself to recharge.
That’s what I thought was going on with me but when I started learning about neurodivergence, autism and ADHD specifically, I’m wondering, “Am I exhausted because I’m asking so much?” That is a good opportunity for me to talk about socializing on this last trip because I went to a conference. I was around a ton of people. I was with my sister and multiple friends. I was also around various strangers. I’m trying to think, at the conference, it was a little tricky because I stayed at an Airbnb that was five minutes away by car, not by foot.
It was far enough that it felt like I didn’t want to go there until the end of the day. I wasn’t going to go to the Airbnb and return back to the event that was too draining for me. I didn’t feel like I could go away to a hotel room or something. If I’d been staying at the property where the event was held, ideally, that’s what I would do in the future because then I could pulse in and out of the event and not always feel like I had to be around people. I noticed that I was craving that at times because being around all those strangers and trying to absorb the benefits of that experience was intense for me.
Now, I also noticed I thrive when I feel like I have a job of some sort. I did end up making that happen because one of my clients was at the event. There were moments where I felt like I was doing work with him. I also spoke twice, technically. Once on 1 day and once on the 3rd day of the event. The second day was where I found myself struggling because I didn’t have as much of a defined job. I felt like I was floating around and enjoying the day or making the most out of the day.
That was the day I ended up leaving early because I started to fizzle out without feeling like I had a purpose. That’s something I’ve noticed about myself in general. When I don’t feel like there’s an end goal or a purpose to something I’m doing, I lose interest quickly. Same thing with deadlines. Not only do I want a deadline but I generally do not get most things done until the very last minute. That’s something that I disliked about myself but I’m recognizing that I don’t know if I can change that. I used to try to change these things about myself, but now, I’m thinking, “What if that’s the way my brain works, and can’t that be okay?”Do you know all that time you spent trying to fit your body into a mold? There was no point to that. Click To Tweet
Also, what’s the definition of okay? What if okay is always relative to us? The advantage of getting older is having enough experience to recognize that most things are made up. Most rules, structure, all of that is made up, oftentimes to benefit somebody else. What if for those that have the ability to do this, if you have the privilege, can you go about life doing things that make you feel good and that feels okay to you? It’s tricky because there are certainly people who have extreme beliefs and whose brains or conditioning operate in a way that harms others.
That’s perhaps why in our society, we work best with structures, rules, and laws so that as somebody goes far enough outside of the mold if they color too far outside the lines, they will get in trouble for it. It’s very likely that those rules and laws were designed to protect us in our society. I also believe that some of our rules and laws were created to benefit other people and to suppress people. That’s where it becomes tricky. We need to have a lot of knowledge and awareness about why things are set up. I have a natural desire to figure out why.
Thriving In Complexity
That also gives me insight into other people who struggle with complexity. For the most part, I thrive perhaps in complexity. My brain can process a ton of information. I don’t know if that in itself is a neurodivergent thing but I enjoy taking in a ton. I’m thinking about a lot of things all the time and my brain goes in all these different directions but where it’s hard for me is sitting down to focus and take all that information, process it, and wrap it up in a nice bow.
That’s something I’ve had a lot of shame around. I struggle with output but input, I do not struggle at all. I can love input. I love learning, and thinking about things and that feels great. Maybe other people are a bit more the opposite where they are all focused on the output, on the results. That’s an interesting realization at this moment like, “Maybe I’m more of a process person.” I like processing. I like the experience of doing things but I don’t thrive in the outcome and yet it feels like I have been encouraged to be very outcome-oriented. That’s fascinating.
When I got into the personality tests that give you the four letters introverted or extroverted. There are sixteen different personality types. When I did that, I remember the one whatever I resulted with, which is probably INFP, maybe. I couldn’t even tell you. I don’t put myself into that category anymore but I do remember the one I most closely aligned with said that very thing about my personality, which is having trouble focusing and getting things done like finalizing things.
