Sunday, January 24, 2016

Turning to Face the Change

I spent this New Years visiting one of my closest friends in San Francisco. It was a great five days (despite having a nasty stomach bug the day I arrived) and it felt good to see her, as the distance between us (her in San Fran and me in Los Angeles) makes that kind of engagement rare. And it was exactly what I wanted it to be - low key, relaxed, and just shooting the shit with a really good friend in one of my favorite cities on earth.

We talked a lot about our respective years during that week and it got me thinking a lot about transition. The two of us have spent the last few years in graduate school pursuing degrees designed to groom us for specific professions so a lot of our lives have revolved around school and all the elements that come with it. But with me graduating last year and her about to graduate this year, we have come to terms with that leaving school means no longer depending on certain beats to center our lives. After graduation, you have to make it on your own.

One of the most consistent things said about autistic people is that they're adverse to change. Any disruption to things or patterns we understand throws us into a tailspin of frustration and chaos, convention says. I can't claim to speak for every autistic person on the planet, but I'm kinda in the not-cool-with-change camp. Why should I be? I make an effort to keep things consistent in a way that works for me. I like having certain things I can count on. Any change to that throws me for a loop to a point where I have major trouble processing it.

But change is an inevitable part of life. To avoid change is futile. And I can attest to that as 2015 was the year of huge change that was hard to adjust to.