I don’t do New Year’s resolutions, but I do reflect at the end of a year in preparation for the next.
My Dad used to call me Eagle Eyes.
I have more than an eye for detail. I experience the world differently and I notice details, like every detail. My favourite way to explain this is quite simple:
I am like a TV that is meant to receive 5 channels and I am receiving 20.
I’ll start with a memory, a happy one. My first Christmas memory was of sensory overload driving me under my grandparents dining table, I must have been six. It was a huge oval dark wood table, with two large pedestal supports that had an intricately carved bases. Seated above were eight adults and my two cousins. The chatter was overloading me. I found comfort under the table, running my forefinger slowly over every carving, moving around the round base to make sure I didn’t miss anything. I becoame totally focused and the pounding in my chest and rising anxiety slowed and the chatter above me somehow felt muted, further away.
After a good half hour or more of this, someone said, “Where’s Jacqui?” and my cousins set about finding me. They found me under the table and stared at me, like I was an alien. Then they left me there and told the adults I was under the table. I remember the social embarrassment my mother felt, peering under the table and angrily asking me to come out. But then everyone just reassured her and I went on happily on my visual and tactile observation of the pedestal carvings.
I used to think, before I fully embraced who I am as an Asperger’s that I was just burning out as an adult. That I HAD to be like everyone else. But the burn outs are far too frequent and have been debilitating. So, it was time to stop and take stock of the real cause.
2018 was marked by the decision in July to stop breaking myself for other people and to stop masking who I really am and work with my autism, not against it. So, 2019 is about furthering what I have learned in the last six months.
So, 2019 is about being okay with being under the table:
- It’s about my awesome workplace with flexible conditions that mean my sensory issues are factored in (in multiple ways) and that I have been the most productive I ever have.
- It’s about continuing to work with my people in the Autism community and furthering the cause of the social model of disability. I love being in the autistic space with my people. It’s beautiful and life affirming.
- It’s about being okay with my home being my sanctuary and not being persuaded into social functions I don’t want to go to.
- It’s okay being me, because I am pretty cool with my eagle eyes and unique perspectives. Weird, but cool.
Happy New Year!