Now, I’m wondering what if my whole life, I felt all the shame for not being able to finalize things because that is what we are encouraged to do. Maybe that’s why I’m an eleventh-hour worker I don’t do things to the last minute because I don’t enjoy finishing things. What if that’s okay? Honestly, at this moment, it’s hard for me to figure out a reason why you should be complete with things. My brain is thinking of a bunch of different examples.
Not Being Hung Up In Pleasing Others
When I’ve worked with clients, I felt like before, I was able to feel confident in who I am and the way that my brain works, I was always trying to please employers. As most of us do or please teachers at school or my parents. It seemed like everybody wanted things done a certain way. My coping mechanism was like, “Let me see how I can please them. Let me see how they want things done. Let me see what they seem to like and I’m going to do things that way,” because pleasing them will give me pleasure.
Now I’m recognizing that a lot of times pleasing other people does not give me pleasure. I just thought it did but it wasn’t a lasting pleasure. That’s it. A lot of the time, it felt like I had to change who I was to please others. In the long run, that’s exhausting and not even possible. A great example is my body. I have struggled a lot with my feelings about my body size and shape. Once I learned about intuitive eating, I recognize that I enjoy eating certain foods and that’s okay, versus in the past.
I would feel all of these negative emotions around food because I was conditioned to see certain foods as good or bad. Foods that would make me look a certain way. Foods that would maybe make my health a certain way, all of these structures around food. I was carrying around so much shame about what I ate and the way my body looked.
During the pandemic, I and many other people have expressed too started to relax more about that because it wasn’t around as many people. Events had changed and we are on paused for the most part. I like many people. I started to look different. My body changed and evolved in different ways. I also found that over time, my body hit a certain average.
Where I’m at physically is about my “average” natural state. This is where I’m at where I’m doing a moderate amount of exercise. I’m eating intuitively, drinking a lot of water, and getting a good amount of rest. I’m checking off the boxes. That also includes me eating the sweets and carbohydrates that I want. Granted, as I’ve said before, I have a lot of digestive issues, which by the way, some people think are tied to emotional trauma. It’s pretty fascinating and sad.
What if all my digestive issues are based on traumatic emotional experiences I’ve had throughout my life or were passed down to me through my mom and my grandma? That’s disturbing. Another reason to find joy and pleasure in my life beyond what society has tried to condition me to be. My point in that saying that sometimes when I eat intuitively, my stomach doesn’t feel very good. A great example, I ate an entire head of cauliflower, which I love cauliflower. To me, it’s a pretty neutral food. I seasoned it with things, air fried it and that was my lunch.Maybe our whole lives are about discovering things about ourselves. Maybe that's the greatest gift in life that we constantly learn new things about ourselves. Click To Tweet
Felt great about that choice emotionally but my stomach is not so happy about it. It’s interesting. I’m very sensitive to foods and I enjoy noticing my sensitivity in some ways but it can also feel frustrating and confusing. In addition to the short-term impacts that certain foods have on my energy and my gut, then there are the impacts on how my body looks. I’m trying to find confidence in how my body looks and recognizing that the way I am now is pretty much my average natural shape that I don’t feel fully confident in the context of other people.
I’m trying to find more self-love and acceptance for it, even though it doesn’t fit into a mold that I’m supposed to fit in if that makes sense. Ideally, my stomach would be a little bit flatter and my face would be a little thinner, and my arm. I could go on and on about all these little adjustments that I would make. I can look back on old pictures of myself when I thought that I looked better but why?
If that is a state in which it takes so much work and time to get my body to look that way. If I don’t enjoy that work at that time, then it makes no sense to me. What if it has been a big societal pressure that doesn’t serve a purpose for us? If I got to the end of my life and someone was like, “Do you all that time you spent trying to fit your body into a mold? There was no point to that.” Truly, I can look back on my body throughout my life, and in hindsight, what was the point of looking certain ways?
