This is by way of an addendum to the last blog post, Sense and Sensibility.
I really find this business of not knowing my own mind a bit tedious at times, especially when I also have the annoying habit of making categorical statements, only to find that I have cemented myself in the wrong place yet again, and I’ve got to set about chiselling my way out!
In this instance I am referring to my statement about liking the change in the seasons. Now this is not strictly untrue: I do like things like seeing the flowers appear in spring and the arrival of the baby birds, not to mention all the wonderful fruit that makes its appearance during these warmer months (I have a ‘thing’ about food, especially fruit – I think it’s called an obsession!) However, my liking of the seasonal changes is mainly theoretical – I like the idea of it, but the reality appears to clash with my personality. I enjoy reading about them, and seeing pictures – the way they do it in magazines, directing your attention to whatever aspect of the change happens to be their particular interest (health magazines, food and lifestyle magazines, etc). I know it’s a bit of a bizarre thing to enjoy, but I have aspergers, don’t you know - bizarre is my middle name (er, not literally, you understand?!) And, anyway, I’ve given it up now because it was such an obsession and a distraction that I hardly got much else done but reading – anything!
I have a lot of these delusions about myself. Some of them are really quite funny. For instance I used to think that I was a gregarious social butterfly. I mistook not being able to stop talking once I started as a sign that I enjoyed social interaction, and was able to engage in light chit-chat! The fact that it would wear me out, that I would come away from such encounters with my mind racing and obsessing over what had been said (which could last up to a week until the next time!), and that I could only talk about one thing – namely me and my interests – failed to register. I had to have my neurotypical best friend tell me that this is what I did, and that this does not constitute small talk, and general polite conversation. I was aghast! Was my small talk not small enough, then? How small did it have to be? I mean, for heaven’s sake, I’m the woman who’s obsessed with the minutiae of life: you can’t get much smaller than that, surely?!! But no, apparently this doesn’t count. It’s not light enough, like a fairy cake – more in the way of a rock bun that’s been cooked too long!
So, to try to get back on track, this change business is not something I embrace wholeheartedly, or even half-heartedly at times – sometimes there’s no heart to be found in it whatsoever! I just have this idea that I do, even despite all the evidence to the contrary throughout my life. I keep thinking it’s just a matter of changing my attitude (ha ha ha, more change!) towards the idea of change, but as yet this has not worked, and I’ve been doing it a bloody long time now! Methinks it’s time I tried another method - accept that it’s intrinsically part of the aspergers and, for whatever inexplicable reason, change just isn’t something I’m ever going to find easy. Hell’s bells, I don’t even like changing my breakfast cereal, or the kind of knickers I buy! And I hate it when the Brussels sprout season comes to its end, and I have to figure out something else to buy in their place!
I hate the change in seasons, and not just because of the difficulties I have with deciding what to wear. I hate it when the clocks go forward here in the UK (which they have just done, and now I’ve lost an hour’s sleep, and I’d just got back into the rhythm of getting up earlier!), and the dreaded British summer time begins – in the middle of spring! It’s the time when all the people, who were safely locked up in their homes during the colder months while I was out taking my walks in blissful solitary peace, suddenly appear and the world feels overcrowded. Now I can hardly get from my door to where I walk without encountering someone, and even whilst indoors I can hear them going about their business outside.
What is it with people? Why does it seem they all have to come out at the same time? Couldn’t they do it in shifts? And why is it that they seem to have this propensity for gathering together in the same places, like sheep all following each other around? I mean, just look at what happens in the summer holidays when they all head for the traditional holiday spots and theme parks: can there be anything less conducive to a restful break from work or school? Is it any wonder half of them are glad when the holidays end and it’s time to go back?! (I do know that they are not all the same, and that they don’t all do these things: it just seems like it to me!) Me, I look forward to when the days grow shorter and the clocks go back, and I get my lost hour back (where does it go in the interim? On holiday, probably, away from all the people!). Not to mention, of course, all those surplus people suddenly disappear indoors.
And there, once again, I imply that I enjoy another change, but I am reminded of the fact that I apparently don’t respond well to the lack of light, the cold, and every other thing that goes with the autumn/winter season, and that it affects my mood and I become quite gloomy at times. I only ever seem able to see one piece of the jigsaw at a time, and never the whole picture, so I have to frequently be reminded of the truth about myself and my condition. It’s a bit of a bugger when you can’t quite remember who you really are!
So, having explored the issue, I have come to the conclusion that no, I don’t like change. In fact, I BLOODY WELL HATE IT!!! This will not come as a surprise to my friend, who is constantly telling me that it’s the case: but to me, I’m always amazed. It takes me a while for things to fully compute, and then I can never guarantee that it won’t go in and disappear into the black hole that appears to materialise in my mind to swallow up all the really useful information I could do with retaining, leaving me with a swirling mass of gaseous waste to ponder on obsessively – the minutiae of life!
"Do you believe in Magic?" asked Colin.
"That I do, lad," she answered. "I never knowed it by that name, but what does th' name matter? I warrant they call it a different name i' France an' a different one i' Germany. Th' same thing as set th' seeds swellin' an' th' sun shinin' made thee well lad an' it's th' Good Thing. It isn't like us poor fools as think it matters if us is called out of our names. Th' Big Good Thing doesn't stop to worrit, bless thee. It goes on makin' worlds by th' million - worlds like us. Never thee stop believin' in th' Big Good Thing an' knowin' th' world's full of it - an call it what tha' likes. Eh! lad, lad - what's names to th' Joy Maker."
From 'The Secret Garden', by Frances Hodgson Burnett
"There is no way to happiness - happiness is the way."
The Dalai Lama
"If you don't stand for something you will fall for anything."