In light of my most recent discovery about myself (being on the autism spectrum), I’ve been reevaluating myself and my social interactions. I’ve spent my whole life trying to be social and have friends while always wondered what was wrong with me that I couldn’t do it like everybody else. I could never understand why it took so much effort on my part to do something as simple as being social.
Now that I realize that I am in fact different from most people I am trying to embrace and accept what is and stop trying so hard to do something that is so impossible for me. I am casually friendly with a handful of people, including neighbors. It doesn’t go much beyond that. Otherwise, I’ve given up trying to make a deep connection with people I meet.
If a friendship happens to come along and we have similar interests, I will happily accept it. The difference is I will not be actively pursuing friendships anymore. I have always been a loner and it’s time to just accept who I am and make peace with it. I’m done trying so hard.
Now instead of spending the majority of my energy trying to be social and trying to make friends, I am now focusing on myself and my family. I’m trying to focus more on my hobbies and what brings me true joy. I’m also trying to be a better and more present mother and wife. Being a mother has always been a dream of mine. I love being a mother, but its important to do for myself too. If I am happy with myself, I can be a better mother.
I will be focusing most of my energy inward and learning more about what I am passionate about and what brings me joy and satisfaction. These things include music, science, nature, and cooking. These are the things that make me happy and that I don’t have to be socially awkward with. I can learn about and practice these things to my heart’s content. I’d always hoped to meet someone with similar interests, but that hasn’t happened yet so I am learning to be content on my own.
I ignored these parts of myself for all of my adult life. I believed that adults weren’t supposed to care about such silly things. I had to grow up and focus on working and surviving. There was not time for such things, so I ignored and forgot all about it. I had become an empty shell who was just going through the motions. It was so numbing. Having no interest or passion about anything in the world was slowly killing me. I was bitter, depressed, and lost. I was dead inside. I lost who I was and became someone I didn’t like. I had to do something to make a change.
At this point in my life I realize that those are the things that truly make me tick. Those are the things that are truly important to me and I should not abandon it! I was always considered weird and nerdy because I enjoyed these things. I believed that no one cared about these things and anything I had to say was uninteresting. I stopped talking about them and eventually stopped thinking of them. Now at this point in my life I realize how necessary my interests are to my survival. I don’t care what anyone else thinks. It’s important to me so I will continue to pursue.
I absolutely love astronomy and the universe. I’ve been spending much of my free time reading and watching documentaries on the subject. I spend time each night looking up at the stars with wonder and amazement! The stars and vastness of the universe bring me a deep sense of peace. I love to let my mind wander about what I’m looking at. Every single time I look up I am amazed by it all!! I am working up the nerve to go to an astronomy club that I’ve been meaning to try for over a year, but I keep chickening out. My limited mobility gives me anxiety about leaving home so I avoid going out most of the time. I’d love to be around others who think like me. I want to learn what they can teach me. Maybe one of these days I’ll give it a try.
Another interest I’ve been really focusing on is music. Specifically playing music. Since I was little, I’ve wanted to learn to play music. I’ve always said I have music in my soul. I’d love to learn to play the piano, violin, guitar, and drums. Most of my focus at this point is on the piano. I’ve been practicing almost daily for the last 6 months. I received private lessons for about 3 months to get a better understanding of some of the basics. Right now I just need to practice what I learned so it will come easier. I get discouraged at my slow progress, but that’s because I want instant results. When I refocus my expectations, I can see that I’m already making great progress. Baby steps!! Once I’ve gotten to a comfortable point with the piano I will move on and shift my focus to the other instruments.
Its so important to remember what brings you joy because that’s what keeps us going. If you suppress that part of you, you’ll be just an empty shell simply floating through life. No joy, no passion, no soul. Simply existing, numb. Dead.
I’m so happy I’m taking better care of myself. I will continue to follow my passions. I will accept what is. That’s it.