In The Listings

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First and foremost Happy New Year everybody, let’s us hope 2018 brings us all what we desire the most – peace and happiness!

In The Listings!

You know as you do, or as one does whichever rocks your boat or flies your feather as a saying – however – l was listening to ‘Kicks Like A Mule’ – The Bouncer – a really solid piece of music for the avid fans of the time, and it was whilst this was happening that this post idea came to life.

For those not in the know, this piece is rave to me, others might know it more as hard-core beat and in a nutshell it’s awesome! But NOT if you don’t like that style, but hey each to their own! The Bouncer has certain lyrics to it which made me think of the content l wanted to write about here, these being: “Listen mate, I told you once, I told you twice, you’re not on the list, alright?”.

Lists – you either love them or hate them, it has the same appeal to it as does Marmite vs. Vegemite – you are either for or against, and l profoundly am a solid ‘List Maker’ although I am Not a List Maker’s son. My Father was not one, he was more of a scribbler or commonly known as a Scribble It!

The problem to scribbles is that they are easily lost, whilst a good solid List is not due to its concrete stability! Of course not everyone thinks that way especially not Scribblers! But we Listers tend to staunchly protect and project our beliefs to all who will listen! [Strange almost ironic that there is a List in listen – not like there is a Scribble in there, eh, just saying!]

As a nation it appears that we are in fact equally addicted to Listings as much as Scribbling’s as both award us with a gratifying sensation of achievement! Furthermore scientific studies states that it is rumoured that specifically Lists are attributed to be somewhat charismatic to the creator.

Our brains crave the acquisition of data more so than the randomness of scribbling. The logistics side to our brain demands that we feed it sensible content so that it can deliberately straighten it out! Scribbling on the other hand is completely and utterly abstract and has no firmness to it – after all it’s a scribble, a musing almost, not amusing as that is different and not even funny, although each to their own interpretation!

But humour aside there is actually some real genuine benefit to be had from List making and believe it or not some exceptional therapeutic remedy! You see, with a list rather than some haphazard hit and miss slapdash scrawl otherwise known as the scribble – the user has structure in their lives and we each need some organization even the wackiest amongst us need a framework to build up from!

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With Listings and the art of Listing our minds are able to scan for information and achieve results quickly and efficiently. We are able to check off items and know that we are progressing and that we are moving forwards perhaps albeit slowly but that is way better than slipping constantly backwards!

When l was experiencing my breakdown, lists came into their own with me – for they allowed me to concentrate upon ‘baby steps’, whereas l noticed that my scribbles made me feel worse!

But my lists were orderly, whilst they may not have been fantastic works of art, they got me through the day, each day, every day, one day at a time which then became a week.

With a scribble on a crumpled piece of paper, it has no definition – nowhere really to go except maybe just to look at! BUT with a list of things or jobs, you suddenly had an ‘itemised list’, which awarded you a schedule of events even if you didn’t follow it religiously; it gave you a sense of purpose through a direction.

1] Get Up
2] Shower/Shave
3] Toilet
4] Dress
5] Breakfast
6] Walk dog
7] Do something else before walking dog again!

The list above is not the actual list l had, but it’s not far off, l made the list the previous night and built up from it and over the period of depression l was able to gratify my existence on this planet, prove to myself that l WAS valuable!

Lists are remarkable resources for both Wellness and Mindfulness, they don’t have to be overly long, or incredibly short, they don’t always have to be logical, they don’t have to have an ending for they can be infinite – well at least as long as your paper – they can be one sided or twin sided – it’s up to you. They don’t even have to be flowing beautifully from word to word – but what is important is that your LIST means something to you, you control it, it’s your responsibility, and it’s your life.

But you see – also with List Making you can make it into a worthy art, by writing your words on coloured paper, or maybe in a journal, using a lovely pen, you can pen to paper as often as you want to work on your writing style. You can colour code your lists if you split the content into sections – in fact truth be known the world is your oyster – it’s your list – do as you want, and more importantly if someone says anything about it – well you know the answer already yes?

“Listen mate, I told you once, I told you twice, you’re not on the list, alright?”.

So, more importantly – are you a Lister or a Scribbler?

 

Classic Eggshell Moments

That Gal, That Guy – Neurodivergent Rebel

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01] Name You Go By?

Christa

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02] Brand/Product/Business Name?

Neurodivergent Rebel

03] If you use social media, which ones? Where/how do people find you?

Facebook, Twitter, & YouTube

04] If you maintain any blogs/vlogs/forums, what are they called?

Neurodivergent Rebel Blog 

05] Are you a new business concept, or identity to the market? How long have you been established?

I started my blog in the fall of 2017.

06] What is your identity/business/product about?

I work to spread autism & neurodiversity positivity. I’m also working as a copywriter & autism consultant through my blog. In addition, I sell neurodiversity pride clothing & merchandise online.

07] How did you come up with the concept of your idea? Did you have any previous experience with what you do, or was it completely fresh?

I ran my own company before (I used to be a dog trainer) and had experience with social media & blogging.

08] Did you discuss it with others before launching or just ran with the idea and let it ride? If you did discuss the idea with others, what was their reaction?

I did it for me. It was just something I had to do. I didn’t have a plan when I registered for the domain and have just been winging it.

09] Do you use promotional or boosted or organic marketing techniques to raise the awareness to what you do?

It’s all been organic. I just share honest opinions & start conversations with people.

