Being Assertive

Enlightenment in nature

My confidence in socialising is growing. I’m also getting a knack with dealing with situations appropriately. If someone makes a rude quip I always tend to ignore it. Sure, I may get irritated for those next five minutes but I always manage to hold my tongue. However, what can be a challenge or what was a challenge is not getting on the bad side of others.

I was timid when I was at school and college. I was often afraid of disappointing or upsetting someone. If someone flirted with me, I’d let them even though sometimes I felt uncomfortable. If someone asked me to vacate my chair, I would. And if someone gave me a pound and asked me to do them a favour and get a snack for them, I would. I never did this to be popular, I did this so I didn’t disappoint. I built myself a reputation of making people happy, I felt like I had to do these things.

Throughout the years I did learn to be assertive and say ‘no.’ One time at college a drunken man stopped me during my walk and asked if I could give him a pound so he could buy a pint. I said, ‘no’ and walked on. The dude and his friend cursed after me as I walked on… I felt rather shaken after this. It’s not often that I said no but everyone I talked to said that I did the right thing. I felt better after this.

My confidence in saying ‘no’ did boost and made me feel empowered.^^/

I learnt that you don’t have to make others happy by humiliating or degrading yourself. That’s not what it means to make others happy. Making others happy means being nice to them and cheering them up if they need perking up. Those who force you to do things or pass judgement on you are not worth your time or energy. If they disapprove of you not wanting to do what they ask, that’s their problem.

I joined Instagram as one of my favourite past times is photography. This provides me with the opportunity to show everyone how I view world and things that make me happy. From time to time I get the odd user that would ask “follow 4 follow?” I.E., if you follow me on Instagram then I’ll follow you back. I’m flattered that someone would take their time to write a message on one of my photos. However, I have no interest in gaining followers just for the sake of it.

5 years ago I would have given into pressure and followed the user, anxious that he/she may disapprove if I didn’t comply. Now, however, I have no such worries. The only people that I’m following are those who I know in real life and those who are my real life friends. I do follow Charlton Athletic’s official Instagram page but they are a special exception. ^^/ If someone I don’t know wants to follow me, that’s no problem, but I don’t have any intention of following someone who I don’t know. It’s nothing personal; it’s just how I feel. That and it was never my intention of getting the most followers or being the most popular. My intention was to show the photos that I’m proud to show to the world. =)

Of course I still want to make others happy, it’s who I am. But, you shouldn’t have to degrade yourself in order to make others happy. If they have a low opinion of you or disapprove of you standing your ground, that’s their issue, not yours. =)


Non Non Biyori Wallpaper

I’m having a good day today. I watched some Football and the High School DxD Blu-Ray (stay tuned for a future anime review). I also heard that Monster Musume has topped the New York Times charts once again. Go MonMusu! =D

I anticipated that my next blog would be about anime, but I felt like writing this blog on the spur of the moment.

26 days and Christmas is here. =)

Thanks for reading.^^/




Mr Happy

Joyful Greetings.^^/

I try to show the positivity through my smile. I’m not always natural when it comes to smiling though, more specifically, I’m not natural when it comes to smiling outdoors.

I’m always too conscious of my surroundings to feel relaxed. When I come across someone in the street and they catch my eye, I usually two things… I would either look at them for a few seconds, waiting them to smile and I return the smile. Or, I would smile at them, but, my smile is actually a half-hearted grin… I sort of feel conscious when I look at someone and not smile. It makes me wonder if they think that I’m actually staring at them whilst plotting something evil in my brain. Granted, I always find it easier to smile at a pretty lady, but that’s another story!


Smiling is a very important part of life. For me, when someone smiles at me, I automatically smile back, and feeling very good about myself. In a way, a smile is like a greeting, just none verbal. When someone smiles at me, it literally makes me happier and makes me feel better about myself.

I smile all the time at home and when I’m hanging out with friends. There’s never a day or occasion goes by when I haven’t laughed. So, if smiling makes me feel better, then surely the same could apply to everyone else. So, as awkward as it can be for me, I try to smile at everyone, from family to strangers.

I smiled at a lot at my Sister’s wedding, to a lot of people. I especially smiled to those who I didn’t recognise. It boosted my confidence when the people returned my glance with a smile. Of course the wedding was a bit stressful for me, but, being smiled at has certainly lifted my spirits. =)

What I learned from socialising is that you don’t have to wait for people to initiate a smile before you return it in kind. If you feel like smiling at someone, then you should do it. They may not feel like smiling back as they could be going through time themselves. But, if you smile at that person, you might brighten their day, because they certainly brighten mine.

