I updated all of the apps I have in my iTunes collection today. Mindlessly clicking "update all" and reentering my username and password, since most of them are still registered under an old apple ID. I stopped and looked at all of the apps - puzzle games, reminder apps, apps for organization, for ordering food, simple games. I thought about the endless articles bemoaning the digital era and us digital natives - so sad, faces always in a screen, when will they experience the "real world". I looked at all of these apps and I thought about the other articles I read earlier and I thought; thank god. Thank god I was born now and not even twenty years earlier. Thank every god there is that I can use apps to scaffold my attention deficited frontal cortex.
Thank god that I can search instantly through my phone to find something I thought about from years ago, and I can actually find it. Thank god I have Evernote to compile all of the random thoughts and links that accumulate, endlessly, in the tabs of Google Chrome. Thank god I have Google and Chrome, so I can satiate even temporarily the endless, yawning chasm of curiosity, the gnawing aching all consuming NEED to know more, to read more, to absorb more, to learn more. Thank god for Google extensions, OneTab to consolidate my endless pages, Evernote and Pinterest buttons to reduce the energy cost of filing things away for later thought, RescueTime to record how much time I spend on every little thing, Privacy Badger and Ghostery and Adblocker to assuage my paranoia. Thank god for takeout and ordering, so I can order food when I think about it and not when I need it, later, when my attention has gone - where did it go? Who even knows - not me. Thank god for Skype and texting and Discord, so I can talk to my friends without being near them, so I can be there instantly when I need them, thank god for CELL PHONES, for letting me talk my friend five states away down from self harming when her bipolar episode was driving her out of her skin and I was pacing around the stairwell at my job, having left an experiment half finished at the desk telling my mentor just one second I'll be right back it's an emergency.
Thank god for texting so I can check a protocol with my mentor when he isn't even in the building, thank god for excel and email so I can receive and process the data he has taught me to understand. Thank god for Coursera so I can learn all the molecular biology and genomics I couldn't learn in school for this job, thank god for Khan Academy so I can learn conics when my Algebra 2 teacher couldn't or wouldn't explain (twelve badges, one hundred seventy three practice problems, an A minus grade). Thank god for my homework app, so I had one place to look for all of my assignments and I didn't have to desperately force myself to use a paper planner that everyone swore, hand on heart, if I could just keep it up it would help me so much I wouldn't forget a thing
Thank god for Skype, thank god for the communities of people with brains like me, brains with faulty executive functioning, brains which are inconsistent, thank god I found out what was different with me, why I just couldn't do these things which should be easy you're so bright so smart, you clearly aren't applying yourself, this is just laziness, thank god thank god thank god I have this screen so I can read the same words I've heard so much myself, written by others, and know oh lord above it's not just me, it isn't me, it's something else and I'm not alone and I'm not lazy
Thank god for headphones and digitized music, so I can silence the endless fuzz and fog of ASD and ADHD long enough to think so I have only one or two trains of thought instead of what feels like five million, oh thank god for the beautifully endless lists of support links, help lines, study tips, affirmations, all for people who think the way I do.
Thank god for this beautiful global consciousness, so I can email an author in EGYPT and she will reply, in less than a day, telling me she is glad that I have talked to her and have I thought about corresponding with students near her, a youth group? "I have seen the tops of clouds", I have talked to people on the other side of the world, I love this world so much it makes me want to cry and it's at my fingertips, right here through this fragile mechanism of silicon and metal and glass, a thousand thousand thousand eyes and tongues and ears and I can see through all of them, I can slip behind them and it doesn't need to be an escape because through those eyes I see that I am not alone, it isn't just me who can't control what she focuses on, can't seem to break free of the notion that all is either perfection or failure, can't seem not to lose endless pairs of gloves and forget countless homework assignments and clearly you don't actually care because then this wouldn't keep happening but you do, you do care, you care so much your teeth pulse and your eyes dry up.
Thank god for these keys and type-to-learn, so you can spill your words back out, a capillary feeding and fed, keys that click and keys that tap, the keys on my phone so I can tap out a paragraph, two, three, of words that won't leave the echo chamber of my skull on their own late at night, phone suspended over my face on its pillow and squinting into the lowest brightness setting, mouthing different synonyms to find the one that matches the inarticulate collage in my head.
Thank god I am here, glutted on knowledge and information instead of starved, mind left to wither and run in circles, focus drifting away away away and never where I need it to go, thank god I know why paying attention to what bores me is so exhausting, even when I want to. Thank god I can read others' words, words that articulate what I could never put a name to before, I have so much rage and sympathy for the world that I fear if I couldn't let it out it would turn around and eat me alive.
Alhamdulillah, thanks be to god, praise be, Hallelujah, thank god thank god thank god I am here, here and now, thank god because my mind wants to be bigger than my body and here and now I can let it grow, I'm able to let it grow, spreading roots to authors' thoughts and reaching shoots, scaffolded by executive function apps, gobbling up words and I'll never be full, so thank god there's so much to eat, because otherwise you'd have to call me Ourobouros, on account of I'd be eating myself from the tail end up.
"I have seen the tops of clouds" https://medium.com/message/i-have-seen-the-tops-of-clouds-e21c5941de32#.iy584bo0i