10] Tell us about how social media has worked for you? [If at all]

Social media has been the driving force behind my business. It connects me to an amazing community.

11] Is your business unique or different in any way to your competitors or the next person along? If so, how, tell us about it?

I’m not sure if I’m different or not. I assume I am because I’ve been different my entire life so I assume my business would be too.

12] Are you a quiet person naturally or are you very attention/publicity orientated?

I am quiet and sometimes shy around new people. Around people I know I am VERY talkative and outgoing.

13] Is your brand you and you are the brand or is your brand separate from your personal life?

I am my brand. It all started because I was sharing parts of myself online.

14] Did/do you have a strategy/plan for achieving success? What was/is your end goal or achievement?

Not really. I just was hoping to connect & learn.

15] Did you always believe that your idea/product/brand was going to be successful or did it not bother you?

I’m not sure if I am successful or not. What IS the definition of success? I’ll be successful once autism is accepted.

16] At any point with your idea/product/brand did it look like it was going to fail? Did you make any preparation for this possibility?

I try not to put hard definitions on success or failure. I guess failure would be me quitting and I don’t intend to stop any time soon.

17] Is popularity or quality more important to you/your brand? [Or both]

Quality and honesty are most important to me.

18] Does your brand receive the right amount of publicity/attention that you think it warrants? If not, what other tactics have you introduced to help it along? If it has, are you pleased with the results?

I’ve been pleasantly surprised with how fast my blog has grown. If I had to wish for more growth somewhere, I’d say my YouTube channel is my weak spot. It’s not picking up as fast as everything else – but still nothing to complain about.

19] How long does it take you to prepare or finalise product or content for the end user?

Each video takes 30 minutes to an hour to finish. T-shirt designs can take an hour if they are complex. Written blogs tend to take about an hour or two as well. I spend HOURS on social media (mainly Twitter) EVERY day sharing content & keeping up with notifications.

20] Have you found that social media has embraced your identity willingly?

Yes, actually.

21] Have you found that your ‘different approach or quirky style’ has ever hindered what you do?

It’s helped me to connect with like-minded people.

22] How do your customers/clients/readers feel about you or your business, brand or content?

In general my content is well received.

23] Are you ever worried about upsetting your client base or do you think that a little ‘tilt’ occasionally helps who you are and what you do?

Since I am my brand, I get to be honest be real and be myself. If it’s not for you than you’re not my audience and that’s fine with me.

24] Do you have a favourite quote or phrase or term that you always use to describe who you are?

“Neurodivergent Rebel – Rebelling against a culture that values assimilation over individuality”.

25] What would your epitaph read? How do you want to be remembered?

I hope I am remembered for doing good things.

26] Do you have any annoying habits?

I try not to, but I tend to interrupt people and talk out of turn if I get over-excited.

27] What is your biggest regret or your greatest achievement to date? [Or Both]

I don’t think it’s helpful to focus on your regrets. My favourite life achievements are all around facing my fears.

28] What do you do to relax?

Warm bubble baths, write, colour, Twitter

29] Where about in the world are you to be found? [Country]

I’m in the US – currently Texas

30] What are your best qualities?

I’m stubborn or determined, I look at the world in a unique way, I’m a problem solver.

31] Do you think, with what you do that you have attained ‘That Gal, That Guy’ status yet or still working towards it? Is it important to you?

I feel like I’m still working towards it. Maybe that’ll change if I ever become a full-time blogger.

32] Why do you think you/your brand or concept is different? Or are you no different to everyone else?

Everyone is different but we are also all the same. We want to share our stories, our own personal truths.

33] If you were an animal what would you be?

Raccoons are my spirit animals.

34] What sport would be the funniest to add a mandatory amount of alcohol to?

I don’t really drink. What about those giant human sized hamster balls things?

35] Finally tell us something unique about you that the questions haven’t asked.

I’m autistic and was only diagnosed last year at the age of 29.

Christa – Neurodivergent Rebel

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The That Gal, That Guy Series

 

 

 

 

 

 

Merry Christmas

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Just Wanted to wish all my followers a very Merry Christmas and thank you for your followings, your likes and your comments.

Wherever you are, however you choose to celebrate this time, my thoughts are with you and your families and loved ones.

Egg-Logo

Rory Matier – The Tee Shirt Blogger

Tee Shirt Guy 3

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What’s Colour Got to Do with It?

Many a time l could be perceived as being quite a drab dresser, l don’t stray that far from the usual attire on the average day, a far cry from my days in retail when in order to stand out and be different, l took the role on as a Dandy – which to the learned – would seem to be quite the opposite of most Aspergians, but of course back then l was unknowing as to that presence.

What l did know was that l didn’t just want to wear the same drabness that most of my colleagues wore daily, but also l didn’t specifically want people looking at or into my eyes – everyone l talked to about this at the time just said l was weird!

Who knew how close they were to the truth!

I figured that if l was wearing colour, it would take people’s attention away from my face, and to a degree it worked, hence why l was always adorned in colourful ties, bow-ties, waistcoats, bling for the suit, brighter coloured suits and the shiniest of shoes!

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[I can’t let go of my slice of The Retail 80’s – 15 waistcoats/100 Assorted ties!

But that was in my yesterdays, in my youth, before a knowing cynicism crept on board my very soul!

These days comfort rules, hyper-sensitivity ensures that l dress myself in fabrics that allow freedom of movement, no scratchy tags, no tight fitting anything and to some who do not know me, l could at times be mistaken for a tramp!

