This last weekend I went to my first school reunion after not seeing many of the other students from my year for at least twenty years. (It was after all the twenty year school reunion).
I realised many things that night. All is not what it seems, things change and so do people and some things don’t change.
Let me describe each one to you.
All is not what it seems because many people are able now to be real with you where they are at and what you see is what you get. Autistic people generally are honest about things and where they are at no matter the social norms of “pretending” that all is well.
I can actually say with no guilt that my life is much better right now although very busy for sure. There are of course still goals that I want to achieve but because I am in a better space I am now more able to move towards those goals
Taken from: Autistic Adjustment in the NT world and from someone’s blog
The second point is that: Things change.
We are no longer the gawky teenagers trying to figure out life, love and our family or emotional struggles. Now here we are twenty years later with some maturity and life experience realizing that what were maybe aspiring to be and who we were trying to impress are that important any more.
I have gained weight and I am trying to loose it now for my own health and well being and not to impress anyone. I have lost it before but now its time to keep it lost!
The other is that people change.
Sometimes with age we realise that actually change does happen. New knowledge is learnt and applied in life and relationships, new skills are learnt that were missed out on, new ways of doing things are found and self-discovery is made.
This time around it was easier to speak to most of the people I went to school with as my confidence has greatly increased in the last few years.
On the opposite side of that thought is that: Some things don’t change.
I still felt a bit socially awkward and uncomfortable.
This is for a few reasons:
Seeing the same people again that I went to school with reminded me of some of the hurt and pain I went through in those years. Also the disillusionment I felt and the painful not belonging that I felt in those years.
Knowing that maybe what I currently do means that my salary is not the same as many of the people in my class who have gone to be successful career and corporate women. I know though that things will change for me in the next few years in that regard but it still gives me a pang of regret that I am not yet living up to my potential.
My weight is not as it should be and that bothers me. My goal in the next while is to loose weight in a healthy, sustainable way.
There was someone that I wanted to speak to during the reunion but I didn’t manage to as I wanted to resolve something that happened back then, I suppose that at the next one I may get the chance to do that.
Generally school reunions can be bittersweet depending on your own school experience when it happened. As an un-diagnosed Autistic person with sensory sensitivity when the teachers are not trained to identify those things was a hard thing for me.
Socially many times I felt that I didn’t fit in and I was awkward in many ways.
There were positive points in going to the reunion was that hopefully we have grown out of the childish comparisons. Many of my
I learnt that to be yourself is your biggest advantage in life and at a school reunion!
Louise and frog