If you’re lucky like me, you’ll find a colony of others in the same situation
Life as an autistic person often feels like living on a different planet, with a universal translator still in testing. Most of the time the translator gets enough right for what people say to make sense, but it gets confused by idioms and figures of speech. So you research, working to understand the complex systems and hidden rules that makes the society function. Putting the pieces together in between trying to establish your own identity and learn who You are but finding every resource on how life works, is based on your neighbors who are so different from you. You don’t come with the same preloaded knowledge, so you have to learn how people tick by studying, testing, trial and error in real time. Working to figure out how to communicate, collaborate, interact, and thrive with people so different from yourself. It’s exciting but difficult work. Things aren’t just set up to work for you so you have to adapt, and find alternative ways of doing everything. It’s the extra work in simple things like trying to buy food when the grocery store might as well be a survival challenge. You know that you’ll never fit all the pieces together in your life time but the time limit makes the challenge a little more fun, and if you can find a way to pass on your knowledge, maybe the next person to end up landing here will have a place to start. If you’re lucky like me, you’ll find a colony of others in the same situation, some may even be from your galaxy! A place with others like you, and others different but just as interested in learning how to interact and survive together. Who you can share in the joy of living in the same confusing world, sharing knowledge and bonding over the silly place you’ve found yourselves in, a community where you can learn not just to survive, but to thrive. Where you have purpose in finding connection across boundaries. In knowing that no matter how different you may be from your neighbors that there is someone fighting just as hard to connect, and you can find them if you put in the effort to look for them. It doesn’t matter that you feel the world through wildly different senses and thoughts, as long as you are willing to listen, you can still experience life together.
By Kara Campbell,Member of Team 26