My Life as an Analyst
I am a technical analyst. I try to figure out things and processes, but not people, and certainly not people who are psychoanalysts. When most people think about a technical analyst, they often envision a guy drably dressed, who is temperamental and likes to work alone, and who has marginal social skills. Technical analysts are often at odds with managers and bosses, who view their analyst skills as something akin to a dark art.
I am a natural technical analyst, and I used to be a typically temperamental and difficult to work with, but how did I start out this way?
One possibility is the way I came out screaming on that July day in 1942, but no one understood my yelling, “Put me back; you dropped me right into a middle of a war.” This was two years before Hans Asperger would make his diagnosis, which would be ignored for years.
Another possibility is, as a child, being sent to the “Temple of the Analyst” in Tibet, where masters taught me all the skills of an analyst, including how to invert my thoughts to crack the most obfuscated puzzles, how not to get along with others, and how to throw fits. They tried to convert me to celibacy, but it didn’t work.
Most likely, I was kidnapped by extra-terrestrials who probed and scrambled my brain, so it would be so caught up in solving ultimate questions, but scarcely able to understand simple subjective concepts. Alien abduction is a popular scenario used to explain what otherwise can’t be explained.
Whatever the cause, my childhood to early adult was like being in a scary fog. No one understood or dealt with issues concerning autism or identity. In a past age, I would have been a good candidate for a monk or a scribe, but I certainly had no plans, except to oppose all attempts to make me conform. My first word was an emphatic “no.”
In 1945, I sensed that something was wrong. I remember commenting to my mother, “There is something I am supposed to remember.” I think this was my first analysis. Sometimes I got it wrong, like when I tried to analyze one of our frequent earthquakes, why Dad would go shut off the hot water heater, as if he was turning off the earthquake; actually because the hot water heater did not have a thermostat.
I did not develop very diverse interests, being almost exclusively interested in nature, astronomy, science fiction, and dinosaurs. There was a faint desire to write science fiction, but my early attempts were devoid of any human interest. After all, classic science fiction featured characters that had no parents or siblings, no love interests, and certainly no hint of sexuality.
At age ten, I developed an interest in girls, but don’t quote me, because denial has been my way of life. It was confusing, since my parents did not explain sexuality to me. Instead of a desire to get girlfriends, there was a fascination with girls’ lives. Did I want to be a girl? Girls were inexplicably mysterious, and my first use of analysis was used to attempt to figure out why. What criteria were used to divide us up into boys and girls? All the while, I was in denial of this preoccupation, because it was so illogical.
Finally, at age 19, I had to admit an interest in girls. Giving-in weakened my fortress. I went on my first date, but awkwardness made forming any relationship with a girl difficult. Still, interest in girls was a first step toward overcoming autism, and my level of intensity was much higher than for the average Asperger boy.
I graduated from college in 1965 and promptly received my draft notice, but was allowed to join the Air Force instead, ending up in atomic testing, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I learned to program on the world’s fastest computer at the time, where I simulated real-world situations using computer programs. This was a natural form of analysis for me. After I got out of the Air Force, there was my first real job as a computer analyst on Vandenberg AFB. I was very good at working on computer programs that tracked debris when missile tests had to be aborted. There was a problem: dating was terrible in the area, and I simply could not keep my mind on my analysis projects. I got a job at Boeing and returned to my home state in 1977.
I met my wife, Carolyn, in 1979 on a meet-up radio program, and we were married in 1980. Like many couples, we had relied on sex to jump start our relationship. All my fantastic analyst skills did not tell me that I was a poor lover, an asocial husband, ant that I was firmly locked into destructive social behaviors. In 1989, the time for a real change had arrived. Not only was I not really participating in my marriage, but I was getting a lot of rants at work that I was hard to work with.
I embarked on a journey of various behavioral changes. At work, I tried to learn to work with the customers. Taking up crossdressing raised a lot of eyebrows. Friends were sometimes shocked by my switching from total logic to counter-cultural behavior.
2002 was a pivotal year. I started to attend a liberal Christian church; then the lay-off came from Boeing, despite my 25 years of experience. Enemies had been made …maybe I had not progressed fast enough in social skills, or maybe I should not have challenged dress codes. My wife had become mildly handicapped, and it had become more serious by 2005.
Shortly after this, I had a vision that I needed to explore philosophy. I was to be a real philosopher, which meant that I would analyze reality to figure things out, but I had to work on personal biases. This is still a work in progress.
My wife suffered an escalation of problems in 2009, and my life became overwhelming. I had had anger management problems for years, and my anger was getting out of control. Whenever I got bound up in anger, I was simply not mentally present to deal with issues, because my skills as an analyst would all shut down.
After my wife’s death, I returned to my Buddhist roots in March 2011. My first attempt in 1985 had failed, but this time my ordeal had generated plenty of motivation. Up to this time, I had never learned to recognize my own neuroses and deal with them. This is the ultimate kind of analysis…to recognize my failings in real-time and work to change bad habits into good habits. Anger can be especially deceptive, and I finally realized that my penchant for self-defense was also a form of anger. My life is frustrating, and dating is frustrating. My analysis has indicated that women are unduly blamed for a lot of things, so I am not going to get into the blame game. I have to work to change myself and not anyone else.
Today, I am progressing well. I volunteer to promote social justice. I am learning to treat women as friends first, and let partnering wait. I have a lot of friends on Facebook. My life as an analyst now has the critical component of self-awareness. I do want to help improve women’s lives, and I am interested in the “Empower Women” movement; however, all the written details require analysis. Not every detail is a good idea, especially if it does not include how culture actually changes. Culture changes slowly with conflicting priorities. For instance, in liberal western Washington, gender-switching (looking totally like the opposite gender) is increasingly allowed in the workplace, but gender-blending (mixing male and female styles) or over-the-top forms of attire or adornment are usually forbidden.
Meditation allows me to be in the moment, to see how reality actually works. I no longer have to waste energy specifically opposing people and culture; my mind quickly develops calm abiding. I can be fearless, because it is the last third of my life. Not only will I do, but I will also die. I will never have much of a cultural-orientation, but my type of Buddhism allows for counter-cultural lifestyles. Just being a Buddhist in America is counter-cultural in itself.
I have integrated more of my analyst skills into shopping for better deals, especially at thrift However, I am not just into trifles; there are important things to do. Maybe I can implement my fantasy for New Feminist World Order. As a student of Vajrayana Buddhism, I am allowed to be outrageous, but no violence or coercion of any kind is allowed. That’s not as much fun, but if I sit down and analyze the situation enough, I’m sure I will find a way.