Monday, June 12, 2023

Finding Kansas Revisited 2.0

I don't know why I'm doing this. I'm about to embark on a journey that I've only done once. This journey is to revisit a younger version of myself frozen in time, in print, and a person I've only visited once. You see, I don't read what I write, except one time in 2015 when I decided to read my book and blog about it. It's been over eight years since that project and with all the places I've been, people I've met, and achievements I'd had, I'm wondering what my younger self would think. 

It's not as easy as it once was to remember what my life was like before my diagnosis. I'm now aged 40, and was diagnosed at 20, so I'm about to cross over to knowing I was on the spectrum more than not. It was a confusing time, however, as my diagnosis didn't go as it should. My doctor didn't know what he just diagnosed me with, as he was just looking at the assessment that said I had Asperger's, and he told me, "Yeah, I don't know what this is, but you have Aspeger's. So, I don't really know what to say... good luck?" 

I didn't know what it was either, so I looked it up on the all-knowing internet, and the first thing I read stated that, "Those with Asperger's will never have a job, never have friends, and will never be happy." This read like a lifelong prison sentence with no escape, no joy, and a life filled with guaranteed misery. With failure seen as a guarantee, things in my life unraveled at a fever pitch. Meanwhile, all the goals I had in life were also disintegrating in a fantastic heap of a wreck. I didn't know what to do, and I certainly had no idea how to say what was going on inside.

Then, right before midnight of February 8th, 2005 I had had enough. I don’t know if you’ve ever been pressed to a point of such internal strife that existing hurts and you’ve got all these emotions but no means to express yourself. I was still reeling from breaking up with my girlfriend on Christmas via text message. I mean, who does that? How could I express what had happened and why? How could I explain myself? How could I make it so that the world wouldn’t hate me as much?

I was playing Project Gotham Racing 2 and the song “You Don’t Mean Anything to Me” by Simple Plan played and something happened; I felt this newfound motivation to explain myself and I looked over my should to my computer and I inched over and opened up Microsoft Word. My hands trembled as I looked at the screen and a blank page. Where could I begin? What would I say? I started simply by putting my girlfriend’s name as the title and I went from there. Since then, every chapter and blog post has been written with the same process and I start with the chapter, and I work from there. So here now, is Finding Kansas: Revisited. Please note that, the first chapter in my book was not the Emily chapter but rather a piece I wrote from my college comp 101 class which was a great lead into the potential I had and the strife I was in.

So, in the coming weeks, I invite you to take this journey with me as I revisit the time, the places, the words, and the concepts of Finding Kansas. If you've read the book, this might give you more of the story, and if you haven't read it yet, it is available on Amazon. I'm aiming for a chapter a day, but the hectic race season schedule might delay posts by a day or two. Also, if there's a timely story that occurs, I'll break the Revisited project for a day to share the day's events. 

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