My entire life I have been considered a bit out there. Not in a la-la land sense, though I have my fair share of daydreaming. I’ve been seen as ‘odd.’ Quirky. I have been told I’m too much… too curious, too philosophical, too blunt, too honest, too lofty in my dreams, too creative, too happy, too loud, too hyper… There are many who love me and still say I’m too much at times.
A Neurospicy Discovery
It wasn’t until my oldest child’s ADHD diagnosis at 25 years old that my own realizations started falling into place. The flags should have been hammering my face (and my family) my entire damn life that I am what I now loving call neurospicy. More people, especially women, are discovering that they are neurodiverse, meaning they are on some spectrum of Autistic, ADHD, or AuDHD (a combination of both).
Living in my own concept of reality, I didn’t pay any attention to the neurospicy signs. Since my daughter’s ADHD diagnosis, and her pointing out our similarities, I have experienced a bombardment of ah-ha’s about my life. I’ve never truly fit in with society, easily falling into an introvert category. I do enjoy hanging out with others that don’t “fit in”. People that never truly fit what others deemed normal were always more fun to me. They quote movie lines, create characters in D&D games, attend conventions for geeks and nerds. These people have me at ‘hello.’
A Lifetime of Bullshit Concepts
When you don’t truly fit in with society, you know. It may not be an intentional shunning from other people, but when you don’t fit into a societal norm, some people tend to put you at arm’s length or avoid you completely. People would call me brave for being myself. I call it the spice of life.
I have worked my way through peer pressure bullshit from junior high to mid-life, not caring (to an extent) if people liked me or my choices. I have changed jobs many times over due to boredom… or lack of patience. I have rebuilt my own business several times, too. I am a natural night owl. I love digging into research and how things work. I envision multiple dimensions in my mind. I know I’m not a “typical” human, but am I really that different from everyone else?
Societal norms and concepts tend to be lost on me. Why would I want to be like everyone else? It seems boring to me. Come to find out, they’re lost on most neurospicy peeps. I don’t care what the latest fads and trends are, though I laugh at the resurgence of fashion trends.
When I was young, I could easily entertain myself. I loved creating my own world of bliss. I was fascinated with Disney movies as a teenager and would often sing out Disney songs. To this day I still pretend I’m a mermaid when I get into a pool. I had no idea this was not “normal”.
I have fought my natural tendencies my entire life to try to be one with society; get the kids to school, hold a day job, run errands during daylight hours, etc. I was always told that I couldn’t make money with my artistic capabilities and I just needed to suck it up and stick with a job that would pay the bills.
I have been that reflective person that questions the very core of my own beliefs, and life in general since I was about 16. I love the deep philosophical questions that make me think, while also enjoying a deep dive into research. Even when I decided to make a change for myself, I knew I wanted to be true to me. Ally Berthiaume discovered that being true to herself was the bravest thing she could ever do, and I have to agree.
I’m What? Holy Shit, My Life Makes Sense Now!
When my oldest told me that ADHD and ASD are now coming out as genetically linked to the mother, my mind was blown! Studies on ADHD and ASD among women and girls are horrendously slow to come out. I have a friend that has been telling me for years that she thought I was at least ADHD. I ignored it every time, thinking what I did was normal. Well, I still think I’m normal as I believe that there really is no such thing as normal.
Looking back at my life, it should have been glaringly obvious to people around me that I was neurospicy. I was always very creative, often off in a play land of my own making, struggled in primary school and in standard jobs, and excelled in artistic crafts without having been taught. I have very little fear and love adrenaline rushes. I am excellent in crisis management situations and problem-solving. I suck at impulse control and have very little filter control. I also can’t take a hint very well (makes flirting more awkward).
Neurospicy people have entire worlds swirling around in their heads, with people on the outside only experiencing a minute fraction of it. When left to our own accords, we will create amazing things.
I Create My Life
I discovered many years ago that I LOVE to research and write. I love creating worlds that I could share with others. I love digging into the why of something and publishing research. Life has a way of getting chaotic though. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I found out that I could, in fact, make money doing what I loved.
Now that I know why I’m socially awkward, I revel in it. After all, it’s what makes me, me. It’s what allows me to think in multiple dimensions and build the life I always wanted. I am a black sheep, and I love it. Life has more color, more adventure. There is beauty in every cloud. There is love all around me.
Here I am, in the middle of my life, creating my best life. I have the courage to embrace myself and be true to who I am. As my fellow Writing Bar compatriot Leslie Martinez discovered, I don’t control what other people think. And most of the time, I don’t care.
Be fearless and be authentically, unapologetically, you.
Masking is a part of life for the neurospicy. Sometimes it’s because people were told what not to be, so they mask the part of them that they think people don’t want to see. But is it truly living if you are not you at all times? When we live our authentic selves, we meet people that love and embrace who we are while releasing toxic relationships. If you struggle with living your authentic life, being your authentic self, I can help. You can contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or go straight to booking a discovery call.
Jennifer Capler is a serial entrepreneur, a Veteran of the US Navy, a published author and researcher, a mother of four amazing children, and a widow. She is a Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership and has several professional certifications, including Certified Neuro Linguistics Programming (NLP) Master Coach. She has published research on effective leadership, wrote a book chapter about the impact of micro-management, and is currently writing a memoir on living after loss.
Jennifer is passionate about living authentically, writing, and empowering effective leadership. Throughout life, she has been emphatic about living true to herself to obtain her best life. She loves helping others embrace their authentic selves to live their best lives.
You can find some of Capler’s previously published works here:
Capler, J. (2021). “Death by authoritative leadership and micro-management” in Morris, L. R. & Edmonds, W. M., When leadership fails: Individual, group and organizational lessons from the worst workplace experiences. Emerald Publishing Limited.
Capler, J. (2021). Incorporating systems thinking into local governments in the United States of America. Scholar Chatter, 2(2), 22-29.
Capler, J. (2020). A descriptive case study of effective decision-making of a local government organization in the United States of America. International Journal of Public Leadership, 16(3), 279-297.
Capler, J. (2018). Effective decision-making in local government organizations: A case study (Order No. 13422007). Available from Dissertations & Theses @ University of Phoenix. (2172386570).