Coming here to write this post really brings me back… as in, back to the days when I would blog to process things. I don’t do that much anymore. When I blog, it’s to share something, but it’s not really a means of working through stuff. I mean, don’t get me wrong… I learn when I write. I often learn about myself when I write my stories… but most of my processing is done by talking. Ask the people around me if you need affirmation; their expressions alone will be all you need to know that yes, yes, this girl… never… stops…
What can I say? I make connections through language.
Anyhow, I have this friend who is also on the spectrum. I’ve known her for a couple of years, and we have a lot of the same goals and interests… which is great. Sometimes, one of us gets an opportunity that they other doesn’t. In the past, I would have been jealous. But the neat thing is that, if she is, she sure never shows it… she is SO genuine about being excited for me when good things come my way. And you know, when things happen for her, I get really excited too, because this girl deserves everything she gets. She’s that awesome. I don’t wonder why I didn’t get a chance or what I did wrong. I know my chance will come, but if today is her day, then I’m going to jump for joy for her.
I also have this other close friend who mentioned that she thinks she may be getting married within the year. In the past, I would have freaked-the-heck-out. I would’ve panicked. Change– CHANGE! My nemesis! I hate changed! And honestly, I would’ve been upset that I didn’t have a boyfriend, and I wasn’t growing up, and everyone was leaving me behind and clearly I was going to be alone in my own little world of misery forevermore!
Yeah, I can be a drama queen.
So, truth: I don’t have a boyfriend. I never have, in the adult sense. I was “going out” with a guy when I was 18, a fellow summer camp counselor who was in his early 20s, but truthfully it was more like a middle school dating game. In 2009, I on-and-off dated a guy in his late 20s (I was 21) for a few months. He also had autism, which, honestly, I think for me to “click” with a guy, he may have to be on the spectrum… and this guy, he was incredible, sweet, so compassionate, and he treated me like a princess… yet, the attraction just wasn’t there and I wasn’t into it, and that was that. That was four years ago.
Obviously, some things have changed. There’s the one hand, which is that I’m not sure I’m in a logical position to think about dating right now. Who would date a girl who lives in a nursing home? Then there’s the whole, am I even ready? I’m a social being, for sure, but when my family comes over for a party, I’m most apt to share my slice of cake upstairs with the Goose than chat it up. I’ll lecture you about the finer points of linguistic applications of autistic writing but… so, how’s working going, and I hear you refinished your dining room, and… the best you’re likely to get from me is, “How’s your cat doing?” So, a relationship, like a real one? I’m not positive just yet.
But here’s the really big thing. Here’s the thing that I keep coming back to, even bigger than “maybe it’s not the right time.”
I don’t want a boyfriend right now. As far as I know, I’ve never been asked out, hit on, or even thought of as girlfriend material before. It’s never occurred to me to wonder why, because… well, I know I’m a pretty girl, and I know I have personality, and I, for one, think I’m pretty funny… so as far as guys not finding me attractive, I kind of see it as a blessing because that would get old and annoying, considering I’m not that interested. I don’t see the lack of attention as any indication of my worth or status, I guess, and I know that, when the time is right, the attention will come.
But, you know, I am totally on board with making some friends who are boys, networking, connecting, and so forth… but as far as a serious, romantic, considering-marriage relationship goes, like the one my friend is involved in?
I’m a little too… well, there are things I need to do, first, like, well, you know… change the world?
Yeah, that. I’m working on it.
As far as building relationships goes, I’m content to be setting the ground work. I’m not going to find my future husband if I don’t make friends, first. So I’m open to making friends with guys, unlike I have been in the past.
I’m also enjoying the my new-found thing about being genuinely really excited for a friend and not immediately wondering what’s wrong with me. People do things at different rates; part of that is because I’m autistic, and part of it is just because I’m a different person than this friend or that one. God’s plan for my life isn’t His plan for hers, for a whole list of reasons.
Now, I’m not saying that my friend isn’t out there changing the world, too. She changes people, one at a time, from inside out, in really big ways. She’s the somebodiest of somebodies, if you ask me.
I’m enjoying watch her story unfold, respecting her and respecting it and honoring God for how He’s working in her life. And I’m enjoying doing all the same for my own. And most of all, I’m enjoying watching how the two are intertwined… how neither of us are the same as we would’ve been without that interaction of our stories and ourselves.