Finding where I fit

interlocking cubes
I’m having a strange time at work. My group has been shuffled around into a different organization, and nobody’s sure how it’s going to turn out.

Nobody knows how anything will turn out, these days. Hurricanes. Earthquakes. Nuclear threats. It all starts to feel ho-hum, after a while, and I wonder how I’d feel if this were like 500 years ago and nobody had any idea how screwed up people on the other side of the country/world are. Would we be happier? I doubt it. People crave drama. They look for reasons to be unhappy, to make themselves feel more engaged, more alive.

But my mind is wandering. I’m already off-topic, and it’s still early in the day. I’ve got a full list of to-do items for this Saturday. But it’s worth it. After I get this stuff done, it’ll be done. And then I can just get on with my day.

It’s been a little over a year since I got an official Asperger’s assessment. It’s been a couple of years since I got back on track with managing my autistic “features”.  It’s been an interesting trip, and like most folks who go through this process, it’s been full of ups and downs.

Now things are evening out, and I realize that I’m really not cut out for fighting over autism. You know… donning the righteous armor of activism and wading into the fray. I mean, it’s not cool that researchers and organizations are looking for ways to eradicate me, but to assume that they’re going to be successful is a bit of a stretch. And to assume that only direct opposition is going to stop them, is short-sighted, in my opinion.

What ever happened to good old subversion? What ever happened to individual actions and choices that undermine the hegemony of the dominant paradigm? In any case, I’m not 100% convinced that the dominant paradigm is universal, or that everybody wants to buy into it. People want to belong. Sure. That’s true. And they’ll go along with stuff that others offer them, which promises to make their lives happier, richer, sexier, etc. But there’s also an undercurrent of buried intelligence that shows up at the unlikeliest of times.

And that’s the side of people I want to deal with. Not their obvious oblivion.

That’s way too depressing. Traumatizing. Self-depleting.

So, yeah… I’m trying to figure out where I fit on this continuum of action.  Maybe I don’t belong on it at all… No, I do. I just need to find the place / way that works for me — and not against me.

One of the things I feel myself letting go of, is my perpetual discomfort with the professional world. I just kind of “fell into it” by default, after I left college, because apparently I’m pretty good at the things I undertake. I’ve got my autistic focus, enthusiasm, my quirky / geeky joy at stuff that most people don’t think twice about, and my enthusiasm is “infectious” as they say. People like working with me, because I really do make an effort to be a good team member and support others in their jobs. And even though I am pretty odd at times, by conventional standards, there’s room for that in the world where I work. Heck, it’s chock-full of “odd birds” like me.

So, why have I been fighting it?

Well, because it’s part of a world that I grew up distrusting and disliking. Corporate America. Bleh!  Who would want to be a part of that?! Turns out, I do. I perform very well in the structure and predictability of a corporate environment, and over the years people have really made an effort to include me and advance me. I’ve pushed them a way, though, rejected their offers, and moved from job to job for reasons I thought I understood, but really didn’t.

Turns out, it was alexithymia that was urging me to leave. I didn’t have a good or clear sense of what was going on. I couldn’t tell whether or not I should trust people. I had no clear sense of how well I was doing in my jobs, so I never knew if I was failing or succeeding. I couldn’t “read” people, either. It’s like I’ve been wandering around with a blindfold covering most of my vision and earplugs firmly inserted in my ears, bumping into stuff here and there, but somehow finding my way through… all the while having very little clear sense of where I am or where I fit or what I should do next.

God, I wish I’d figured this out sooner. Could have saved me years of confusion and frustration.

What might have been different? Well, I might have gotten to the place I am now — able to ask people for clarification, able to recognize that I’m not really persecuted at work, I’m just feeling overwhelmed, able to differentiate between actual depression and just being physically wiped out. And not stressed out and pushed to extremes by situations I can’t read.

Well, what’s done is done. At least I know now how things work with me. And I can adapt accordingly. Now I can:

  • Look for the good in my situation, instead of fretting about how much greener the grass will be at some other company.
  • Get some extra sleep and spend more time relaxing, instead of burning up all my available energy hunting high and low for the Next Big Thing.
  • Chill the f*ck out and enjoy myself.
  • Actually engage with the people I work with and put my energy into making the most of my present situation, instead of always wishing things were different.

I’ve written before about how I need to reset my expectations in life, and it’s still true. I’ve wasted so much time trying to operate like someone I’m not, and it’s burned me out. Fried me to a crisp. Ugh. Time to quit that. Just let it go. Let that go… go… go… )))))))))))

Have a little fun, for once, by God.

Yeah. Let’s try that, why don’t we?

I’m sick of wedging myself into all the unfitting forms. Time to find my fit, and go with that.



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