The Moral of the Story

Sometimes it takes me wearing someone else’s shoes to appreciate their side of the story. Actually, it happens more often than not.

It seems appropriate to be writing this post on my birthday as it marks a new beginning for me here in more ways than one. The experience I have gone through since New Years has been more than profound. I don’t even know what to call it because it’s almost bizarre.

In fact, if I actually told you what happened, I highly doubt you’d believe it. However, that is besides the point as I am learning the value of keeping things simple (or trying to) so I will have to keep this short:

Let’s see if I can paraphrase: I met someone who challenged me to change. I didn’t understand it fully until that person threw up their hands and ended the friendship and then, by some bizarre twist of fate, I met someone else with the same name and went through an almost identical situation, only from the opposite point of view. If you think that’s weird, that was just scratching the surface. Trust me.

Anyways, the point is that when I was forced to face virtually the same scenario from the other perspective, I learned some pretty amazing things which, in the spirit of brevity, I will simply make a short list of.

After all, this was my mountain to climb not yours.

1) Things are not always as they seem. Sometimes, you think you want something and you find out not only did you not want it but it’s too much. As they say, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.

2) When I make friends, I owe it to myself to let them prove that they are worthy of my trust and there is no rush and no need for sudden depth. If it happens, it happens. (This is not easy to wrap my head around)

3) Boundaries are key and need to be set immediately when building a friendship. This allows both parties to feel confident about where they stand and expectations are clear and straight forward.

4) I cannot change the world. I can only do my best. This means that I do not need to explain myself to every person I meet to protect myself from judgement. If they choose to judge me, that is their prerogative but it is my choice as to how much I let this affect me. Guarding my heart is a new concept to me but it’s going to make all of the difference.

5) Lighthearted conversation really does have its value. I always saw it as boring and shallow but I am learning that if every conversation is a deep intense emotional conversation, it’s draining and pushes people away.

6) Actively listening to others is not just a social courtesy, but it’s also a part of being a good friend. I don’t need to be in control of every conversation and when I keep this in mind, it actually helps me feel less anxious. Letting them lead the conversation, even if that means they walk away completely uninterested, means I don’t have to fill every silent second.

7) Autocorrect does more harm than good. Still embarrassed about what happened the other day. I seriously did type “vibrato” guys. No “r”. Ugh, 49 shades of red here (again)

This list could go on and on honestly but I’m ready to move on from this post already. I have by no means figured everything out. Who has? But I also know that if I keep practicing and practicing, things can only get better.

Here’s to my 27th year being a year of new confidence, new memories, and maybe new friends? Who knows? Practice may not make perfect but it sure does mean improvement. This isn’t going to be easy. All of these are so much easier said than done but I am going to give this my best shot.

Lights out…well…you know the drill.

About Gretchen McIntire (formerly Leary)

I am 34 years old, I live in the Raleigh area, and I am writing from the perspective of an individual with Asperger's Syndrome.
This entry was posted in ASD, Aspergers, Autism and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to The Moral of the Story

  1. Sisyphus47 says:

    Happy Birthday Gretchen! Bless 😉

  2. brian miller says:

    27…you are a young pup….ha…no wonder you misspelled…i mean…ahem…just picking at you gretchen…happy birthday!!!! i hope you have a wonderful day…some good learning you gleened…particularly around relationships, setting boundaries and allowing them to develop…actively listening is key for sure…as it tells us much more and shows a value in the person than what we usually do…letting our minds wander….anyway, have a lovely day…i am on spring break this week! woot! hanging out with my boys…

  3. gardenlilie says:

    Happy Birthday Gretchen! Enjoy! I think it’s fine you are analyzing your behavior, someday you won’t n you’ll just live n let live. Happy Easter, too.

  4. kkkkaty1 says:

    You are correct…you will analyze life until you no longer wish to…it’s perfectly normal for all of us to review as our perspectives change with each period of our lives, not to mention daily 😉
    We happen to share the same birthday ….a big difference in years as I am now 66…I hope your day was as beautiful as mine. You are so luck to have all the years in front of you to look forward to and I wonder what it will be like to read your poetry years from now! Surely it will be grand.

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