I didn’t even realise this question was bubbling away in my mind until today, yet it seems to have been taking shape for a while. In my last post I was ‘looking forward’ to a weekend away with my husband, our baby daughter, and lots of my husband’s university friends. I won’t reiterate my concerns here, suffice to say, they were unwarranted. The weekend went well, and aside from the usual awkwardness around hugging everyone, I didn’t really have any of the problems I expected. Today, a week later, as I walked into work, my sense of direction came into the conversation. Traditionally, geography and I don’t get on. But even this has been changing lately. I still cling on to the idea that I can’t give or follow directions, find places, or do a host of other things that the past 30ish years has proven me to be useless at. But I am not as useless as I was. So who am I now?
Less socially awkward than I was. Less geographically challenged than I was. More spatially aware than I was (not much, but years of parking has made a slight improvement). More diplomatic than I was – I can now write to and meet with clients without worrying about causing offence. More assertive than I was – I’m certainly not a doormat anymore.
The changes I’ve made all seem to be improvements, but this still leaves me unsure of my identity. I’m used to being the ‘odd’ one; the Aspie who sits in the corner. Can I still hold onto this self-image? At school one year, my maths teacher said I ought to move up a class because my ability was strong enough. I argued that I would be better off staying in the middle class with my only friend, because I wouldn’t be able to get along if there was no one around I liked. It feels like I’m in a similar place now – I don’t need to stay in the corner, but I choose to.
Our choices say more about us than our abilities.