I’m still quite terrible with humility, but this one is just honesty:
I am honestly not as smart as many people think.
I’m ok with that, and I’m happy to demystify!
But first, a story:
My wife, Andrea, told me a tale from our college days, when she was at some party with this one odd gal who made snow angels in the host’s carpet. Which, I guess that’s a story too.
But said gal recounted how she sleuthed out my student ID (uh…) from the records office (what), so she could compare our mid-term exam scores in an English class (why?).
“I couldn’t believe I actually got a better grade,” she beamed.
“Oh,” said Andrea. “Yeah, Hunter didn’t study for that one.”
Ouch. That’s what you go to the burn unit for.
Why am I sharing this?
Because I wan’t people to get the wrong impression about me.
I’m not some genius. I’m not all that smart.
These are the real “autistic strengths” that I’ll attest to:
1) Decent memory
It’s the forgetting that’s the hard part! But yeah, I tend to remember a bit, both actively and passively. It’s not perfect, and as Mrs. H2 will attest, I can forget things as soon as I hear them, but it’s not too shabby.
There are times where my memory is just “all right there.” I often don’t need to take time to remember, so the instantaneousness comes out at a good clip. But really, that’s not smarts – that’s just a product of producing memories quickly.
There’s recalling memories, and then there’s stitching them into patterns, situations, fitting them into neat spots to form a pattern. It’s almost like creativity. I’ve done OK professionally with this, as a coach, organizational leader, analyst, etc. Is it a “smart” thing? I dunno.
4) Big words
That’s it. That’s the combo.
I’m really slow with math. Sluggish with computations. I don’t read as many books as I should. I don’t have an advanced degree. I wouldn’t last anywhere in engineering fields. I’m actually aware of where I’m not the sharpest bulb in the shed.
I’ve got a good memory and recall combo, and I’m almost clever – I’ll take that.