When on the few occasions l go out, well l smarten up my appearance – there is no need for my partner to be perceived as dating the grunge puppy! But on the day to day basis l tend to wear the same routinal clothing – sometimes my partner has a hell of a job to get me to drop them into the washing basket, especially if they are really comfortable!

I am no longer on show as in retail, so it matters not to a degree of how l look. I shower daily, shave every couple of days, wear clean underwear and socks, and change my tee shirt every day! But my outer shell is usually the same, l am currently enjoying wearing immensely a lined and padded checked blue over shirt and l am either wearing cargos or smart joggers!

Yeah, yeah l know quite the dapper guy me, you’re well jealous!

The one thing however l do enjoy is wearing colourful tee shirts, my last bastion of vibrancy l have in my life! So on this level; colour is all important to me. Nowadays l wear tee shirts seven days a week, so having a bright colourful selection is imperative in my eyes.

I don’t like white tee shirts, which is why if you peruse through the displayed selections in my Classic Eggshell Moments shop you will NEVER see a design deliberately placed onto one. But should a buyer wish to own a white tee, the option is there, panic over! I also cannot abide plain tee shirts, so mine always have to have something on the front, l feel naked if there is nothing!

These days l am slightly better with the acceptance of both black and grey tee shirts in my collection as colours, but that is only recently. It used to be that l couldn’t wear ‘black, white or grey’ tees, but hey we all change!

In Twitter recently l held a poll and after 24 hours and 175 votes later l had the answer to this question:

“What’s Your Favourite Tee Shirt Colour?”

The following answers were received and nothing shocked me, ironically however, of the tee shirts l have sold through the shop none came from the top colour choice.

52% Black, White & Grey
25% Vibrant Colours
20% Pastels
3% Brown/Designs

May not seem like a lot of voters to base a poll upon, but the fact is that whatever poll you look at that asks a similar colour question, the answers above are usually the responses whatever the numbers voting. Black, white and grey or shades of grey such as marl, ash, charcoal and so on, always come up trumps. Vibrant and pastels alike also are not too far from the results we have, so l wasn’t unhappy with the end result over the time window it was displayed at.

However, digression aside, what does a colour say about you if anything at all?

For me personally, l like to wear colours other than black, white and grey. I don’t even own any white tee shirts and have a couple of black and a couple of mid grey, but l have roughly 35 tee shirts and all the others are blues, greens, reds, oranges, yellows, coppers, purples and some pastels – so l am more of a vibrant kind of colour palette.

But what about you?

In the mid to late 80’s, having your colours done was a really popular activity and everyone wanted to have their colour swatches carried out, but what wasn’t popular in the 80’s? But colour swatching is still a thing, and wearing the right colours can not only motivate you, but really bolster your confidence for not just you, but how you are perceived by others.

Black The Confidence Promoter!

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Some people view this colour as gloomy or the harbinger of death and misery and yet black is a totally powerful colour that can speak volumes to those looking upon it. It is stable and solid and promotes reliability and seriousness, and is great for first dates and or interviews. But too much black and this can portray a darker side to a personality, so don’t wear it in an over powering way, break the colour up with other colours.

Equally, black is worn by arty people and those who want to say something about their caring natures. This colour is a real classic and often symbolises elegance.

Black is a very popular tee shirt colour both in plain tees and designer tees.

White

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There is almost something angelic about white tee shirt wearers as it portrays a clean and innocent look. Organised and detail focused people, as well as non-clutter hoarders love white for its logical outlook. But do remember like black to not wear too much white as it can dilute your appearance and make you appear ill, so add a splash of colour.

Grey

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Is a neutral colour equally as much as a toner, a blender between colours, hence why some people wear black, white and grey together as it tones them down as well as displays a striking ensemble. Like white, like black, too much grey and let’s face it ‘You gonna look real borin!

So remember to wear splashes of colour with this also.

However the first three colours mentioned here, represented 52% of the buying population.

Vibrant Colours Pastel Colours

Blue

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This colour is one of the most popular colours in the vibrancy chart, as it blends with most colours, pending upon its shade or hue if you want to be romantic about it all. It represents honesty, trust and reliability. If you think on it, you might see why many of the utilities, finances and authoritarians wear blue – so think hospitals, bankers and the police.

But also it symbolises harmony, calm, sensitivity, stability and clean and tidy minds.

Red

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I adore red, have done for many years. It symbolises vivaciousness, tenacity for living life, it’s about creativity and confidence, and difference, it can display that you are ‘out there’ and that you are determined. It is a colour of action, it can speak volumes in a silent room, it displays power, and passion, and boldness and is known to quicken the heart rates of those who see it – if you wish to be seen and remembered – wear red and own it!

Pink

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Similar to red, it represents passion, but can also symbolise vulnerability and not as strong as red. But there are many shades of pink and not all are ‘girly, or fantasy based, but vibrantly strong. But for men it can mean that they are in touch with their feminine side and not feel threatened by that fact.

But equally there are many things pink as a colour can mean and be interpreted to mean as well. It is a vibrant colour and can mean friendly and approachable, it can display warmth and a nurturing side, as well as softness to the person’s nature, it means and can mean that the wearer is a sensitive soul and aware of people’s feelings, that they can be generous with their time in the caring of others. Pink wearers are positive people and can see the good in most others.

