Putting my FB post on here so I don't lose it =) Just had a stunningly amazing phone conversation with Samantha for 3.5 hours.... which may be my record. I had forgotten she liked country, and an hour into our conversation mentioned a song on the radio without thinking, only to get intelligent commentary on it and a mention of listening to Rascal Flatts on her CD player. I'm like, what? OHH! It's like when everything comes into focus... when you find someone who speaks the same language as you.
Well, not only does she like country but country radio and not only country radio but every aspect of it that I do. She knew 92.5 was the Hartford country station, and she lives in Ohio. She knew Bob Kingsley used to do American Country Countdown and even sang the jingle to me. She knew Chapel Hill and Ballston Spa and Springfield MA and all these places I had connections to. She used country radio as security blanket in much the same way as I do, and it is so refreshing and awe-inspiring to find someone who shares quirks I never in a million years thought someone else would. She uses Radio-Locator to look up country stations before trips, like I do. She likes older country better than newer country, but used to love new music programs on the radio just like I did. When I mentioned the program on WPOC that played one new song at 430 every afternoon, she without prompting from me talked about the ones she used to listen to that play two songs and have you vote for the best - which was where I was going next, and used to be on WAYZ and WGTY in college, as well as WOKQ at home for a time. She understood the emotion behind all of my radio things that I love. So cool to have someone listen to you and go "Oh my God" or "Yes, yes!" in affirmation and understanding instead of merely tolerating you. She understood when I said I almost didn't visit the greater NYC area in college for a conference when there was no country station. She used call letters as fluently as I do, remembering them from years ago as I do. When someone can use call letters as an actual word instead of stumbling over the letters or not knowing them at all, then they're probably radio people. She knew the songs I mentioned. Sooo cool. I wish I could hold onto to that positive emotion forever. I had started to be not in a good way before talking to her, and then I was so happy to have a shared passion. Emotion is such a funny, weird, strong thing. It can and does change the entire way you experience the world, good or bad. No wonder people go to such extremes to get good and avoid bad. It is so hard to hold onto good emotion, but I try to.
Then there were good conversations about many other topics, but that was the one that, as the Doors would say, lit my fire. We talked a little about in Buddhism the difference between having a focus on doing instead of being. I feel like for some of the time in the last 24 hrs I've been able to have more of a focus on being instead of doing, which I think would be very useful. But usually I am not able to do that, and become obsessed and anxious about doing, and what I can do and what I can't. But the times I can just sit and let my thoughts run thru me and not get too attached to any of them, and enjoy simple sensory things without needing to plan for the next disaster all the time... Life would be so much easier if I could make that more into a habit. To live in the moment without always planning for a dire future. It would be nice, so we'll see if I can make it happen more.
If you like this, please be sure to visit my other website, Accepting Asperger's. A lot of my older writing is stored here, including an editorial I once wrote for the Baltimore Sun. Click here to see it: Accepting Asperger's.
What's it really like to be a 20 something with Asperger's? On this blog, I hope to explore that question. But this blog is not just limited to an audience of people in their 20s - this is for anyone who ever wanted to know anything about autism. I plan to delve into the nature and experience of autism, and examine it from as many angles as possible. I would like to start a conversation between people with Asperger's or autism, parents of kids with autism spectrum disorders, and anyone who just wants to know more. Let's explore what autism means, together.
My goal is to start a discussion on and build a community of people affected by autism - parents and adults with ASD - so feel free to leave your two cents in the comments section of any post. If you're too shy for that, however, or want to speak to me personally, you may feel free to email me at KGoldfie@gmail.com.
Asperger's Book for Sale
Common Scents: Adventures with Autism and Chemical Sensitivity" is the story of a young woman's search for physical and emotional safety as she journeys through the mountains of the Cascades, small coastal towns on the Oregon coast, and out-of the-way towns in upstate New York. Along the way, she experiences things she would never have dreamed possible had she stayed in her Maine hometown, and begins to learn the power of human connection.
Common Scents is the story of the last three years of my life. It gives a gripping view of what it is like to experience the world as someone on the autistic spectrum, and some would say, is an entertaining travel story as well. Because of chemical sensitivities, I engaged on a three year journey for a place I could call home.
Comments from readers:
"The Asperger's element is remarkable. I feel that I understand my son better, so much better. I laughed at this part.... because I've stared at my son in the same way for the same thing." - mother of an Asperger's kid
"Your writing style is SO engaging and interesting. It brings me right into the subject and I always experience a little emotional punch towards the end. In other words, this is the third time I've teared-up reading your work. Kate, you've highlighted ALL the problems with how social skills are usually taught." - mother of ASD kid
"I stayed up entirely too late reading the first 14 pages. I can relate to so much of what you write. I really think you are expressing the true experience with MCS and autism in words that convey the experience." person with chemical sensitivity (MCS)
"Absolutely interesting, insightful and witty. You've blended together your three themes beautifully (Asperger's, MCS and travelling). It seems seamless."