Winter has come. It has descended from the sky like a great and terrible bird; declaring itself with a wicked wind that howls and screeches. Gripping you in it’s talons and keeping you there–chilling you to your bones. Bringing along a blanket of snow and ice that has worn out its welcome days ago, much of it trampled on, trodden on and fouled with soot and dirt and yellowish stains.
It is dark and cold; about 15 ºF with the windchill. I have deemed this yet another “3 layer day”, I am bundled up head to toe, all in black except for a flourish of hot pink scarf. I stand out against the whitish snow and in the moonlight. The beautifully bright and full moon has been kind to us early risers sticking around for a viewing well past the time I catch the 4:59 a.m. train.
These are the days that will make me appreciate summer all the more I think. It is hard to see out the windows out into the darkness but I can make out in that same kind moonlight Under some of the bridges and overpasses I can see the outlines of tents flapping in that horrid wind.
I don’t know how I would fare out there without a home in the cold. I bitch and complain bundled up in my new warm coat, on my way to a nice warm office building. I have nothing to complain about.
The train gets me downtown where I catch an express bus that takes me the rest of the way. It is quite a commute but affords me the time to think. This I haven’t had for a while.
The sun is rising as the bus careens down the highway, making up for lost time I suppose. The sky is pink and orange; strange and beautiful against the whiteness of everything. streets. Metal towers and giant apartments are starting to litter the skyline as never before. There is a building boom. It seems everyone wants to move to quirky Portland.
The bus takes me to a suburb called Tualitin. I have a new job. It is better than the last one. I have a lot to be grateful for.
I can’t help but laugh at the poor lost ducks on the frozen pond that is adjacent to the building, they stand there waiting for everything to return to normal.
Nothing ever returns to “normal”. Just the definition of what normal is, changes.
Christmas is almost upon us and I feel this is the perfect opportunity to extend a heartfelt thanks to everyone who has liked my work, especially those of you who have graced my blog with your intelligent comments. Your feedback has been invaluable to me.
I am blessed to have such an amazing array of regular visitors from all over the world. I have learned so much from your wisdom and thoughtfulness. You have welcomed me with open arms and open minds and I am so fortunate to know you.
When I started this blog back in August of 2011 I was desperate and alone; friendless and misunderstood, you befriended and understood me. I have learned I can be myself here. That is very precious to me as I am a sensitive soul who has hidden this aspect of myself for as long as I can remember.
I had just learned of my Asperger’s and that set the tumblers in motion that has brought me here today: pouring my soul out in words that I wouldn’t dare to say to myself or even acknowledge, let alone write down for the whole world to see.
Because I hid from the world, alone in the shadows, afraid of everything…even people. Yes, I admit it here and now to you that most of my entire life I have been afraid of people; afraid to show my strange self to anyone, not even those closest to me.
I spent a good many years in an alcoholic daze “brave-facing” the world with a drunken defiant smile all the while hiding myself behind a hard steel wall of my own creation. It wasn’t until I discovered my Asperger’s that it finally dawned that I didn’t have to be alone anymore. This started my writing, first on a small blog on an Asperger’s website then a few months later in this blog. I choose the name “My Life in Color” because at the time I thought that I would write solely about my life on the spectrum to give others a chance to perhaps understand someone like me because I wanted/needed desperately to be understood. I was ashamed of this and embarrassed that I didn’t have any real friends just drinking buddies who never knew me because I never let them. I never let anyone know me, even my own family.
It was the fear I hid behind: The fear of rejection, of ridicule, of others knowing what was really going on inside of me; how different I was. I hardly ever spoke to anyone. I just kept writing in my little notebooks and reading and learning. Words were my friends, you see and I knew somewhere deep down in my buried heart that words would someday save me–if I would only have to courage to let those words see the light of day.
But I lacked the confidence, until only recently I had no confidence at all or courage or anything of merit. I just existed and waited for what…I didn’t know, but I do know now. I waited for this; for a chance to be myself: hidden behind a facade of a fake name and the belief that no one would be reading my stuff anyway. The first month or so no one did, not many anyway, but one by one you came and you told me good things about me. You told me I was a good writer. You encouraged me. You understood me and you didn’t laugh at me or make me feel small. I don’t know why, but you kept coming and reading and commenting. Some of you for everything I wrote–everything. You didn’t mind that it sometimes takes me many days to return your comments. You didn’t mind if I didn’t make it to your sites all the time. You just kept returning and as the months came and went some of you called me friend and then after a while I had to courage to call you friend because I’ve learned about friendship from you and this is spilling out into my offline life. I have the courage now; the courage to look others in the eye and smile and say “I’m really glad to see you” and really mean it. This is because of you my friends. You saw something in me that I could never see before and I cannot truly convey how much I appreciate this.
This is like magic to me and now because of you and your kindness and acceptance of me I can finally see beyond myself to you and to others. I have found that I am not so different after all and there are many people in the world who too are alone, even in a crowd as I was. There are a great many people who just want to be understood and to hear someone say ” I care and you matter”
It means so much to me when you say I’ve brightened your day or made you think or smile or even laugh. I didn’t know I could be funny. I didn’t know I could be anything or anyone at all.
You my friends have given me this gift and what a precious one it is, more valuable than gold and it is a gift that keeps on giving because if there is anything I do in this life it will be paying this gift back to anyone and everyone that needs it….and there are so many and I think really, sometimes we all do.
This desire goes beyond my dream to become a writer someday, this silly pipe dream to become the next J.K Rowling. That is nothing. Money is nothing. Notoriety is nothing. I am not alone anymore and that is something and that is because of you!
You have saved me and that is why I am thanking you.