It’s one of the most powerful colours in the pastel range and whilst not as ‘strong’ as red, is still a very strong contender in the vibrancy range. It can represent organised minds, refined outlooks, reserved and calm, and poise – strong but not aggressive and declare an inner beauty to the mind.

Some pink wearers are lucky to don this colour and adorn the youthful look, as it can alter the external appearance, a very good colour for those who wish to be seen as silently comfortable with whom they are.

Purple

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This is the colour of inspiration, artisticness, uniqueness, difference, respect for others but equally at times arrogance! Not many people feel distinctly comfortable in purple, and so tend to wear varying shades of – lilacs, mauves, violets and lavenders – in many ways it is a bit like Marmite, you either love it or hate it, it’s that simple. A remarkably strong colour for the bold and creative!

But also this is the colour for the spiritualists amongst you, those who have the imagination to look further than the mere confines of normal eye sight, yours is to say ‘what if, and when, in comparison to ‘this is the end. Yours is more the this is the real beginning type of belief!

A truly awesomely vibrant colour, it is great by itself for the brave and a daring combo colour for those who wish to simply splash it around a bit especially if the pastels are ignored and the deepest of shades is utilised! The intensity of the purple you wear tells a lot about the depth of your personality to others who look at your choice, each person sees something different.

Yellow

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The yellow wearers amongst us thrive for learning; they enjoy absorbing information and sharing their knowledge with others. They can find happiness easily and love the sunshine of all yellows! In the main they are cheerful souls – this colour can be perceived as being too cheeky or frivolous so be careful how you wear it, and if needs be wear it as a splash colour rather than a main colour.

Truly a beautifully vibrant colour that both excites and stimulates the brain and creating mental astuteness!

Yellow offers hope, original thought, insight and inquisitiveness, illuminations, cheerfulness and fun, not forgetting daring and risk…

Orange

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Such a playful gregarious colour, worn by those whom are very different in their thinking and their outlook upon life, a real mixed personality colour adored by children and the young at heart! It’s a great blending colour and can mix and match with virtually all colours, turning the boring into adventurous and the bold into daredevils! Just be careful to not wear too much orange and give the impression that you have been tangoed!

It is said that when you wear orange you can get away with saying anything …

Green

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From the sombre khakis to the luminous brightest, green has such freshness to it! It is an instant calmer as well as karma thinker! It represents paganism, druidism and nature loving and it fills the swatch palette with more than 50 shades of spice and natural your head can spin!

Army greens can make you appear strict, rigid a stickler for regime and routine, whilst the likes of sea green, forest greens and emerald greens can award the feeling of harmony, balance and growth. It is a peace making colour, and one of extreme positivity – but as with most colours be wary as to how much you wear in case you are mistaken for a leprechaun – although they can be remarkably lucky which is another added incentive for wearing lots of green – think clover!

Pastels & Vibrant made up for 45% of the vote which is not that far from the popular trio

Brown

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Finally we come to the browns, a colour which many people shoot down for being if anything stagnant and yet if this is the case why do we see so many brown shoes, bags, belts and suits?

Brown offers stability, wealth, security, protection and seriousness, but there are many shades of brown from the deeply bold to the autumnal russets and coppers. Don’t be put off by brown, but look at the very delightful bounce it can offer the patient.

Brown is practical, reliable, sound and solid, approachable and friendly, frugal and honest, sensual, sensitive and warm and sincerely genuine!

Don’t ever be ashamed to wear brown – whilst society and the fashion mentors at times can consider it to be dull and boring, truth be known it can often be quite surprising!

So there we have it, a brief guide into your colours… so who are you, and what do you favour?

Rory Matier – The Tee Shirt Blogger

Classic Eggshell Moments

The Last Pack Member

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Trigger warning. This post talks of suicide.

The Last Pack Member – An Aspie Alone

Nothing Amusing About These Musings!

A few months ago, l wanted to walk off a cliff in St. Margaret’s, near to where l live. I couldn’t cope with the noise inside my head, l couldn’t cope with yet another depression moving in for the kill to my brain. It was all too much.

My partner and my dog were yards ahead of me, enjoying the truly beautiful Kentish weather. It was glorious, as my Mother used to say ‘Enough blue for a pair of sailors’ pants!’ It was a lovely day and l ruined it – by being depressed. Depression is a twofold demon with me, l suffer from both a Neuro depression mode and an autistic or rather an Aspergian depression mode. One of them is nuclear whilst the other is maddening.

I looked longingly down upon the rocks, a drop of around a hundred feet below my own feet, the waves glistening crashing on those same rocks, white horses danced out of the crests of the waves, there was a fantastic sea breeze and all l could think of was ….

“Would the fall kill me outright or would l become a vegetable, because rotten luck chases me and has chased me for years! Would l be lucky enough to be a bloodied pulp, my bones broken, perhaps even a neck snap?” Those were my thoughts – l was a mere 12” from the edge, 12” from a potential death, 12” away from a suicide … but l didn’t, l looked at both my partner and my dog my two best friends in the world and l knew then that l was NOT going to do it, l was going to fight it, and this time l was going to win!

My dog, Scrappy is the last of a large pack of dogs that l had the privilege of having the company of over the last twenty years; she was the last pack member to come on board. She turned 14 at the end of November this year, and she has proven to be a loving loyal companion of mine for every single one of those days – she has never betrayed me, or let me down and has loved me unconditionally without question. She is a hardy breed, an Australian Sheep dog crossed with a Staffy – she is as hard as nails.

