Monday, June 6, 2022

My Future Remorseful Self

 If I'm still blogging at the age of 80, I can see myself writing the following post...

I have worked at some of the most amazing places in my life and have fulfilled many lifelong dreams. I look at the pictures on my walls and it takes my breath away. However, I've always known I've worked with some of the most amazing people and wish I would've done more to reach out and to be a part of the groups I've worked in.

I always knew I was going to have trouble socializing on the job. I knew this even before my diagnosis. At the age of 11 I was torn up inside when I saw the finale to Star Trek: The Next Generation when the captain joins in on the poker game with a hint of regret. 

The line of, "you were always welcome" was killer because I knew this from my classmates in school, but I could never reach out and be a part of the group.

I did work with so many awesome people, and they weren't just awesome professionally, but were awesome humans all around. It pained me to watch as everyone else went to dinner and I was much too overloaded from the day's activities to have the energy to go. I hope they knew it wasn't that I was standoffish or thought I was above them, but rather I simply didn't have the energy and didn't know how to handle the socializing aspect.

With each coworker I had that left or changed jobs I grew more and more remorseful. I don't like change and with each change I lost that chance to reach out. I always meant to, but just never did. And when others did make an attempt to have me go out after a long day's work it pained me to say no, but most of the time I had no choice. I either could be good the next day, or I could carry over the overload from the current day into the next and I always strove for perfection on the job, so I had to know my limits.

There are so many people I wish I could go back and have one more day on the job with. That's where I do my socializing while doing the work. It was always amazing to get a coworker that understood me that allowed me to show my true personality. I wish I could've done it after work but going with a large group crushes that ability to be myself because I'll be overprocessing.

I always made an effort to let all the people I worked with know that it wasn't that I didn't like them, but the autism spectrum in me fully required me to rest and recharge. Knowing this at a young age is why that final scene from Star Trek shredded my soul; I knew I'd often be a witness to others being able to have, what I took as, a boundless amount of energy to socialize. I never knew how this was achieved, and many nights being alone I loathed myself for this inability and hoped they understood.

My writings have always said that "understanding is the foundation for hope" and I hope they understood. I'm grateful many did and wouldn't push me to go out knowing full well I needed that break from the world. Wait, isn't that the true meaning of understanding? Is that why the "you were always welcome" is a stab to the heart yet soul lifting at the same time? I think it is because that's what understanding means. I wish I would've realized it in the time because when you're in the middle of the "good ol' days" you never know that you were within them. I was though, and now, more than ever, I wish I would've had that boundless energy to be a part of what I was simply a witness to. Yet, at the same time, I was who I was because of the awesome people I was blessed to work with.

No comments:

Post a Comment