Friday, September 8, 2023

Finding Kansas Revisited: The End

There I was, in Kisumu, Kenya, room 312 of the Imperial Hotel, and I was at a life milestone. It was October 2006, and I knew a journey I never intended to set out on was coming to an end. Just 19 months prior, I almost died in this town due to the being held captive by the mob, and after surviving that ordeal I wondered why I was spared, and I realized that my writing's might be worth something besides just trying to explain my existence through written words.

As I opened up the laptop, my hands were shaking. While I never thought of my words as being a book, I did keep everything in a running Word document, and it was time to conclude the journey. 

To do so I had to summarize my chapters up to that point. What had I learned? I looked out the window to the West, towards Lake Victoria, questioning who I was. Emily's words kept haunting me, "You have Asperger's, you can't love others." To have something concretely stated like this put me in a box, and I believed it. And, when you believe something, it often comes true. This was the first moment I realized I was more than my diagnosis, and that I had unlimited potential. 

If you read the book, you can instantly pick up on the change in tone. No more was I writing out of a corner of self-loathing, but instead I announced to the world that, yes, I'm not normal, but I'm more than any label. 

When I got to the final words, I looked out of the window a long time and I can assure you that I never could've imagined the heights I'd reach. You've been on the journey with me if you've read my book, been to any of my presentations, or have followed my blog for any short while. The heights though... wow! I've given 1,046 presentations to 95,985 people. I've presented to the top levels of the FBI in Washington D.C., and I fulfilled the impossible dream of becoming the starter for the NTT INDYCAR Series including the largest race in the world, the Indianapolis 500. 

Realizing that this wasn't truly the end, I wrote that I knew I could have a "prosperous life" as I reflected back that, as I began my writing journey, I didn't want to exist. Life, love, and prosperity were impossibilities, I believed, but even though I had achieved little as I finished the book, I knew I was capable. What did that look like? I had no idea, but I was ready for whatever would come, and I knew something would. 

So, in the end, of this reflection back on who I was, I know most of all that the inability to love was the biggest fallacy I believed because, in just eight days, I'm getting married.

No comments:

Post a Comment