This is purely for me. It will live on this site, and I won’t be sharing it anywhere, but anyone is free to read it.
I don’t set new year’s resolutions. It seems like a fairly pointless endeavour that sets people up for failure. Life happens, things change, and new year’s resolutions are too rigid for that. That may be a little ironic – me being wary of rigidity, but that’s the way I feel about it.
I do reflect back on the year though. I look at the things that happened, the things that I’ve done, the things that I’m grateful for, and the things that I would prefer not to experience again. From there, I make loose, flexible plans for the new year.
So, now that that’s covered, here’s my year in review. It’s quite blog-focused, but there will be a few personal details in here too.
Stepping out of the NT box
This has been a really awesome thing for the most part, and I wrote about that yesterday.
There has been a down side to it which I haven’t written about. I lost the privilege that I held. I am no longer treated the same way. I have lost friends, or rather I have lost people who I thought were friends. I have experienced abled people talking down to me in a way that they never did before they knew I was autistic.
I’m ok with that – to an extent. I knew that it would happen, but privilege is one of those funny things: you really can’t grasp the meaning of the privilege you hold unless you’re the one without it. You can be aware that you hold privilege, but you can’t really know what they means. The people who don’t hold the same privilege – they know what it means. I still hold some forms of privilege, and I’m aware of that. At the same time, I’m also aware that I don’t really understand the meaning of the privilege that I hold.
I’m not ok with how society treats autistic people in general. This is personal, but it’s also bigger than that. At the moment, there are thousands of autistic children growing up. I don’t want them to reach adulthood and be treated in the same way that myself and my friends are treated. I want them to be seen as equal by society. I want their differences to be celebrated, and I want them to be supported and accommodated so that they have equal access to society.
I will keep advocating with them in order to achieve that.
I stepped out of another box
I didn’t blog about this because – gah! – life happened, and it was also a personal experience that I needed some time to sift through. Stepping out of the NT box gave me the freedom to explore my gender identity. Before then, I never felt comfortable about doing that because I was still trying so desperately to be like the person next to me. Now, I have the confidence to say: I’m different, and that’s ok.
So, I am different: my gender is not that of a man or a woman, but it’s just somewhere in between. I live in my head far more than I live in my body, so it’s not as though I feel like my body doesn’t match my gender; it’s just that I don’t really get gender and what it means to me. I announced that to friends earlier this year, and I was pleasantly surprised and grateful that everyone supported me.
I still get misgendered occasionally, but for the most part, my friends have adapted to the change really well – and that’s how I know that I have awesome friends.
Some popular posts
I wrote two posts that were pretty popular:
I was surprised to find that people read my words. I was surprised to discover that my words resonate with people. That surprise caused quite a bit of anxiety for me, and after the first popular post, I really considered shutting it all down and hiding away forever. I’m grateful though that it happened that way because I was better able to handle the attention that the open letter to The Mighty received.
Some popular memes
When I’m low on words, but I still have some things to share, I make memes for my Facebook page. I’ve made two that have been exceptionally popular.
Coining a new term
This year, I coined the term neurodivergently which is kind of how I’m living my life.
I started a RedBubble store, and made 20c! Woohoo!
I wrote about allies a lot – I spent way too many words talking about allies. There’s a reason for that – one that I didn’t talk about, and I still won’t talk about, but I’m acknowledging it so that when I look back on this post, I will know.
There are a few other people who will know what I’m talking about as well, so if they read that post: Thank you for standing by me during that time, and it was my honour to stand next to you. May we never again encounter self-proclaimed allies of that nature.
A lot has changed over this year. I started homeschooling my son, and he has done extraordinarily well. He’s far more comfortable in his own skin than he ever was while he attended school.
I’m living authentically as an autistic person, and slowly transitioning to being an Autistic person.
I’m happy. Those two words: I haven’t had the opportunity to say them a lot, but I think that I will be able to now. I’m happy.
So, that was Un-Boxed Brain’s 2015. An exciting year, filled with things. A year that I will forever be grateful for.
While I’m on gratitude: If you haven’t picked up how absolutely grateful I am for having the friends I have: Well, I am. I just can’t put that amount of love and gratitude into words.