What was the long-term? I don’t know if there is one. In fact, a lot of the “benefits” that I had for looking a certain way are not around anymore except maybe in photos of me or videos but they are archived. Those are memories versus if I had kept myself in that mold of looking a certain way for many years, maybe career things would have happened but do I want any of those things? Even romantically, there’s a lot of societal pressure to look a certain way to get a partner, which is ridiculous.
Even these ideas of the opposite of letting ourselves go. The phrase, people love to say like, “She let herself go or he let himself go.” Once they are in a relationship, “Once somebody has married and has children, they let themselves go.” Who cares? Why would you even say that to somebody? That’s so ridiculous. If you are in a happy relationship or happily single or happy parent, why do you need to maintain those moles, honestly?
Looking back on my life, I’ve had plenty of romance regardless of my body size. My weight has also fluctuated in relationships and that’s never caused the relationship to end. Although, I did have at least one boyfriend in the past who seemed a little unhappy that my body grew in size during the course of our relationship. I can’t even fault him for that because he probably is in some mentality of thinking that smaller women are more attractive to him. How can you blame it? All different types of people are conditioned to believe these things about what is attractive. If something doesn’t fit into that mold, they might think that they don’t want it.
Discovering Ourselves Is An Infinite Process
I don’t feel disappointed. It all keeps coming back around to what brings me joy and what works for me and how can I shape my life to work that way. What I find helpful now is first, finding the clarity and the confidence about who I am. I’m still on a journey. I may always be. Maybe our whole lives are about discovering things about ourselves. Maybe that’s the greatest gift in life that we constantly learn new things about ourselves. I feel like I’ve said this before in an episode but it’s pretty cool.
Our society somehow convinces us that there are outcomes and end goals and goals. It’s a lot of these finite endpoints but I don’t believe anything in life is that finite. Why do we have so much structure around that? By the way, on that note, one thing I often think about is the number of things I’ve done in my career that felt they were going to be big and beneficial but I’ve done enough, especially in the social media, the video world, the content world.
I’ve done enough “opportunities” that have led to very little. The outcome is minimal. Maybe they are one paycheck. Maybe they are a good relationship that’s temporary but most things I’ve done have not felt that good in the end. They’ve dissolved very quickly because they have been transactional. I’m coming to this point thinking, “If I’m not going to enjoy the journey of doing something, it’s not worth it,” because the outcome is fleeting. I should assume things are transactional, which might sound a little cynical but maybe it keeps my eyes open to transactional relationships.
A lot of people are very good at enticing you. Like, “If you do this, you will get this or if you do this, maybe it will lead to that.” The amount of times I’ve heard phrases like that in my career is crazy. When at the end of the day, I’m like, “Nope, not going to burn myself out for that. I’m not going to spend all my time and energy doing something. I’m not going to rush to meet your deadline. I would so much rather configure my life so that I can enjoy the ride. Maybe not even focused that much on deadlines,” as much as I enjoy them. Most deadlines do not serve me. Most deadlines did not feel good.
I have to ponder that statement a little bit more because it sounds conflicting that you can simultaneously thrive with deadlines but detest and avoid them like, “Is the current structure of things possible without deadlines, rules, and structure.” This is me sharing a lot of things off the top of my head and all the different places my brain has gone.
I would also love to build up the confidence to fully express myself while knowing that some people are going to feel opposed to it. Some people are going to be turned off by it. Some people are going to make fun of it. That has been a huge practice during my career. Speaking of outcomes, I’ve also learned that feelings are very fluid. Instead of trying to become a person who isn’t sensitive and hurt by rejection, I’ve allowed myself to feel the pain of not fitting in. I feel the pain of people disagreeing with me and the pain of people not liking me versus so many people saying things like, “You need to develop a thick skin, forget it, don’t let it bother you” or whatever else, little sayings that people like to have.Feel that pain but do not let it get in the way of expressing yourself. Click To Tweet
Part of embracing myself, as I’ve said before is saying, “That hurts.” It’s okay for things to hurt. It’s not up to other people to determine what should hurt and what shouldn’t. It’s also not fair for people to say things like, “You are too, this or that.” Many of us feel like we are not enough. Sometimes, people tell us we are too much and not enough at the same time. They are the same thing, oddly enough.
