I’ve been super busy, lately. Work has kept me pretty focused, and that’s good. In the past, my jobs have not held my attention quite the way I would have liked. But this job I have now keeps me fully focused all day.
It prolly helps that I’m surrounded by aspies… I mean, seriously, people reciting lines from Princess Bride, and doing great impressions of Rain Man for fun… geeking out over data inconsistencies and potential integrations of formerly unrelated but clearly complementary data analysis technologies… that’s my kind of workplace.
And then there’s the work, which is data-heavy. So data-heavy, in fact, that I lose sight of anyone or anything else. I get wrapped up in the numbers, the stats, the visualizations, and before I know it, it’s 6:45, and everyone else has left the building.
It’s quiet. So quiet. Delicious and delightful. Just what this aspiengirl needs.
One drawback of all this is that I’ve lost sight of some of my aspie work — by that I mean really digging into my own issues and addressing them. I go in fits and starts with this work. Back in 1997, I took the Wired Aspie Quiz at the urging of my co-workers, I scored well within the “neurodiverse” region… and went about my regular business.
Then again, about 10 years ago, I was suddenly around a lot of people who kept hinting at me being autistic. I had people asking me if I watched Heroes, because there was an aspie character (or two – can’t remember). And asking me if I knew about Temple Grandin, who’s a high-functioning autistic woman. And pretty much telling me, “Whoah, gal – you’re so aspie, it’s not even funny.”
I spent some weeks (months?) digging into that. Watched “Mozart and the Whale”. Read “Look Me in the Eye” and other books. The Tony Attwood Asperger’s book. Took a bunch more tests.
Yup, still an aspie. Maybe even more than ever.
But whenever I talked about it with the people who I thought knew me best, they were all adamant that it can’t be! “You’re not autistic!” they exclaimed in horror. Like it was a terrible thing. Like they had been interacting with someone completely different for the past however many years.
It wasn’t worth the argument, so I walked away from the whole subject again.
Now, the whole aspie question is back. A coworker of mine just asked me the other day if I watch a t.v. show where one of the main characters is autistic. Or maybe they’re an aspie. Whatever. It’s hilarious, that this is coming up again. But not surprising, as I’m working with some extremely high-tech folks who have been in the business for 30+ years, and in my experience, most of us who were doing programming prior to 1998 were on the spectrum. So, I’m back with my tribe. And the subject has started coming up again.
I’ve also recently gotten to know someone who works with autistic kids, and I’ve been seeing them around town pretty regularly. I’ve been wanting to broach the subject of getting an assessment, but I’m not going to push it. Not going there. I’ll just be my un-edited self, and if they comment — as so many others have — I’ll know it’s worth following up with them.
But volunteer the information? There is no way.
Oh, but what was I planning to write about…? Ah, yes, Tania Marshall’s working screener for women with Asperger’s. I’ve been meaning to dig into it — and I have my marked-up copy lying to my left at my standup desk. But I’ve been so caught up in my data work, I haven’t gotten any traction with that.
Time to fix that. It’s such a rich body of work that Ms. Marshall has compiled, how can I resist? It’s just so juicy, and there’s so much there to talk about.
But first, I must run to the grocery store.