Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Pendulum

Quite often in the Q and A segment of my presentations I will be asked a question along the lines of, "Are you happy? Did you mind not having a group of friends in school?" To answer this I usually say something along the lines of, "Most times I am fully happy. I mean, how can one have a group of friends at the same time? That's so much work! So yes, most times I could care less." Right now, today, is one of those times I am not.

It's weird how this comes and goes and I think a comparison to a slow swinging pendulum is a a great example. There is a sweet spot in the swing that makes me feel down.

Right now I am filled with wonder as to what it is like on the other side of the wall. Normally, I simply go about my day knowing there is a wall there but I don't dwell on it and am fully happy on my side. When the pendulum is in its sweet spot though I wonder what it is like and I yearn to cross over.

I've been thinking about this and before you think that this post is a massive shot and a clear sign I am not happy I want to point out that I feel everyone, at some point in time, wishes they were something else. I could be mistaken, but this wanting to be more, this wanting to be something that they are not, is the definition of being human.

The odd thing about these times I feel like this is that even if an offer comes up to socialize I will most likely turn it down. I could have gone to a surprise birthday party Saturday night, right in the height of my sadness of feeling alone, but I didn't go. Just because I want that social interaction doesn't mean I will do it.

Already, just from writing this, I can feel the pendulum leaving that zone that I feel sad. While there are those times I look over at the other side of the wall and think that it is better I often will be reminded about my side of the wall. The gifts I have surely are influenced by the autism spectrum. Would I trade by logic and writing ability for a social life? If I were selfish maybe, but I'm not and all in all I don't need the massive social network people have (in real life). I don't need a weekend out at clubs and such. There will be times I think I would be the happiest person in the world if that was my life, but just as a pendulum swings I change my position and realize that life isn't that bad.


  1. Hi Aaron,

    May I just say I love reading your blog. My 7 year old daughter has PDD NOS and reading your blog gives me a lot of insight into her and brings me also relief from the sometimes daunting task of raising an autistic child. It also makes me think a lot. So, thank you for that.

    I don't think there is anyone out there, on the spectrum or off, who sometimes does not wish we were something or even someone we are not. Being a happy person and happy with yourself does not mean that you are always happy, as we all move through life with peaks and valleys. I think what is really important is that we all recognize for ourself how the pendulum swings for us in a direction where we can say in all truthfulness that we are happy and comfortable in our own skin. For each of us, that truth is different. Even if you are lucky enough to find it, it doesn't mean that you don't have moments of sometimes wishing for something else.

    I happen to be of the view that many people use a huge, massive social network to cover up fears, insecurities or unhappiness. As I have gotten older I realize that is it very much the quality and not the quantity that matters.

  2. I think as long a one is happy most of the time, then they must be doing something right. :)