“You are too this or you are not that,” gives me the same feeling either way. What I would like is to notice the pain that I feel when I hear those statements. Feel that pain but not let it get in the way of me expressing myself. I hope the same for you too if you can relate. I think everybody can, even if you don’t identify as neurodivergent. I imagine so much of what I’ve shared resonates with you on some level or someone else you know. I would be very curious to learn about that.
As usual, if you would like to chat about it publicly or privately, I would love to hear from you. Beyond Measure is quickly becoming my favorite place to correspond with people. If you are interested, you can come in there, and hang out with me and other people. It is on my website, WhitneyLauritsen.com if you want to go into the group and explore it. I’m still working on the structure and the onboarding process.
That has been a little bit complex for me but if you are struggling with understanding how Beyond Measure works, I would also love an email from you or a direct message on Instagram. Some of the Beyond Measure members and I have a private chat, so we use that too, to share things with each other that’s relatively new and has been nice because I’ve connected with so many people on Instagram. That’s my favorite part of social platforms aside from TikTok. TikTok is my current way of consuming content. I don’t correspond to people there per se but on Instagram and Facebook, they are awesome for sending direct messages and being part of groups.
If you are on Instagram, send me a direct message. You can do it to @WhitLauritsen or @WellEvatr. Facebook, I don’t like the DMs. I don’t like Messenger that much. I casually use it but I feel like there’s something about the structure of Facebook Messenger that I don’t like, so I wouldn’t recommend contacting me that way unless it’s a last resort. Email is probably second to Instagram DMs. That reminds me, I’m oftentimes slow to respond. As I’m saying this, I remember there was a message from someone else who’s also neurodivergent that I never replied to.
I’m asking for understanding. I struggle with responding to emails and messages. As much as I love to receive them, I can get into modes where my brain cannot process them. It’s like the input, output thing for me. I can take in your input but giving the output is very challenging. I would say for a quicker response, Beyond Measure is the most ideal place because every week, there’s an opportunity to connect verbally and through video. If that’s not your thing, I feel like I can organize responses and things. There’s a private messenger in Beyond Measure and there are public postings. If I don’t respond quickly to something other people will, in the meantime, while I gather my thoughts together.
Saying that is a great way to connect. I would love to get to know you more. That’s the ideal. I have never envisioned Beyond Measure as a platform for profit. Although, as I mentioned, I plan to charge something because there are costs involved in running it with the software that I use. That’s why I’m finally going to pull the trigger and have some membership dues. I also think it’s incredibly important for me to be transparent that it’s not something that I created to make money off of you.
In fact, I’m very mindful of how I monetize these days because I never want anyone to feel what I’m doing is for-profit in a negative sense if that makes sense. I spent so much of my career trying to do things to make money. Don’t think there’s anything wrong with making money whatsoever but over time, a lot of social media and digital platforms became primarily about money versus my ideal is making things primarily about connection.
That’s why I do this show. That’s why I run Beyond Measure which drives most of the work that I do then I save a lot of my monetization for clients who can afford to pay me. That has worked out a lot better than trying to get the average person to pay for things. There are many things that we can prioritize financially. I don’t know why I’m going on this whole tangent but throwing that out there because they never want Beyond Measure to feel like a money grab or whatever.
It’s truly there as a way to get to know you and connect you with other people. Like I said, create that safe space where you can brain dump and feel like the full expression of who you are. Thank you for reading and all of the things that came out of my mouth. I’m going to go lay in bed and recover from all the energy it took to record this. I’m going to turn on TikTok and zone out. Whatever you do after this, I’m wishing you the best. I will be back again on the next episode with another guest episode. Until then, wishing you all the very best with your life and your own journey. Bye.
- Beyond Measure
- @WhitLauritsen – Instagram
- @WellEvatr – Instagram
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