An acrimonious divorce in 2007 split my beautiful pack up, the ex-wife took away half of my dogs in an attempt to cause me pain, and l never saw or heard from them again, and it was painful. My dogs have been my life, they have been there when humans simply were not enough company or were not there. So to lose 4 of my 8 was tough. However l had my four girls left. Sadly by 2009, l had lost two of those girls to old age, and sadder again, l lost my beloved Dora in 2014, which left Scrappy and me.

How could l possibly host the thought, the terrible thought of killing myself? How could l leave my last pack member and my partner? There is a good chance Scrappy who is an elderly dog and has been my closest companion for 14 years would pine and die before her time, l could not do that to her. My partner and l are fast approaching five years together and it has not been an easy ride for her – Aspergers – despite clumsiness many purport it to be, can be quite a challenging disorder to live with – how could l do this to her? The first woman who has ever really understood me? How could l allow the insidiousness of depression to cheat her of time left with her man?

That would not be fair. …

So often people accuse and propose suggestion that no thought goes through the mind of those thinking of death upon themselves and whilst l cannot speak of all, l have faced this burning question many a time. I have more responsibility to others now, and whilst l may not always have the highest regard of my own life – l must be considerate to those whom are left behind to pick up the pieces, clear up the metaphorical mess and attempt to get on their lives continually asking themselves if they could have done more?

I decided that day 12” from certain death that NO, l would, come what may start to retake my own life, and not let depression control me anymore. I may not be the happiest soul on the planet, in truth how many of us really deeply are? We are all broken in one way or another, but l am happy the most when with my two best friends and that alone was sufficient to kick back, to step back from the fall of death, and slowly but surely l eased away … 14”, 20”, 2 feet, 3 feet and then l joined them again, and completed the trio that we are as a family.

It’s not easy being on the spectrum of autism with my Aspergers, nay before you think that is a cry for sympathetic help, it’s not, it is a cold hard clinical and objective fact. All day l say to people it’s ok to be different; it’s ok to not be ok, and all the other motivationals you can think of. But the reality is that when l am in a Aspie geared depression, l care not for those motivations – for many a time l don’t want to be different, l don’t want to not be ok – because l do want to be ok!

I am different anyway, the very essence of who l am, predicts that l will be different, because l think differently to most, therefore l am already different by genetical default, it’s literally in my genes to be different. When you are trying to heal yourself, your mood swings are unpredictable 0 – nuclear in 10 seconds is not unheard of, and with the notorious Aspergian pendulum to it swinging away in the background, you are going to be in for one hell of a roller coaster ride. Walking on eggshells doesn’t even come close to how you are feeling.

I tried medications – they are useless with me and also l am anti-chemical so this makes recovery harder, but would rather be organic in my healing than pretending by using a medical disguise that all is well. Although l will not deny it was a real struggle battling depression with no medication, no therapy, and no one to specifically talk to about screwed up my head was back then.

Even long before my Aspergers diagnosis l suffered horribly with mental health issues, so much so, that it is almost a permanent residency within my skull, it’s always there, it’s like a leopard or a tiger, one is spotted the other striped, they may change their behaviours occasionally, but they will always be who they were born to be.

That’s like depression, my opinion may differ to another on this level, but l think the depression is always there, lurking and just waiting for a fresh dose of darkness to creep into and onto its path. Each person’s stress and depression is reflective upon who they are. I may not understand another person’s stress, equally as much as they may not see the disturbance in mine. We all have , good days, bad days, good months, bad months, great years, fucking lousy years, and sometimes, well sometimes those of us who pretend everything is dandy – break down again. The pretence no longer able to be contained, the creeping darkness that is depression has crept back into our minds and will not go until it causes absolute havoc.

But sometimes these reoccurrence’s can be caused by triggers – ask any autist if there are triggers to their stresses, their meltdowns or even their breaks, ask a non autist and they will tell you the same – everything can be bloody fine, but occasionally the tiniest bit of straw is enough to break the camel’s back.

I would like to say that since my telling the doctor that l intended to go it alone without medication, may not have been my wisest choice, but l was without a huge choice of options to pick from in the ‘getting better chain’. I put my recovery down to my love for my partner, for Scrappy, for the last pack member, for my ability to be optimistic, for my wanting to love life, for wanting to be with my partner and grow old together.

Currently l am about as positive as l can be, l am NOT saying l don’t have glitches, because l do – l have waves of melancholy sweep over me at times – only the other day for two hours solid l just wanted to end my life, and l had to really keep busy, project my thoughts elsewhere, and eventually that darkness ebbed away.

The moral of this post is simple, be MINDFUL of others folks, you don’t know the journey they have to undertake to be where they are, not everyone has the same journey, nor everyone arrives at the same destination as everyone else – so be mindful please, and remember that everyone has a story to tell and it may not be as lovely as yours.

Depressing reality

 

Rory Matier – The Tee Shirt Blogger

Ps: These posts are my views on my autism/Asperger’s, they may not be everyone else’s who is on the spectrum.

Time To Break Taboo

That Gal, That Guy – Classic Eggshell Moments

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Why Be Ordinary, When You Can Be Remarkable!

01] Name You Go By?

Rory Matier

02] Brand/Product/Business Name?

Classic Eggshell Moments

03] If you use social media, which ones? Where/how do people find you?

