A couple of days ago there was a lot of talk on Twitter about autistic masking, and one corner of the discussion focused on how hard it can be to find yourself after you’ve masked for so long you forget who you are under the mask. During that discussion, I became consciously aware of something that I had been slowly recognizing for a while now.
Okay, if you missed the backstory, in January I did a series of posts about life goals. One of those posts was When I Grow Up I Want to Be HER. I acknowledged at the end of that post that,
It embraces things which have always been core to me–family, connecting with and learning from people, taking care of folks I love, music, being a home-body, not liking in-person socializing. But it also challenges me to grow, not into something different, but into a more capable, confident, comfortable version of who I am now.
But I still saw ‘her’ as someone I needed to grow into, and I realized, that’s not it.
I already am ‘her’
Or at least, I would be her, right now, almost no growing required, if I had the resources and health to do everything I’m already trying to do right now. I am the center pole of my family. I am in contact with friends across the country as often as my health and sanity allow and the only reason I haven’t pursued a closer connection with some folks I know across the globe is our mutual health and spoons makes it difficult to stay in touch beyond an occasionally ‘glad you are still alive.’ My home is as full of books and music and fresh baking and everything else I want as I can manage. I even got a bread machine so I can always have fresh bread, whether or not I have the sanity to manage the kneading/rising cycle myself.
Everything I wrote about wanting to do or have — I am doing and do have to the best of my ability right now. And if I had the resources (primarily money and health), I’d be doing even more.
Growing into me
The biggest differences between who I am and who I want to be mainly come down to experience and confidence. And, well, you get confidence from experience.
It’s the first time in my life that I can say, I am who I want to be. I still have a lot of healing and growing to do. But I am the person I always want to grow into. That’s…
Seriously awesome and kind of scary. Because that means it’s time to stop working towards a future self, and start focusing on being who I am today to the best of my ability.
Or, to pull out an old cliche, time to spread my wings and fly.
It’s gonna be epic.
In, you know, a down home, introverted, fresh bread and butter kind of way.