As I thought about this some more I thought back to the nearly 500 presentations I've done looking for "the highs" as one might experience in winning a race. In thinking on this I realized my memories are a foggy haze when it comes to the presentation itself. When I present I'm in autopilot mode and because of this there is no enjoyment because, I think, my brain has to go there to allow myself to not overthink and to overcome my shyness. However, there is a moment that I do remember above all others.
It's odd; I don't remember the interior of the venues I've presented at nor do I routinely remember the questions that were asked. My "highs" so to speak are the moments where I walk out of the building and towards my car. These moments are amplified if I'm walking with a coworker or the person that sponsored or facilitated the event. This isn't to say I'm happy to be getting out of the presentation as one might be if they're clocking out of a 14 hour work day. No, this feeling I have is the only time I savor what I've done. Within minutes of driving away my "Alias" is gone and I fear if I will "ever present again" and my endless amount of worry returns.
I'm about to present again as I'm writing this from my phone at the Willard High School and I can remember the feelings I had last year when I presented here. It's odd though, as I look towards the school, that I don't remember the interior. If history repeats itself, in a couple hours, I'll have the feeling of achieving something when my presentation is over and I'm walking back to my car. But, as I start to make my return trip to home, the same feelings will overcome me. Perhaps this is what drives me to keep going. If I'm not presenting I don't have a sense of who I am or what I can do therefore I constantly have this feeling of needing to do more. Then again, maybe it's a small tragedy in that I can't enjoy or take pride in what I do outside those moments as I open up the door and walk to my car. Whatever the case it must be working because here I am, in Willard once again, about to present and raise the awareness and understanding of the autism spectrum.