These are the reasons why I think smiling is quite an important part of life. Making people happy, seeing people happy is what makes me happy. =)


I saw an amazing quote today on a web page.

“If you have to choose between being kind and being right, choose being kind and you will always be right.”

This very quote made me smile even more. =)

Thanks for reading.



My Yoga Journey Continues


Good Tidings.^^/


Four weeks ago I attended a yoga class in a different gym faculty. It was good experience but it wasn’t the sort of yoga class that I was seeking. The instructor was motivated, but perhaps a little too motivated. At times she was like “alright maggots, get on the floor and give me 20!” …just kidding. She said 50. 😉 If you like to check out my full thoughts on this yoga class, check out the link below. =)


(Visiting a New Yoga Place)


I tried another yoga class on that very Saturday morning, many Saturdays ago… Admitedly, as you may guess, I was sceptical. Once again I wasn’t familiar with the class or with the yogi instructor. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I can say with 100% conviction that I really enjoyed it.


It was a bit of a challenge to get up extra early but it was actually quite worth it. I do enjoy getting up early, I must admit, but you see, waking up early tends to mean going to bed early and an early tuck down is not my thing. Haha.


As of yesterday I’ve been attending this specific class for the past three weeks. I find the class to calm and relaxing.  Part of that, I think, is because of the time of day, and partly because of the yogi instructor. I really like her. She is very chilled, chirpy, cute and spiritual.


I’ve actually learnt some new positions during my short time in these lessons. There are some things that my body will allow me to do, and some things that my body won’t allow me to do. When I was sitting down we were all asked to tangle ourselves up and to replicate it on right and left sides. I could tangle myself on my right side, but I couldn’t on my left side.


The instructor tried to assist and encourage me to tangle myself further, but I physically couldn’t do it. I was like “nope, nooot gonna happen.” XD I like it how she adjusts everyone’s position and posture, especially mine. Sometimes when you focus on one area, some others areas often go to sleep. I became aware of muscles I never knew I had. I especially like it how clear and precise her explanations are, and I feel like I know how to position myself better. I still need to see the instructor’s example visually as I can never seem to remember the name of the moves. She spoke to me and my sister too, right before class started. I don’t usually say much when I’m in these classes but I always appreciate it when a yogi speaks to me.^^/


So far I do feel achy every Saturday morning, especially the next day. I think I can’t do the moves as much as my muscles haven’t had time to warm up. It doesn’t really matter though as I still enjoy these lessons. I come away feeling achy and probably need a nice cool drink, but, I always feel positive and awake. It’s like I’m ready for anything, ready to cheer on my favourite football team and all my players from my Fantasy team. Hoho. I also find that I’m breathing more clearly, like, I’m breathing correctly. I forgot what it’s called but basically we inhale and exhale deeply, like we’re snoring, if you will.



I sense that I’m going to become a regularly here, alongside my sister. It’s a very calm atmosphere with a calm instructor. So far, I’m enjoying every single second of it. May this continue. =)


Thanks for reading!




Visiting a new Yoga place


Good Tidings.^^/

Last Tuesday I took the opportunity to attend a local yoga class with my sister. It was a new place and we were going to attend at a different time to what we would normally. I’ve never been to this venue before. Well, I’m not counting my brother-in-law’s dad’s 50th birthday since that wasn’t sport related. Haha.

Hmm, it feels like my arm’s been stung by a fly for some reason… anyway, back on topic!

We went upstairs, as per guided by the lady from the front desk, and immediately we were lost! We spent a good duration trying to find the right class. Eventually, we followed the trail of people with yoga mats, and that was how we found our class. 😉

At first there were four other people… then at five minutes to six (that was when the class started) literally twenty of thirty people turned up! I got somewhat anxious as I anticipated that I was going to get squashed, as I did sometimes in my previous yoga classes due to the narrow space…

  1. My Personal Pros

My personal highlight was the size of the room. It was humongous. In my previous yoga classes I get a little bit overwhelmed due to the amount of people in that tiny studio space. But, in this room, it’s like ten times bigger. So, even if there were thirty people in the room, because the room was spacious I felt instantly relaxed.

The yoga instructor was very motivated and I felt engaged every time she spoke. I was never distracted by anything else as I was constantly on the move.

I can tell she is a friendly person. She was a bit abrupt intermittently with her explanations but I put that down to her motivated personality. She has the type of personality akin to a fitness instructor, someone like Jillian Michaels, for example. =)

  1. My Personal Cons

I do dislike pointing out the vices of a situation, but, it had to be done. Haha.


