Friday, February 18, 2022

The Wall

This is to all the people I've worked with over the years that have never seen the other side of the wall...

I’ve worked with many of you for many years, and others have seen me at the track for many years. It’s no secret I have Asperger’s and on track I can assure you it is a great advantage for me. I can’t recall the amount of time I’ve heard “Aaron, how did you see that from half a track away?” I love it! The speed, the challenge, the reflexes required but at the same time there’s one aspect that weighs heavy on my heart and it’s been an albatross for as long as I can remember.

My wall is high. I do my job and put every ounce of my soul into it but one thing I avoid is either before or after the day and that’s the social aspect. I don’t know how many of you actually “know” me. Sure, everyone puts up walls, everyone is a little guarded, but when I have the energy to go out with the crew at the end of the day it seems to be a cause for celebration, and I’m always confused at this; is it excitement that I’m going along or more that I’m not hiding away?
It’s an isolating experience. There’s a part of me that does want to know everyone; to be a true part of the crew instead of a mysterious lonesome figure that is either 100% on or invisible. I may come across as cold, uncaring, or maybe downright rude and I have no intention of that. What’s going on in my brain I can only describe as a tempest mixed with a hurricane mixed with a GPS system that doesn’t know North from space zebras that are wearing funny hats.
Today I’m feeling down as I look back on the people I could’ve known, people that I do know but simply see, and while I should challenge myself to be more my limitations are great. Maybe in previous jobs this led to resentment. I’m not sure, but if I work with you now do know that even though I may seem emotionless or aloof I’m very grateful you are there. It takes so much for me to simply get through the day, and perhaps this is a way I stave off the burnout I blogged about earlier in the week but do know I so dearly want to be a part of what I see you all have, but for me it's a greater thrill to be working at 100% of my potential and to be a part of a great team. That's where I shine, and I am extremely grateful the racing series I work for understand this about me. I may prefer to be alone at the end of the day but I'm beginning to realize I'm not fully alone because there's a peace that comes with others knowing this about me and not expecting me to be something I'm not. Perhaps all the work we've done in awareness and understanding of Asperger's is evident right here in my life because I haven't heard a cross word and others understand my need to recharge. The desire is still there to be a part of the team socially, but while writing this I got sad thinking about the chasm between but I'm smiling greatly in the realization I get to work with such awesome people that understand me. I hope the future will have this be commonplace for those on the spectrum to where it isn't even thought of for a second that it should be any other way.

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