I Wish

You know what I wish? Sometimes I wish I had a British accent. Who am I kidding? I’ve always wished I had a British accent. Or maybe an Irish brogue. Yes, that would be perfect. It’s just romantic. Simple as that, plus it just sounds proper, right?

I always find myself wishing I was a funnier person. Even a fun person, I’d even settle for that. But I am me.

Okay so I’ve done some funny things – more like ridiculous things. Yes, my first kiss was to a stranger. Yes, I’ve been a maid and hadn’t the slightest clue how to iron a shirt. I even poured cleaner on the floor only to find I’d poured bleach…onto nice marble cobblestone floor. Yes, I named my pets very odd names. What would I do without my Ravioli, Atticus, Houdini, and…Da Vinci our elderly blue beta fish? I have my wife check him everyday to see if he’s still alive now or if he’s painted something? He is almost as stubborn as I am, just like the rest of our little circus in our house.

My cat Atticus decided he likes baths. What cat likes baths? He isn’t messing around either and I am no crazy cat lady. In fact, it’s really annoying but if we don’t give him a bath the second we get in the door he starts knocking things off the sink counter and then looks up to see if I’ve noticed. At first his obsession with this was entertaining, now it’s just one more dramatic thing to check off my daily list.

But he’s cute, so we’ll keep him. After all can I really call him dramatic? I grew up with this dream of becoming a broadway performer. Right. I have the worst stage fright and social issues of almost everyone I’ve ever met. Not to mention my sensory issues or the fact that I can’t act. I can’t even dance. No really, don’t even you dare try to sway me on that one. I won’t even dance in the dark alone in the house with the doors locked and curtains closed…ever again. Yeah.

But you know what I think is so funny? What? You can’t read my mind? Sorry.

My dream careers are always so overdramatic: private investigator- only I’m afraid of the dark, creepy places, and socializing and acting like everything is a-ok. How about my dream to be a nurse? This stems from my love of Latin and learning about diseases. The only problem is my fear of needles, slight phobia of germs, and my slightly larger gag reflex at the sight of blood. Then there was the dream of joining the army. Oh, and last but certainly not least we cannot forget the time I wanted to become a nun. My grandmother laughed at me and reminded me I wasn’t Catholic. I even wrote to a convent and received a response that shook me out of my “Sound Of Music” and “Sister Act” career fantasies.

Instead, I work at a desk job forty hours a week. I sit and type and answer my phone and make a journey to the kitchen every once in awhile, it’s pretty physically exhausting – just ask my fingers. Ha! Someone once told me that I was the fastest typer they had ever seen…that still only types with two fingers. I took typing lesions but they just didn’t work. Those two fingers just won’t have it any other way. Besides, I’ve adjusted well. I can type really fast, okay? Thanks.

My point to this whole nonsensical blog post is to say this: I may have Aspergers Syndrome and I may not have the most exciting life ever and I highly doubt I’ll ever have a British accent or be on Broadway but my disability isn’t the end of me.

My diagnosis opened so many doors (and even some windows) for me to forgive myself and even gain some confidence. You see, I knew that I was different a long long time ago, but I felt ashamed of it until the diagnosis. It offered an opportunity for me to understand why I do what I do and even ways to cope and grow.

So I felt like I grew up living the opening scene from Disney’s Beauty & The Beast. Completely confused and yes singing as I walked down the streets (I stopped after I realized people could actually hear me as a bus drove by one day) Nowadays, I still sing (at home), and I am on the dramatic side… Okay, really overdramatic side at times…

But that’s just me and no one is going to keep me from singing…well at least not in my own home anyways. I even checked to make sure my ninety-nine year old landlady cannot hear me when I belt it out. Seriously. I sang, then called her to ask a question, sang louder, and louder, and then called to see how she was doing. No mention of me singing. She did invite me to come sing. In fact, I think she thought I was waiting for her to….Oh well!

No diagnosis is going to stop me from living my life. I may need to cover my ears at times and may wear my sunglasses on cloudy days but these days I am trying to see my diagnosis as more of a strength and less of a disability. I definitely have more trouble making friends than most, but I have some pretty amazing people in my life.

They might not always understand every thing about me but they love me and isn’t that what’s really important anyways? I could almost…sing about it.

God, I miss New York City.

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About Gretchen Leary

I am 30 years old, I live in the Boston area, and I am writing from the perspective of an individual with Asperger's Syndrome.
This entry was posted in ASD, Aspergers, Autism, Equality and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to I Wish

  1. Tony Maude says:

    Hi Gretchen – you may not have all those things or be them in reality, but you are a writer, which means that you can be a private investigator with a British accent and a Broadway career if you want to 🙂 You can be an Irish nurse working in a convent hospital. Through your words, you can be anything you want to be – and you have the skills to make that into reality. And there are loads and loads of people who would love to have that.

  2. gardenlilie says:

    I totally agree with Tony! Sounds like fun, sounds like music 😉

  3. The moment you mentioned that you miss New York, I could identify. Heck, you can get away with anything there! I’ve sung out loud walking down Columbus Avenue, danced through Central Park.

    One thing I love about you is that you do NOT allow your Asperger’s to define you, any more than I let my various diagnoses define me. That are part of who we are; they do chart a certain course in some ways, but I’ve met all kinds of Aspies, etc.

    Final note: I love your naming your cat Atticus. What an excellent name to bestow on a feline. The kitty baths are too much!! Love, me

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