Letting Go of Practicality

5f18feb5ac87c43171bf2b63bce201c3One of the coolest things about Christopher, my new boyfriend, is that he never tells me to think smaller or be more—dare I say it—practical. He calmly nods and says, “Yes, you can do that.”

So when I told him about my evening with the shaman, he said, “Yeah, I’ve noticed that you’re very attached to practicality.”

“You have?”

Christopher studied Engineering, Computer Science, English, and History in college, then got into Linguistics, Statistics, and Educational Psychology in grad school. (I’m probably leaving out a few subjects.) In educational circles, he’s known as “the Data Guy.” He’s also a researcher with an entrepreneurial streak who takes business classes at Stanford for fun. In other words, he just might be the ideal person to help me tackle what to do next with my career and unplanned life.

Christopher gave me a couple examples. I sighed. It was pervasive.

“Practicality isn’t a bad thing,” Christopher said. “Just not the only thing to consider.”

This is true. Writing and poetry are pretty much the least practical endeavors on the planet, and yet, I still love them. Still wanted them in my life—even if they paid next to nothing.


I told Christopher about my idea of starting a Super PAC to focus on autism and special education. “That’s definitely not practical because I don’t know anything about lobbying or forming a Super PAC.”

“You can learn that, and I have a contact with a D.C. law firm that does lobbying. I’m sure they’ll talk to you. Besides, you’ve advocated for things your entire life so this really isn’t a huge stretch.”

“True….” How did this guy always manage to make everything, including dating, seem simple?

“If I could house the PAC in the nonprofit, I’d be down to two jobs and two websites. That would be a significant improvement. Then if I could somehow monetize the websites….”

“Oh, that’s easily done,” he said.

“It is?”

“Yep.” He laughed. “This is what they teach me at Stanford.”

“Okay, then I’ll get to work updating the website.” I’d been dragging my feet on this tedious task, but somehow Christopher got me to stop procrastinating.

“Do you get to tell people you’re an attorney when you lobby?”

“If you went to law school and passed the bar, then yes. Otherwise, no.”

“Oh good,” Christopher said with a big grin. “Then I’ll still be dating a poet-attorney.”


That’s me. A poet/writer/attorney/autism advocate. Also the founder of the nonprofit organization, Autism A to Z, and Livermore’s fourth Poet Laureate. Author. Editor. Speaker. Educator. Fundraiser. Environmentalist and single mom.

I’m not sure what I’ll be adding to that list, but I can feel it coming. Stay tuned.

Until next time,

About Cynthia J. Patton

Writer, Editor, Advocate, Speaker, Special Needs Attorney, and Autism Mom. Also the Founder and Chairperson of Autism A to Z, a nonprofit providing resources and solutions for life on the spectrum.
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