Whilst I appreciate the instructor being motivated and enthusiastic, I felt that she was a bit too motivated for me. The way she instructed our class was more like army drilling then yoga. When we poised in certain positions the instructor would then yell at us and tell us to us not to get lazy.

It’s no question that I reaped the benefits of this yoga session physically, but I didn’t reap the benefits of this yoga session, spiritually. Had I attended this session five years ago then I would have enjoyed it. However, within the past year, I have come to understand and appreciate the deeper meaning of yoga. Because of this my outlook on yoga has changed a bundle.

My next point isn’t meant to be a criticism, but an observation. I got the distinct impression that she was more of a gym teacher then a yogi teacher. For those who study under yoga will understand what I mean. From my experience there is a difference between a gym teacher teaching yoga and a yogi teaching yoga.

From a gym teacher’s perspective I deduce that they tend to see yoga as another form of workout, like aerobics if you will. However, from a yogi’s perspective, they will teach you movements, explain why we take on certain positions, and appreciate our practice. When we go to a yogi’s class it’s all about being happy and being positive, and yoga positions exist in order to bring out the happiness within you. And, every time I leave a yoga class, I feel extremely happy and appreciate life for what it is.

Right at the end of this session, I noticed, the instructor actually said that she taught aerobics years ago at this very gym. So, I interpret this as her saying that she isn’t a yogi, but employed to teach yoga.

I noticed that this was a completely different vibe yoga session straightaway when I noticed that the Buddha’s statue was absent. Once more, there were no music and the lights never dimmed. Another key factor, even though there were new people attending this class (me and my sister included) she never came to speak with any of the new attendees. My past yoga instructor spoke to me and my sister when we first attended and I felt great. She did this every time someone new joined the class, but it wasn’t just her, it was other yogi teachers too.^^/

Really during my past yoga lessons I got used to this and treated this as the norm. So, when I attended this yoga session it all felt very wrong and out of the loop. Haha.

  1. My Personal Conclusion

I wouldn’t say that it was a bad class because some people will probably appreciate yoga as a workout. Some people have their own interpretation of what a workout it, and for some, yoga is all about being ‘bendy’. That suits a lot of people and that is just fine.

In this session, I reaped the benefits of yoga physically but I didn’t reap the benefits of this lesson spiritually, which is the primarily reason why I practice yoga. Usually I would come away feeling calm, relaxed and tired; however, at the end of this I felt exhausted and out of breath. I feel that if I wanted to do a full on workout, then, I would have attended a spinning class or aerobics.

I may give this lesson another chance but chances are quite slime as I don’t have motivation (haha, motivation) to go back.

  1. Irrelevant Ramble

Lately, I’ve been narrating Thomas the Tank Engine books and I’m really enjoying them. My favourite narrator will always be Ringo Starr but I’m really enjoying my own take on telling Thomas in my way. Not the Great Western Way nor the Frank Sinatra way, but, the Ryan way! Haha. =D

I’m heavily considering on becoming a story teller for children, but, I will have to see how this goes and how I feel. =)


I will attend a yoga class at a different place this coming Saturday morning, starting at 10, alongside my sister. I like to use my Saturday mornings to relax, but, for all I know, this session might help me to relax more. It’ll benefit me if I keep my options open. =)

Thanks for reading!





Good Day.^^/


In my blogs I often compare my present-self with my past-self. How I handle things in the past is a lot different to how I handle things now. My confidence back then was a lot different to what it is now. The key word is “self-confidence”. This doesn’t necessarily apply to people with Autism but it certainly has played a big role in my life.


I’m writing this specific blog because a recent incident has triggered a realisation in me- I have good strong self-confidence. Have I always been this self-confident? Have I always liked how I looked? Am I ashamed to admit that this is my identity in appearance and personality? What do others think of me? Should I adjust myself to please them?


Many questions ran amok in my mind…


  1. Past

My school has obviously played a significant role in my life, especially in my younger days. I was always afraid of doing something “wrong” so I would aim to please without being a burden. This meant that I always tried to be a “gentleman” to be the “cleverest”, know everything, always try my best.


Because I went to an SEN school it was important that we were all taught how to be polite and pronounce words correctly. You will find that a lot of Autistic people speak correctly but with a slight monotone. That is because we learn how to be polite and speak correctly rather than learn how to express ourselves. I was one of those people. When I spoke in my school days, I spoke with a placid monotone. I spoke politely with an edge of nervousness.


