Sunday, February 16, 2020

Nothing's Changed; Everything's Different

Tuesday is my 71st birthday. Yay, Happy Birthday to me, another trip around the sun.

Another big piece of the puzzle of who I am dropped into place this weekend.

In a lengthy circuituous online chat with a dear friend, I discovered -- i.e. got, grokked, learned, became aware of, came to understand, realized -- that I am an Aspie.

I'm on the autism spectrum. I have Asperger's Syndrome and always have had. I am highly functioning, and socially maladroit. I have at least 60% of the traits on an 18-page list of traits that characterize female Aspies.

Although I still haven't fully integrated this into my self concept, the traits totally fit who I am, and explain the lifelong struggle I've had dealing with people/relationships/friendships, and communicating who I am, my needs, my wants, and my boundaries.

So I'm actually relieved. Because I'm never going to "grow out of" my social foibles. Although I've attributed those things to the fact that I was raised by and bullied for nearly six decades by a psychic vampire, had my "self" virtually sucked right out of me, in fact my interpersonal issues are part and parcel of AS. Or in my case, likely both.

I also feel relieved realizing I'm not the only woman with these particular traits, as I've thought all these years. I've had intuitive hunches throughout my adult life that there was definitely something different about me, particularly in relation to all the people I've come into contact/relationship with. But I always thought it was "just a phase I'd grow out of," "would come with greater emotional maturity," "if I just spent x more years on personal growth, I'd figure it all out." The reality is, I can't get there from here. Interesting fact: one of the traits of AS is focusing one's life on trying to understand oneself!

AS is not an illness or a disorder; it is a complex of emotional/behavioral traits. At this point in my life, there's absolutely nothing I need to do about it, other than continue to embrace and honor my "difference." I'm already living a self-curated life designed to take the best care of myself. And now I have answers to my lifelong questions about why I just never seemed to roll like anyone else.

In the words of dear Joni Mitchell, "And I don't know who I am, but life is for learning." xx

Friday, January 31, 2020

Quite the Month

This was a great month. I've been up to lots of good stuff.

These are a few of the numerous things I've been working on...most within the context of working in a sketchbook, or several sketchbooks.

The books are more like sketch-scrap-work books as they hold all manner of creative stuff...not merely sketches.

I'm finding this format a wonderful place to hold/contain small pieces that I do, like these and others. I've been inserting some of my earlier works into the sketchbooks as well.

The top photo is a concertina book I made from multi-marked watercolor paper. The next three are small handstitched pieces, of fabric alone or fabric and paper.

And the last photo is a watercolor I did a few days ago. I'm really chuffed because I see my own style developing, and I'm enjoying it a lot.

In the getting old department... I've had chronic periodic back pain for years, and my hips have really been bothering me a lot for a while now. I had an x-ray recently and saw the doc again today. Glad to say there's only minimal osteoarthritis in my hips, and I don't need further intervention. Unless the pain becomes unbearable.

I have slowed down even more than previously, and walking, my only exercise, has become quite painful. So I'm not doing much of that. I'm trying to balance my time on my feet with my sitting time. Both hurt, if I overextend myself. Lying down is best. And I'm actually in the prone position for close to 12 hours a day these days.

All is well otherwise. Still knitting socks, still reading a lot. Taking it easy, taking care of myself.

Hope this year is being good thus far to all of you, too.

Friday, January 3, 2020

Magical Shit

I found this meme on Facebook early in the week, and it's really sunk into my subconscious...

I have more creative fire in me now than I've had in years. Quite possibly this is because I stopped following anything political, anywhere/everywhere, about a month ago. I'm done with that shit. Yeah, the world is coming apart at the seams; but it's the only world I'll ever be alive in. So I've turned my focus back to creativity.

I've immersed myself in a new project, for myself only, inspired by the work of Shelley Rhodes, who I follow on IG. Bringing together collage, stitching, a bit of watercolor, and sketchbookery. I have no intention of sharing any of this, it's purely for my enjoyment. But I just wanted you to know about this activity that has captured my imagination.

I've also started a small passport sized collage journal of vintage papers and stamps. And won't be sharing this either.

I'll continue to do my "regular" collage practice, although I'm taking a wee break from that as I have enough work to post on IG/FB for the next several weeks. And when I get back to it, I'll be working in an 8.5"x5.5" journal for a change, instead of the 8.5"x4.25" journals I've been using. You're the first to see the three collages here that I've not yet posted to IG (usually I post stuff here well after IG).

I started one of those "gratitude" jars for this year. Two magical, creative days thus far. And although I haven't played along with the word-for-the-year thing in eons, I have decided my word for 2020 is "magic."

There's resonance in "2020" and I decided to release my formerly-cynical self and focus on all the good in my life/in the world every day.

And to use the good stuff, the stuff I've been saving, the stuff I haven't wanted to use!

Happy New Year, friends. Hope your year is filled with wonder and gratitude. xx