I always thought that when I was grown up, I wouldn’t be scared of the dark. I thought that I’d be able and competent and worldly and clever. I’d have a keen sense of fashion and a high powered career and wear high heels to match the career.
I’m pretty sure I’m a grown up now.
I’m still uneasy in the dark and I’m scared of spiders and frogs. I leave a light on when I’m home alone at night, and sometimes the TV, too. I’ve avoided teaching for years and instead of being a principal, I’m now considering re-entering the world of teaching on a casual basis. I don’t wear high heels and my fashion sense is best described as second hand lesbian casual.
I’m grown now, but still the same.
There’s been a mysterious flurry of seeds in our back yard.
They’re scattered like hopes amongst the grass and the pavers and the dog poo. They won’t sprout in our backyard, and I have no idea what kind of seed they are. There’s a lot of them, though. I’m not sure if I am the only one who has noticed them, but they’re there.
I have some strange little habits, little things that I do. I like to put them on a slow release schedule, so that by the time people discover them, they’re committed to the friendship and it’s too late for them to back out. Next thing they know, I’m immersed in some bizarre project that absolutely needs all of my attention, or peg order matters on the clothes line, or I talk about things that don’t fit the conversation, or I get undone by anxiety. These things have always been a part of me. I’ve always been this way, a little bit… odd. But for some reason, it works for me. I wouldn’t cope with being normal. Not really. Not when there are songs to transcribe or toenails to be scared of.
But you see, the thing is, these little things, these little seeds – they all point to something. And I didn’t find this out until mid last year. So I’ve kept it a bit under wraps, while my beloved and my family and my friends and myself got used to it.
It turns out, the way I can do music stuff isn’t really very common. And the anxieties and the jigging and the need for routines. The tendency to get stuck when things become emotionally uncomfortable. The tiredness in group settings. The absolute MUST when it comes to removing tags from shirts. The animal whispering. The writing.
I didn’t know they were seeds.
Seeds that fell from one tree that had grown with me, my entire life.
It was a relief, to be honest. Because it means that there’s hope – I can learn how to manage the anxieties and the things I usually avoid. I can work out how to compromise, and I can explain why I need to be met halfway on some things.
It’s also very strange, though. It answers so many questions, and removes the weight of guilt I had over feeling so totally useless because I couldn’t manage work or crowds or the unfamiliar. But I don’t ever want to be someone who needs allowances or special consideration. I just want to be myself, and adapt to whatever that is. The thing is, life is all about adapting – compromise and give and take and other people. I don’t know why Aspergers or not needs to be offered by way of reason. Shouldn’t we all just be decent?
But I digress.
This is almost another coming out piece, isn’t it. Another chunk of my life, another big change of pattern, of growth, of seed. The point is, though, that none of us know what seeds are inside another person. Or how they got there, or what they will grow into.
The best we can do is encourage growth.
So, with all this out in the open, I have to say it: