Just like you

 

I haven’t written much about being on the Autism Spectrum.  I’ve delegated that “discovered” part of me to the background, contained here and there in hints and asides and tiny blurbs on social media. Few people in my daily life actually know much about me at all.  I let very few into my world.

One could say that I have “passed” as an N.T. or Neurotypical; those who are deemed “normal” by society. I have been able to pass under the radar probably due to my generation and that I am female. There are many of us out there. We without an official diagnosis.  We that have practiced being just like we thought everyone expected us to be.

It’s not easy and I have fallen short. I have wondered why I have tried so hard to fit in. It is lonely enough being one’s unique and misunderstood self but another degree of lonely trying to be someone you are not.

I have been blogging for a few years and I have preached about loving yourself and being yourself and all the beautiful magic in that. I have dispensed this sugary drink without sipping it myself. I am guilty of being something I hate, which is a hypocrite.

I have hidden to the world, even my own Mother that I am on the Autism Spectrum.

I keep my tiny victories to myself; hoarding them to savor for rainy days.  I assume the world at large will not understand me. I hold a demeanor of reserve, a protective coating I have strengthened and shined it and relied upon it most of my life. It keeps the world out. It keeps me safe but in that safety, I have lost so much.

And time goes by and so I really haven’t done all these incredible things with my life. It seems that the basics have been difficult, if not almost impossible enough.

I am starting to see that I may not have all the answers and that I may need help and that often the best way to help oneself is to help others.

Maybe there truly can be a reason why I am the way I am. For the most part it is a gift; this way I experience life, from the smallest of things I experience pure joy and alternatively I can feel a deep sorrow. I hear a delicate song in the wind but the loud noises of the world make me feel pain.

I sometimes feel like a butterfly fluttering about a beautiful field of flowers, subject to the elements that tatters my wings, but yet I keep flying. In that tiny victory I have found I am stronger and more resilient than I thought I could be. Perhaps I am here with my gift for words to tell other butterflies that you too are stronger than you think you are, and yes you can because I am doing it now. Watch me fly and watch us fly together.

I am taking advantage of some rare free time that has blown my way by the mysterious winds of fate. I have been finding caches of goodness scattered here and there. It seems the bank of karma has seen it fit to shower a little sunshine on me.
I am resting and revitalizing and spending precious time with my loved ones, doing fun things
and doing nothing at all (which is underrated in my opinion)
It is too easy to get caught up in he day to day…
I am grateful to have this time to think, to write and to plan for the future.

~nlm

Related and not so related articles

 

The costs of camouflaging autism   

(Spectrumnews.org)

Why It’s Hard To Keep A Job When You Have Asperger’s  

(psychcentral.com)

Someone Saved My Life Tonight – Elton John   

(Youtube.com)

 

Photograph: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
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SOUND

“In the world I am
Always a stranger
I do not understand its language
It does not understand my silence”
― Bei Dao

All I want for Christmas is some peace and quiet.    I need a retreat. A retreat from noise, a retreat from interruption. A break from the outside world that interferes with my thinking and writing.  I must do both of theses things and if I don’t for a while I become like a caged tiger. I pace the confines of my cell all stored up and ready to pounce, except that I don’t pounce–I suck it all in.

I am kind and patient. Seldom do I lose this demeanor but there are times that I feel as though I am a ticking time bomb ready to go off.  The pressure builds and builds, I cannot flee–I cannot fight–I hold it all in. This can’t be good for my health.

 

tiger art maxresdefault

 

There is no place where noise does not scream at me. I pretend that it doesn’t effect me like it does. I learned to fake nonchalance a long time ago but there is nothing nonchalant about me. I have prided myself in my outer coolness but I must confess and it feels damn good to confess that at times on the inside I can burn hot like a volcano.

 

WOMAN fire art

I try to meditate in my own way.  I seek out nature and I think good thoughts. I am earnest in my devotion to goodness, truth and beauty and all that. I believe I only lack one simple thing. Something that if granted to me would enable me to take on the world–whatever it takes. Silence, a wee bit of silence would save me. Time to listen to nothing would be utter bliss.

 

quote quiet still

 

If you have ever listened to silence you know what I mean.

Silence allows the mind to wander freely.  It gives us a chance to take a deep breath and relax.  The world is a noisy place, most of us experience a great amount of it in our daily lives.  These form the soundtrack to our lives. Most of it we cannot control.

 I seldom mention this but I am on the Autism spectrum (Asperger’s) and sensitive to sound. I have always been this way. Certain noises are amplified  in my head and at times this can be overwhelming.  Echoing reverberating noises, kids screaming, crowds of people talking, generally loud and unpredictable noises, these sounds can unhinge me but also small and meaningless ones too can set me on edge. I have learned to control my urges and I can block a lot of it out but this is tiring and doesn’t allow me to ponder like I like to do.

Noise effects me in good ways as well as bad. There are good sounds. Music is exquisite rapture and so are the sounds of nature; songbirds, the breeze in the trees, crickets, the ocean. These sounds speak to my soul. They call to the restlessness and the calmness in me. They soothe, invigorate and inspire.

These sounds are big and open like waves,  they do not mind sharing space with all the thoughts my mind.  These sounds not only allow me to think, to contemplate, they allow my mind to simply wander freely without intent purely for the sake of wandering.

Haystack Rock Cannon Beach Oregon sky water beautiful

 

I feel at one with the universe. I feel at peace.

Sounds can transport one to another place. I have listened to recordings of birdsong and whales and other natures noises. I will close my eyes and imagine myself there; in the forest or by a lake or in a bird sanctuary wherever it be my mind can travel there.

Music is especially magical.  Slack Key Guitar music instantly takes me to the Tropics and certain Heavy Metal songs from the 80’s take me back to my rebellious teens.  Melodies paint colorful landscapes across the universe of my mind.

color tree mountain lake water night sinset beautiful back

Just thinking of all this is good for the spirit. Already I am calmed.  It’s through expressing myself I’ll find the peace I seek. I know that I create my own reality and I know that if something is important enough I will make time for it.

Writing and putting this post together has certainly worked it’s magic on me. And I hope it will for you too.  Please take a listen to the wonderful sounds by clicking on the following links that will transport you to the mythical land called Youtube where the music of nature will play for you.  Enjoy and have a nice day!

~NLM

beach waves gif

 

Sounds of Nature: Ocean Waves

 

White-throated Sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis) perched on a branch in Manitoba, Canada.

White-throated Sparrow: Whistler of the North

 

field of flowers

Bach, Air (“on the G string”, string orchestra)

***

Related Articles

Musical Landscapes (strawberryindigo.wordpress.com)

Listen   (strawberryindigo.wordpress.com)

ESCAPE

quote Escape wall blue sky

 

 To all writers, bloggers, artists and creative types:

Do you ever yearn to get away from it all? Do you have a yen for some nice quiet time to create, contemplate the universe or just be?  Do you crave simplicity; an out from the unnecessary complexities of the modern world?  Do you need more free time to explore the possibilities? Do you feel as if you are you living up to your full creative potential?

Do you feel the aching desire to just escape and never look back?

Real life sure gets in the way of being a sensitive artist…

And so here I am. It is around 7 am. I have gotten up early before work to write for an hour; just sit and let the universe dictate my hand so to speak. I quiet my mind and allow the flow to manifest. The words fill my brain and I just record them. It usually doesn’t take much and my mind and fingers are going at full speed. I am in my own little world; a very happy little world where I am content and then it happens…

…it is always something. The kind of something that go with life typical of a busy working mom living in an interesting neighborhood in one of the weirdest cities in America;  some minor “crisis, malady or goings on. I try to take this all in stride and most of the time I can keep the flow going.  I have amazing powers of concentration…haha.  It gets out of hand when Mario, my famous but pesky cat, decides to jump up and sit on the keyboard in an effort to get my attention, he does, then sneezes all over. (he’s a sneezer that one)

I gaze out the window…my imagination travels to far and distant places…ahhhh….a misty mountain forest, a beach, a villa, a tropical retreat perhaps. I am not picky on this.  A  nice atmosphere is just that; nice.  At this point I’d take a room at fairly decent hotel with excellent room service…haha, really…okay a budget hotel on the coast, a pot of strong coffee, a sandwich….and peace and quiet, maybe the roar of the sea and the gurgling of the ice machine outside the door….

Bora Bora Island, French Polynesia tropic beach

 Ohhhh how delightful…

I am an introvert although I play an extrovert on the screen and I am solitary by nature. I do like people, as a whole and individually, some more than others. I wouldn’t be able to live alone but sometimes I yearn for a little solitude.  Just gimme some peace…no distractions…just nature…

Being on the spectrum doesn’t help. I am sensitive to sounds. That above all else impairs me. Sounds seem amplified, some more than others. I have sensitive hearing and I can get distracted by noises. It is like my mind is in tune to a dozen or so radio stations at once. I can live in harmony with this. My mind is active.  I like to think. I like to create.   Real life is louder–much louder. It is difficult to explain but it becomes harder and harder to endure until it becomes too much and I get an overwhelming urge to bolt.

I have to get away. I yearn to flee but unfortunately real life doesn’t allow for that…

forest light enchanted green trees fantasy

I would love nothing more than to be holed up in a nice and comfortable cabin in the woods.

I would love to not count the seconds as I contemplate the mysteries of the universe or the colorful hues of a symphony. The cabin would be well supplied with piles of books, spiral notebooks and bars of dark chocolate. I would lock myself away for a month or a few and emerge from this cocoon anew or at least with something to show for it. I would eat healthy, honest and pure food, drink lots of good coffee, keep strange hours and write to my hearts content.

Every day I would walk in the woods and at night I would admire the blackness of the sky and the brightness of the stars. I would have the time to explore my other creative sides besides writing which there are many.

gif water flow

I would paint the trees and the stars and the essence of hope. I would lie in soft green moss and dream the dreams of the enlightened. I would run and swim in a serene lake and hike into the hills. The only sound I would hear would be nature’s music. The crickets at evening and the breeze through the leaves of the trees, the rush of the wild river and the songs of the birds in all their varied loveliness….

peaceful gif dock water lake

From all that yumminess I would emerge renewed and bursting with creative juices. Like a happy Jelly doughnut.

Alas my dream must be put on hold . The practicalities of my life do not allow for any of this getting away from it all and I must deal with real life for now….but  it is nice having a vivid imagination and this will suffice for the time being.  Perhaps I can achieve that Happy Jelly Doughnut effect with that alone. Time will tell…

  Not having all the answers  but being fine with that right now.

~NLM

dog donuts anticipation yum

The Great Unfinished

 

 

 

awesome_vintage_photos_with_animals_ girl dog

 

 

42 drafts…well 43 drafts sit here waiting in my to do box like faithful canine friends patiently awaiting my return.  They sit in various forms of completion and come in all shapes and sizes; some are tiny puppies of a paragraph or two, others are stately Great Danes of considerable verbiage that lack a certain something, a doneness, something beyond simple edits and rewrites.  I cannot truly write anything worthy before it’s time. The moment must be right.

And so as a result…

They are an ever-growing mass,  these unfinished ones. They haunt the corners of this blog walking from room to room looking for something. Some whine for attention, others howl,  most  just sit there.  As you have probably guessed, I have a case of chronic procrastination. I have always been this way;  I start a multitude of  creative projects only to have them linger in some state of  incompletion.  I am sort of infamous around here, at least at the little red house on 79th street, for having a million and one ideas that I never follow through on.

As time goes on this weighs on me more and more. These unfinished things represent this whole tendency of mine and along with my Asperger’s has served as my excuse for my holding myself back from participating in life. I’ve always been a terrific starter but a horrible finisher.
And there is such a multitude of business…my mind comes on like a radio with a half a dozen stations all competing for my attention. At times it can be hard to pick just one. One idea will give birth to the next. And one draft can easily grow into two or more. Many cousins akin to these drafts are finished posts which haunt the “pages” of this site.

I am a little person with big ideas. Lots of silly ones but others I think may be quite viable. My dream job would be to come up with great ideas for others to implement and charge them for it.     I would keep busy in a glorious garden adjacent to a greenhouse with a big lemon tree in the center. Mario, my cat would be my assistant and we would think up great ideas all day while drinking coffee and having fun.

Seriously…

I am over 40, my kids are almost grown. Time is passing. And the time seems right to finish something I suppose.  It has been three years since I began this blog; this “great” experiment. My 200 + published posts on this blog have shown me that I can finish something and something I can be proud of. I just have to buy into the hype I been selling: I need to believe and have faith and just do it…

 

cat face

Update: Well..I did it I summoned up the courage and submitted my first  piece for publication. I don’t expect to hear anything, it would be a miracle if I did.  I had an anxiety attack. I don’t know why.

 

It is a beginning…

~Nancy

 

.

 

“Human life is but a series of footnotes to a vast obscure unfinished masterpiece”
Vladimir Nabokov

 

*

 

Schubert: Unfinished Symphony No.8

 

Strawberryindigo: The beginning

Out of the Shadows part two.

When I started this blog back in August of last year I had no idea what a rich community of people I would be meeting and getting to know through blogs and communications. I have found myself looking forward to chatting it up with some of my newly found blog buddies. Many of you have shared of yourself. Some of you quite a lot. I have found your stories to be funny and creative, inspiring and insightful, and sometimes quite sad but always hopeful. I have seen myself in some of your words and I have been bettered by them.

I have also been inspired by you all to share something of myself.

What follows is a post I did way back last September. At the time I think I really needed to write it but I wasn’t ready to share with anyone. Soon after I posted, I buried this deep in a sea of bad navigation and a flurry of others. I don’t think anyone saw it.  At the time I was relieved. Now I have reconsidered.

Those who know me by my blog alias; Strawberryindigo, may be surprised by the following post and then again maybe not, but for those who know me by Nancy, the following may explain much……

Out of the shadows