I learnt how to be polite and a gentleman, but I never really knew who I was. When I tried to express myself through my personality I would get chastised for being “silly” or “rude”. So, when I tried to express myself I often got shot down.


I was often misunderstood because I didn’t know how to express myself. My teachers and adult figures never gave me a chance to explain myself and what I meant; instead, they assumed that as I had said it, I must have meant it. So, more often than not, I would accept my punishment instead of being given the chance to speak. Those times were extremely painful, and it certainly made me self-conscious about myself. If this was what  life was like in an SEN school then how was I going to cope if I ventured into the bigger world?


Going to Bobby Charlton’s School of Excellence (a football academy which was founded by ex-Manchester United football player, Bobby Charlton) didn’t help my confidence either. I was the only student that represented an SEN school. Even though SEN schools were supposedly involved the majority of the staff, at that time (2000) showed no inclination that they understood a person with Special Needs. The other children there certainly showed a lack of understanding. I got called weird underneath their breath and they often whispered things loudly so I could hear them… I probably should have walked away at that point, since I was most upset, but I was determined not to let them get the better of me…


I felt like a monster from that experience and it was from that point that I started to hide the fact that I was Autistic. I figured that I was treated horribly because I have Autism. I didn’t deserve to hang out with cool people. I didn’t deserve to get equal treatment and attend Mainstream courses at college. I hid my “problems” from everyone else, and I hid my “problems” from even myself. I didn’t want to accept that I was Autistic. If anyone knew that I had “special needs” then they would instantly dislike me…


Despite everything that had happened I could never get away from the fact that I was Autistic. That thought alone made me insecure. So, in order to not do anything “quirky” and to hide my “autistic quirks” I kept quiet and spoke politely whenever it was necessary. Don’t rock the boat. Try to remain the status quo. If I don’t say anything incriminating then I won’t get judged or get called a monster…


Then one day I started to attend University and that was when my life changed…. For the first time I was actually happy. I could express myself and say my views without fear of being thought bad of. I had friends, they liked me and they did not care at all about me being “autistic”. All this confidence gradually led me to performing my Auto-biography performance of my life with Autism… it was definitely one of my most memorable moments in life. I felt peace and happiness.


  1. Present

Right now, I like who I am. I accept who I am. I embrace the fact that I am autistic. I’m not part of Autism, Autism is part of me. Life is good. =)

I now have an identity that I call my own. I have the looks that I like, I have personality that I feel comfortable with and I have wonderful hobbies. I also have goals that I strive towards…


  1. The Recent Incident

There was a knock at the door. I was dubious to open it. We thought it was just a friend so I opened the door to see what the gent wanted… At the time I wore white shorts and I was topless.


Anyway, this man came up to me, looked me up and down and said;


“Hi. First of all, you need to shave that chest!”



I think it’s safe to say that I was quite miffed at that point. The sheer cheek of the man had me taken aback, and annoyed to. If this happened something like five years ago then I would have been terribly upset and insecure. In that moment though, I was more miffed that he had the cheek to say that to my face.


Even if he was joking it was still insensitive and gratuitous. You just don’t do it. It’s like me going up a gentleman, who is well endowed around the waist line and say “you need to lose weight!” or me going up to a lady “you need to pop that spot!” You may think it, but you just don’t say it, even as a joke. I get the impression that people like this gentleman can’t comprehend that saying that can do a lot of damage and cause unrest in an individual.


This issue does not apply to just people with Autism, it can be a problem for many people. It can especially be a problem for Autistic people since some of them will lack a lot of confidence in social situations.


How did I act? I did it by not rising to it. I just grinned. My attitude was “hahaha… not gonna happen. I’m proud of my afro chest and Tom Selleck agrees.” =)


  1. Irrelevant Ramble

I participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge. That was a lot of fun. =D

I did the challenge on a very cold and windy day. My Dad poured the ice on top of me and I kept my eyes open with a huge smile on my face… from my point of view it was like a beautiful yet cold waterfall streaming down right before my eyes. I always wanted to go underneath a water fall and so far that’s the closest I’v ever come to experiencing one. =)





I really have come a long way in many ways in my life, especially when it comes to my self-confidence. I have learned that I can handle people’s quips a lot better and whilst I may still be sensitive, I’m not as sensitive as I used to be. I can rub off people’s cheeky quips whilst not feeling ashamed about who I am and how I present myself…


Thank you for reading. =)




Journey to Tumbleweed Station

Daily the Diesel Railcar stamp


Peep, Peep Tidings.^^/


  1. Introduction

Dad has a wonderful surprise prepared for me, a trip to a train station/museum.


