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Thursday, April 4, 2013

Finding Kansas: 1 Year Later

My apologies for the lack of a blog yesterday; I was speaking at the Autism Rally in Jefferson City and the hotel I was at had atrocious wi-fi so I was unable to write. As for today I have a plane to catch later this afternoon headed to Phoenix for the first USAC .25 race of the year. While both of those would be worthy things to write about I want to talk about what yesterday marked.

April 3rd will always be a special day for me for the rest of my life as that is the day last year that my book Finding Kansas was released. I still can't believe that I was published and I still can't believe I can still find my book in bookstores.

I think the unique thing about my book, if you don't know my story, is that I am an author by accident. When I started the journey of writing I didn't intend on being an author and I certainly never intended on being a public speaker as the only thing I wanted to do was to tell my dad who I was and why I was because back then I couldn't speak it.

I think of my blog from Tuesday and how I stated that I "didn't want to be a burden." This too was one of my motivations for writing because I knew that those around me were frustrated and I too was frustrated in their frustration. I thought that, if I write, perhaps "the world wouldn't hate me as much" as I worded it in my book because if I could put forth the reasons I do and feel the way I do then maybe there will be an understanding.

As I wrote my book I wrote to two people. One, obviously, was my dad but secondly was to the girlfriend I had for three years before my diagnosis at the age of 20. I did mention that I am an author by accident and I never thought anyone would read my words, but I thought that if I could reach just one person how would I describe myself and so I sort of wrote to her which is why the book is dedicated to her.

So often I try, in my mind, to go back in time to that chilly and dark February night in 2005 when I sat down and started my journey as a writer. Never could I have envisioned any of this. Even as I wrote my 2nd book which isn't published yet (it's at the publisher awaiting the day it gets the green light) I never envisioned being published as I finished that book in the summer of 2009. Why is this all relevant? I go back to the blog from Tuesday and there are so many people with Asperger's that have all these emotions without the ability to express them. The frustration factor grows and grows and all in all in isn't the best of situations. I know this because I was there. I was at that point where I thought, "What's the purpose of tomorrow? Why try if I know I'm going to fail? Why do people act the way they do? I just don't understand!"

My book may have been an accident but the impact it is having most certainly isn't. When there is understanding there is room for growth. The whole purpose of my book was so to do just that; to create a level of understanding so the "world wouldn't hate me as much." That phrase may sound a bit extreme, but that's how I felt. All I wanted was someone, anyone to be able to put themself in my shoes and understand how I see the world and how I feel. One of the first things, not the first, but one of the initial things I read about Asperger's on the Internet when I got diagnosed, and I still hear 'experts' say this from time to time is that, "people with Asperger's have no emotions." This confused me because I knew I had a whole array as deep as the cosmos of emotions; however, I couldn't express them. This was another motivation to keep writing was to disprove that and now that's another reason why I am so thankful my book is out there so that there just may be another level of understanding.

I know most people that read my blog have read my book, but if you haven't it is available pretty much anywhere online where books are sold and it's also in many bookstores. If you want to buy it on Amazon you can by this http://www.amazon.com/Finding-Kansas-Decoding-Aspergers-Syndrome/dp/0399537333/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1365094331&sr=8-1&keywords=finding+kansas

My journey is continuing on and I think back to that first evening, my audience may be bigger than I ever imagined but the mission is the same; I want to be able to give the world an insight into why I do the things I do and maybe, through that, a higher level of understanding can be created and the lives of us with Asperger's, and anyone on the autism spectrum for that matter, can be better.

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