Admittedly, it is very difficult for those of us on the autism spectrum to “fit in” with any group. We’re always outsiders and often times subject to harsh ridicule, bullying and other nonsense because of our oddities, be it from school classmates, coworkers and sometimes even our own families. Whether it’s because these individuals are uneducated about the condition itself or whatever, it can be hard.
Places I “fit in” are few and far between but one group I’ve always fit in with has been my change ringing group locally and everywhere else. It’s like wherever I go I’m welcomed with open arms and loved. They overlook my oddities (and even my atheism – something slightly surprising when it comes to an activity normally associated with churches) and are just happy to have someone to ring with.
This was highlighted by a recent NPR story where I was interviewed about my local change ringing tower. The story that was written was a very good one and I got to talk a little about the various aspects of ringing and what I love about it. This has actually drawn up a fair amount of interest from the locals and those abroad and enough to really light a fire within the parish to restore our bells.
Which brings me to another point, having a purpose. I’m an existential nihilist in a way that I think there’s no objective purpose in life. We have to make our own and for the longest time I felt as though I had none. Being excluded from my dream job (and many other social activities) due to my condition I always felt my life was going to be nothing more than a cesspool of catastrophe and stupid bullshit. Now that I have a project that I’m practically spearheading I finally think I have some purpose and even if I accomplish nothing else noteworthy in this life I’ll at least have left my own mark in the community and will have some semblance of a legacy. That means a lot.
It’s nice to not feel worthless for a change. It’s nice to feel appreciated. It’s nice to get some fucking recognition and a chance to show what I can do. Such opportunities are few and far between for people like me.
If you wish to read the story, here you go: http://www.reporternews.com/story/news/local/2017/01/25/ringing-different-tune/97057024/
Anyway, just random ponderings for today.