Posted in Career Change, Identity

The New Normal

Since leaving my own life, my new life still confuses me.

Long Commute

This is both good and bad.  Some days I listen to SiriusXM, and other days, I listen to books.  I enjoy the alone time I guess, but it’s physically draining to be driving so much.  The good news is that I have a flexible start time and I go in early so I can avoid traffic (well, at least the worst of it) which saves me precious spoons.  The bad news is that there are times the construction on the freeway and trucks just wear me out since my spatial sense doubts that I will actually fit in the tiny lane with that truck next to me.

No Real “Homework”

It feels weird not to be thinking about work when I am not there.  I mean, for Autistics, it’s normal to not think of people when we don’t see them (at least, I think it is; anecdotally, I’ve heard a lot of Autistics say they do the same thing: they think about people generally only when they’re with them except for fleeting thoughts (“I wonder what happened to so-and-so; let’s google them like a stalker).  Anyway, so I’m used to thinking about work constantly.  This meant that I was never really just at home.  Now, there’s literally nothing to do at home, so I don’t even think about work except going to and coming from and when to leave the house.  It’s strange to me.

Who Are You People?

This lack-of-work thought leads to another fun one: who are these people I live with?  I’m actually able to pay more attention to them since my mind is less split at home.  I guess I’m noticing things more, that way.

Do I Care About That?

And this also leads me to wonder what I actually do care about.  I play some Final Fantasy online (crafting a bit) every morning, come home, have dinner and chat with my husband and figure out what my kid is doing and try to hang with him a bit (he’s big into hugs, but has a lot of his own projects and likes different meals, so he bounces in and out a lot) and inevitably we do still go to bed kind of early since the TV is there and my knee has been twingy again due to weather and commute (arthritis already? Sheesh…).  But I am starting to think about writing again, and I don’t know whether I have the ability to care about statistics and computer programming.  I want to care very much because I want to conquer that stuff because I was swayed away from it when I was younger, but does it even matter?  Instead, I think about the yard (it’s like a jungle; I swear the people before us were way too much plant people and it’s spread to the point of absurdity) and whether I can rearrange or clean things inside the house and what kind of a schedule that will entail.  I have never thought about things like a yard before.

Part of me worries that I am becoming closer to neurotypical, but that is not it since we do still live a different life from everyone else.  Few people homeschool (leaning unschool) with a husband at home, working, and few people are comprised solely of Autistics in their family, especially where we live.  And, knee twinges not withstanding, for the first time in my life, I’m not tired all the time.

I do not have great joy, like I did in my old life, but neither do I have the depths of despair.

I’m not sure if I feel numb now or if this is happiness of a new kind.  I think, right now, I am neither happy nor unhappy.  I simply exist.

But so does everyone else on this planet, I guess.