Twitter

04] If you maintain any blogs/vlogs/forums, what are they called?

Blogs: The Tee Shirt Blogger, A Guy Called Bloke, Doodlepip’s Adventures

5] Are you a new business concept, or identity to the market? How long have you been established?

Classic Eggshell Moments has been active since November 2016, operating as a store front within Redbubble. As a tee shirt seller, yes this is a totally new adventure for me, although l was originally in retail merchandising and management when l was a younger man.

06] What is your identity/business/product about?

I offer for sale a range of products with my designs of which are specifically aimed at Autism, Aspergers, Mental Health , Taboo  and Stigma, Environmental and Eco-friendly, Animal Welfare and Service dogs. The designs are mostly on tee shirts but also tote bags with a few other range styles available.

07] How did you come up with the concept of your idea? Did you have any previous experience with what you do, or was it completely fresh?

The idea for the brand name was principally because of my Aspergers, and the fact that so many people oft referred to the phrase ‘walking on eggshells’ with me, that l thought l would incorporate that into the concept. I was getting tired of not being able to find designs that l would personally wear, especially when it came to the likes of my Aspergers. What was available, was not something l found any comfort with, l couldn’t buy into the whole ribbon or puzzle piece design, as that simply didn’t describe me.

I had never worked with a print and demand supplier such as the likes of Redbubble, and only had experience working with actual merchandise when in retail.

08] Did you discuss it with others before launching or just ran with the idea and let it ride? If you did discuss the idea with others, what was their reaction?

I know l initially discussed the possibility of the tee shirt business with my partner and a few friends, and they were all in support of it, but mostly it was something l needed to do for me.

09] Do you use promotional or boosted or organic marketing techniques to raise the awareness to what you do?

Having spent years and years in advertising, marketing, branding and promotions l was and still am confident about my organic marketing approach and have not, will not and probably wont ever have the need to buy boosted promotions. I organically advertise through Twitter and Facebook, but predominately the former. I have managed several self employed business enterprises over the last thirty years, and all have been organically marketed, l don’t believe for me that buying an advertisement campaign is the answer. When you create your own audience, customer base or client database and have built it yourself through your own efforts, then there is more familiarity and more of a personal friendship to be acquired. I like to know my buyer.

10] Tell us about how social media has worked for you? [If at all]

Twitter is my more efficient social media for garnering successful results for sales and was the main reason l opened my first ever Twitter account in January [2017], purely so as to open up the brand and product ranges to a much larger and more commercial audience than l personally felt l wasn’t reaching with Facebook. A year on from business launch and l can confirm that Twitter was a good move for the brand. Also, a more recent move to WordPress l believe will also continue to raise awareness to the designs themselves.

11] Is your business unique or different in any way to your competitors or the next person along? If so, how, tell us about it?

Is my business unique? in so far as tee shirts – no, not at all. In so far as uniqueness for the designs? Yes, l don’t have many competitors that voice the thoughts the same way as l do and that is with reference to the Aspergers and to a degree the autism collections. I still hold a certain individuality with my other visual designs also.

12] Are you a quiet person naturally or are you very attention/publicity orientated

I am a very quiet person naturally, l am not a full on introvert, but l am a far cry from being an extrovert.

13] Is your brand you and you are the brand or is your brand separate from your personal life?

I am the brand, the brand is me, although l do have a personal life, but l am a very open person as it is, and do not believe in hiding behind falsehoods. My blogs are very open reads into me for those who wish to follow my journey and read my story.

14] Did/do you have a strategy/plan for achieving success? What was/is your end goal or achievement?

I have a five year strategy plan for Classic Eggshell Moments – as to goal. Mmm, well it would be nice to be hugely successful, but reality kicks in pretty quick and that says l am in an aggressive market, so be happy with less. I wasn’t particularly bothered about being a huge brand name, if it achieved success even marginally, l was going to be happy with that. I have never been overly bothered by being consumed by commercial consumerism.

16] At any point with your idea/product/brand did it look like it was going to fail? Did you make any preparation for this possibility?

Launching a new business of this nature and failures were bound to occur, l made some back up plans for this eventuality, but only in so far as understanding that NOT all the designs would be everyone’s cup of tea, hence why l devised the 5 year plan. within a short period of time l was able to established that some designs were simply ‘too out there’ and were withdrawn from display with perhaps a re-launch further down the line.

17] Is popularity or quality more important to you/your brand? [Or both]

I don’t care about popularity, never have done, although in previous business’s l have been and become immensely popular with clients, but l prefer quality over quantity

18] Does your brand receive the right amount of publicity/attention that you think it warrants? If not, what other tactics have you introduced to help it along? If it has, are you pleased with the results?

Yes it does, but when you are organically marketing your brand, it all comes back down to you. So if l push harder one week than the next, and the next week l push softer the results reflect upon me. I am pretty laid back and firmly believe in the ‘build it and they will come‘ philosophy so am not over enthusiastic to do a continued push each and every day.

19] How long does it take you to prepare or finalise product or content for the end user?

Content from start to finish. Well the designs are all done, so they are easy now. Writing in the blogs can take a little longer and the biggest problem l might face is writers block, but l have usually got enough pre-prepared literature lying around to post most days. so for me, again it’s reflective upon what l am doing.

20] Have you found that social media has embraced your identity willingly?