I must admit I was pretty apprehensive when he suddenly told me that we were going out. I don’t normally appreciate sudden surprises like that. I think it didn’t help because fatigue started to spread. I’ve been going out non stop to the cinema. In the past few days I went to watch Transformers: Age of Extinction and Inbetweeners 2. I wasn’t used to going out for hours on end day after day, not since my Uni days.


But, I wasn’t as anxious as he was very specific about certain parts of the information. He told me how long it will take, how long we will walk for, I would need my camera and how long the journey was. I felt easier after that.


I felt easier because I had a hunch, halfway through the journey, that we were going to some railway exhibition. Whilst I had my suspicions I didn’t give the game so it didn’t spoil dad’s surprise. … I can’t remember for now what the station was called, so for now, I’m calling it Tumbleweed Station.


  1. Tumbleweed Station

The station was small-ish and beside the station there was a big place with scrapped coaches and a scrapped saddletank type engine.[1] It looked a sorry sight. It was a very positive atmosphere though and there were children, grandparents and adults with additional needs visiting. A glassed train set of Thomas and Emily was on display. The models were huge. =)


We went onto the platform… a huge water tank stood tall beside it. That was exciting because I always wanted to see a water tank in real life, and now I have. The other thing that I wanted to see was a steam train on a turntable, but that’s another story! …on one set of tracks was a BR class Diesel Shunter.[2] It stood behind a huge line of tar/oil wagons.


Right in front of us was a Diesel Railbus, built in 1958 for the British Railways. In other words, it’s Daisy the Diesel Rail-car from Thomas the Tank Engine. Think of it like a singular bus that operates on the rails, which is why it’s called Railbus. XD Some of you Thomas fans may already know but Boco the Diesel Electric type diesel and Daisy actually share the same faces. All they do is add mascara, powder the cheeks and add lip-gloss to transform him into Daisy. So it’s like Boco making himself up for a pantomime performance, but instead of playing the role of the ugly sister, he’s playing the role of Daisy. 😉




It was the very first time that I ever rode the diesel rail-cart and it was a pleasant experience.


Generally speaking it was all very loud and hyper due to the excitement brewing in the room. I felt squashed and closed in when I entered the rail-car. That aspect of the journey was uncomfortable plus the sheer volume of noise. Then came the part when we journeyed along the line… it was a good experience. We passed signs, waved to people as we passed and we came to a stop, just before a set of buffers. We journeyed across a crossing way too. I was excited, like with the water tank this was the first time that I ever seen a set of train buffers before my very eyes. The driver was mighty close to the passengers; you could gauge everything from his own perspective.


We went backwards to venture back to Tumbleweed Station. I wanted to thank the driver for a safe journey but I wasn’t able to greet him. It was all a good experience. I must be honest though when I say that I was expecting a steam locomotive. That would have been extra special. I somehow was expecting a saddletank engine like Percy. The first time I physically went inside a steam train was Toby and Thomas when I went to a train exhibition in Keighley. It would be a nice experience to be inside a train like the Flying Scotsman or perhaps in a carriage.


  1. Aftermath

After the train ride we just took the time to have a gander at the museum. It was a nice little museum with interesting facts not just about the trains, but about the docks itself. They were interesting facts but by this time it was getting to be a long day and I was ready to come home.


The workshop is a lot smaller in comparison to the Railway Museum in York, still a nice workshop regardless.


I might have been tired and anxious but I was still able to think rationally and adapt to others. For example, for entering spaces and doors…instead of going first I let the rowdy children with their parents and adults with additional needs go first…I don’t know them as individuals but I would imagine that they would rather get off asap instead of waiting. So, I tried to accommodate and allowed them to go through the door first. The adult gent with additional needs smiled at me with a very loud voice. I smiled back and gestured for him to go first. I didn’t really know what he was saying but I interpreted it as to something nice. =)


It was a good day out. Dad stressed that he won’t surprise me like that again but he figured that I would enjoy this. He’s right on all accounts!




What gets me through my anxious and Autistic quirks is positive thinking, my personal remedies and not over thinking. I just need to go with the philosophy of don’t think, do. If I think then my mind is all over the place. If I don’t think, then I’m living in the moment. Knowing and accepting this is one thing, but actually abiding by this rule is no easy challenge.


Thanks for reading.





Ps. I just found out that the station is actually called Ribble Steam Railway. Haha.


[1] Think a train like Percy the Small Engine from the Thomas the Tank Engine series.

[2] Think Salty the Diesel from Thomas the Tank Engine