Last evening I took a long bike ride that at least three times longer than any other I have taken in my bike riding career. I pushed my body to the limit and the ride home was not all that fun as I developed not one, not two, but three flat tires, ahem, I mean two as I was just seeing if you were paying attention.
The reason for the ride was to allow myself time of being isolated. It's been a while outside a car ride to or from Indianapolis that I have had time to just think, and I wanted to figure out why I have such a sense of emptiness after presentations. I mean, how come I feel as if I have never presented before? How come I feel as if time is passing me by and I am doing nothing.
During my ride I found a pattern in my life; it isn't simply job tasks that I have this sense of emptiness. With friendships I feel the same way. Next week I will be working the USAC .25 race in Kalamazoo, Michigan and yet I will be nervous as I drive to Indy to ride up with the other USAC staff because it will feel as if I am meeting them anew.
It's hard to explain, but each time I meet people I already know it is like I am meeting them again for the first time. So to this concept plays true in presentations. Now, once the road trip begins, or the presentation begins, I will get comfortable, but still it presents awkward emotions for me.
Several months ago I heard a person tell me, when I was describing the way my memories work, that it sounded like an infant. What he meant by that is when a mother leaves an infant, to the infant, the mother is gone and does not exist. I believe he said, "Out of sight, out of mind." This is exactly how my mind works to this day.
When I'm in the midst of a presentation I know what to do without thought. Now, as I write this though, it is so hard to imagine that I am a presenter.
As I continued my ride I realized a fact about myself and that is I try to hard around others. It is hard for me to become comfortable because, for one, I am always meeting those I know for the first time again. This fact may be compounded because, since it is hard for me to judge anything regarding friendship and it is even more difficult to judge facial expressions.
On my return trip home, as I trudged through the flat tire situation, I thought of just how tiring it is for me because I never know where I stand with others. And when others leave and I see them later, well, it is even more scary because once again I have to establish those bonds.
After two hours I got close to home and realized that this concept of the first time all over again is one reason why I strive for routines. With a routine I know what to expect and if it happened once it will happen again. I must state that a routine, at least for me because remember, "If you've met one person with autism you've only met one person with autism." but in a routine I know what to expect from those around me. Let's say if activity Q was done and everyone had a good time and I felt as if those around me were true friends then that means every time activity Q is done I will have true friends. Because of this activities don't get old for us because it is more than just the activity at hand.
I think this surely will need to be written for my book and in it I hope I describe this better than I have on here today. There is something to this concept though, I know it. I never thought about routines being more than just within me, but I am beginning to think it also has to do with those around me because if we do the same thing each time, well, I will feel as if we've met before and the typical anxiety that goes along with meeting someone new, even if it is the 1,000th time, won't be as harsh.