Yes of course, l have been lucky, but l am pushing both myself and the concept as one brand, so it makes it more relatable and personable. I have had a few hecklers, but nothing that worries me.

21] Have you found that your ‘different approach or quirky style’ has ever hindered what you do?

I am naturally quirky or Kwerky as l prefer to class it, has it ever hindered me? Yes of course, but l am of the philosophy that it matters not, l don’t deliberately try to offend or insult people, as in l don’t go out of my way to do so, but as an example some of my designs/writing are a little on the edge of inappropriateness, but hey one of my concepts at the start was to raise awareness through both the designs and the slogans. I see humour in a lot of what people don’t and this alone can cause upset with some factions. I can only be me, and as long as l am not being illegal or specifically rude and offensive, then l follow my path.

22] How do your customers/clients/readers feel about you or your business, brand or content?

Not all the designs are embraced by the crowds, but l never intended them to be, but l do achieve some quality success with most of the collections – some designs l knew would NEVER sell, but they serve other purposes and that is mostly when writing. they are there for raising awareness and delivering an impact. They get attention. I think in the main, that mostly the designs are well received.

23] Are you ever worried about upsetting your client base or do you think that a little ‘tilt’ occasionally helps who you are and what you do?

Have l ever been worried about upsetting the apple cart, tilting when perhaps l should not have leaned? NO, most assuredly not, l think when it comes to raising awareness on certain topics, be this written or visually, that you do what you can to attract attention to certain issues. Some people are easily upset by the simplest of things, it’s the luck of the draw as to what.

24] Do you have a favourite quote or phrase or term that you always use to describe who you are?

Matthew Lesko has a beautiful quote “If you don’t piss some people off, you’re not doing anything. You’re not interesting. When you’re not interesting, you’re like everyone else in the middle”. I think this is probably the best quote to use to describe me, it’s me down to a tee.

25] What would your epitaph read? How do you want to be remembered?

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My partner says that she is going to put on my tombstone “Be Right Back!” She says it is one of my most annoying quirks, as l am always saying it – because my brain is at times always afire with ideas. Preparing dinner and suddenly ‘Be Right Back‘, just going out ‘Be Right Back‘, and so on. As to how l would want to be remembered, probably ‘That He Did Something About It!’

26] Do you have any annoying habits?

I have way too many annoying habits, not just the one above, l pluck my eyebrows when l am thinking hard and look like a twit when done, as l am usually missing my left eyebrow and then have to pencil it in using my partners’ eye liner pen!!!

27] What is your biggest regret or your greatest achievement to date? [Or Both]

Biggest regret, well we all have them, but l live with them. But it’s the fool who says they don’t have any, cause we all do. It’s what we learn from them and how we move forwards that displays us who we are to ourselves. Greatest achievement, well l have so many; l am not dead, so suicide  can kiss its own butt, l stopped self-harming, l moved myself out of a dark depression,  l created a totally unique broker business and held it for nearly 2o years, l sat with a huge consultation group of the political husbandry of primates – means nothing to most readers if any at all – but it and those are huge achievements to me.

28] What do you do to relax?

Relax – what does this word mean? No, seriously it is hard for me to relax and can and have never achieved the status fully – but l read, write and game.

29] Where about in the world are you to be found? [Country]

Kent, United Kingdom.

30] What are your best qualities?

Doggedly persistent, friendly, cynical, both a realist and a pragmatist, hate authority and questions everything and everyone.

31] Do you think, with what you do that you have attained ‘That Gal, That Guy’ status yet or still working towards it? Is it important to you?

I have been That Guy on many occasions from my college days, to business to self employed business, to writing and many other things, but it’s not overly important to me, and besides it is not my main driving thought to be That Guy, it is always down to others to think that of you and over the years, many have.

32] Why do you think you/your brand or concept is different? Or are you no different to everyone else?

I am different to the next person anyway, but l am the same in some respects to many of us who already think differently, because we share a unity in trying to make a difference!

33] If you were an animal what would you be?

I would be a wolf, l can be alone with my own company, but friendly enough to be in my own pack.

34] What sport would be the funniest to add a mandatory amount of alcohol to?

I am going to be boring and say chess and alcohol, because suddenly your genius moves are just questioned by everything you think! Funny results can be achieved!

35] Finally tell us something unique about you that the questions haven’t asked.

If you want to know more, then read about me in my blogs, look at my designs and follow my story, my journey.

Thanks for reading!

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Rory Matier – The Tee Shirt Blogger

 

The Ghosts Within Your Shadows

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Trigger warning. This post talks of suicide.

The Ghosts Within Your Shadows

At my own concession, l am a cynical bastard – life has dealt me some brutal blows – no this is NOT a call for sympathy in the slightest, so if you had that thought keep it to yourself – there are many people in this world who have had much harder lives than me. However, simply put – LIFE has dealt me a strange hand many a time.

Because of my cynicism, l tend to view things rather oddly at times, some might say that because of my Aspergers, l can be misinterpreted and at other times inappropriate. That’s a fair call to my behaviour – l don’t deny this.

I have always held the belief that l can not knock something if l haven’t tried it – so l have tried many things, some adventurous, some downright stupid, some risky, some dangerous and some things could be considered near fatal!

Someone once said to me that they would not talk about the topic of suicide, as it was it was ‘too‘ personal and it was a taboo. This stumped me admittedly – how very unusual l thought that 1] it is considered a taboo, but 2] that it is thought to be personal and because of that ‘it could not be discussed!’

The topic of suicide, suicidal ideation is indeed taboo in much of society – heck people will talk freely about their sexual practices and even share in the extreme bizarre toilet rituals and yet that is NOT considered taboo?

My answer to that person that day, was somewhat profane  – “Of course it’s fucking personal! How much more personal is thinking or attempting to take your own life? How could it not be personal even contemplating the desire to ‘cease to exist?

Society doesn’t like this topic, it’s another stigma that has become elephantine – therefore it needs to be pushed as far into the corner of a dark room, and as such treated like a mushroom! Kept in the dark!

The Death Clock as a design is NOT popular because it shoves this taboo into your reality This design is personal to me, as indeed many of my designs are – things l say daily, passions l believe in, rights l believe strongly in and taboos that need to stop being stigmatised and discussed in a very serious and adult way. This design, l don’t believe will ever sell – it’s too much.

…………

I sometimes wonder about cats that use up all their 9 lives but are not dead, are they then simply living on borrowed time till a small mishap, a slight misjudgement of footing then claims the shell of who they are? What happens to us, when we have also lived lives filled with mishap?

Are we simply the ghosts within our shadows?

I will not bore you, however a brief synopsis – l am not dead, l am alive, l could say l am very much alive as technically that would be true, but l am not very much alive at all – l am simply alive, because l am not dead. I am happy’ish, not thrilled, not ecstatic – just sort of happy. But l am not depressed, nor darkly depressed – l am pretty positive currently, l am not leaping around the room performing crazy dances either – l am not depressed, but l do have anxiety and l suffer with stress. But hey, at least l am not dead.

Equally to the reader, l am not light heartedly taking the piss either, as l happen to view suicide or the thought of suicide as a very fucking serious topic.

From the age of 25 – the age of 50, l was an active self harmer – l sliced, diced and hacked at my flesh almost daily as l was terribly unhappy with my life – but that’s not the ethos to this post. From the age of 27 – 50, l attempted suicide 26 times. Have l declared this with a strange morbid pride, am l boasting this to you? No, l am proud – but not the way you may think, l am proud that l am not dead – l am proud that l still live despite 26 serious attempts at ceasing to exist.

I have cut, taken pills, attempted to hang myself, electrocution, putting myself into the path of very fast vehicles, jumped off high locations and even tried drowning myself in caves on the sea shore as the tide was coming in.

Yes l am honest about it, no l am not hiding that information. This post carries a trigger warning because l am not specifically writing my way around this topic as many writers tend to do. Suicide is real, people are dying, our kids are dying. This is a topic that needs to be discussed more openly.

The Death Clock was called that because it deals with death – as the slogan around the time piece reads “Killing Time Can Be Murder And Suicide To Attempt

I am not proud of 26 assorted attempts to murder myself, it is life and sometimes life can be shitty. Dark depression, overwhelming stress can at times become incredibly unbearable.

So many times l hear people say “Well l don’t understand why people do this, they obviously don’t think things through properly!!” Yet, that’s where people are so, so wrong – if you are contemplating it, your mind is alive, it is usually travelling at 90 miles an hour, and you are thinking. Sure, l know there will be several hecklers to this – fair game to you, have you been on the precipice of death, looking at ending your own time here on the planet? You have experience first hand?

If you are lucky, you haven’t – but a word of advice – don’t refer to someone thinking of performing this as a coward as is so often the thought. There is nothing at all cowardly about someone thinking about this action. I am NOT a coward, but at times life just became too much, and that is where many find themselves, too lonely, too alone, too overwhelmed, too abandoned, too scared and that ‘too list’ can continue into affinity.

It takes a lot to pull back from that.

There is NOTHING romantic about it either, so people need to stop romanticising it as well.

Suicide is like depression, it doesn’t discriminate, it can creep into anyone’s thought pattern – you don’t need to be a certain age or from a particular walk of life … it will help you to the end if that is where you think you want to go – whoever you are it matters not, if it decides to assist you, sadly it might be a one way ticket!

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Mental health is a gritty reality subject that people say more easily than actuality that they will talk of because it is common place, and whilst sadly poor mental health is common place, society fibs slightly with the line of ‘we welcome talking about mental health issues’, because this is not entirely true – not in my experience anyway.

There are only a handful of people who have not been affected by the darkness of deep depression and who are willing to indulge and listen to the stories of others with a level of empathy that is suitable.

We live in a fast paced society structure where the very integrity of the frame is pounded everyday by stresses and sadness, and this constant battering by a woeful humanity takes its toll on the people – the end result is that millions of us have become broken, and worse than that only a handful of us are ever truly fixed, repaired or mended totally. Some may become patched up, but atypical to the life expectancy of a band aid that soon wears off, and they have to muddle through again. Not everyone has the money to expend freely to the likes of the gifted professionals every week, month or day in some cases to enlist their guiding wisdoms to become whole again. But what is the wholesome reality of our life?

The sad fact is very real, until society begins to talk more openly about these ‘taboo topics’, starts to stomp on stigma, ceases to ostracise subjects it fears – then we are never going to be able to tackle this subject properly – yes suicide is an awful topic – but society needs to learn to understand …. they need to understand it’s not just awareness, it’s acceptance that not everything can be understood.

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People need people – they don’t need condemnation!

People need people to simply accept and understand, and be there for them at their times of need.

Rory Matier – The Tee Shirt Blogger

Time To Break Taboo