Neurodiversity Awareness/Appreciation

Neurodiversity Awareness/Appreciation

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Home... For Now

This is a picture I took by the river one morning while walking the
dog. It was so foggy, when you walked on the pier you felt
like you were walking into nothingness. Isn't this a wicked cool
I am back in Chicago. I am feeling unexpectedly more gloomy than I thought I would. 

I had an awesome time in Oregon, and I knew I was going to miss Auntie Em, Uncle J, my cousin BT, and the dog and cat Roo and Romp. But I guess I just expected to come home and feel normal, since I was returning to what I was used to. Instead... aside from a very heartfelt welcome from my dogs Lily and Trixie... I feel sort of empty. I feel like I'm in Purgatory. 

My parents were mildly happy to see me, but the big focus was on, "It was so clean and orderly while you were gone." By clean and orderly I mean, if I make food and I wash the dishes and I put a pot back in the cabinet in a somewhat different position from how I found it, or if there is a single crumb on the counter, my mom rips me a new one. I can't leave my computer out in the open even. I can't leave my shoes by the door like a normal person, or even in the basement... they're supposed to be up in my room. I can't leave my car keys on the counter... they need to be up in my room. I can't leave my computer downstairs at night... it has to be up in my room. And if I manage to remember and accomplish all this, there will surely still be something that pisses my mom off. 

It gives me renewed strength for trying again to move to Oregon. 

But on a cheerier note, I did have a great time out there! It was more low key than my last trip out there, because my aunt is recovering from surgery and didn't always have the energy to do a bunch of stuff... but we still did a lot, and plus I really enjoy just being there and living ordinary life with them. Like hiking with my Uncle J and Roo, and going to the grocery store and the library with Auntie Em. Auntie Em and I did some canning on a small scale... we made three jars of strawberry sauce/jelly. I also helped her fix up a breadbox that she bought at Goodwill... she had sanded and stained it, and I helped by scraping the paint off of the glass cover and Modpodging a picture of a hummingbird onto it, and by helping her choose a handle for it. It turned out really nice. We also did some sightseeing at Multnomah Falls and some other cool places, and went out for lunch and stuff.

On the weekend I got to go down to E-Town to visit BT. I took the Greyhound bus down by myself (it cost a whopping $12) and wandered around the town for a while until it was time for BT to get home from work, and then I walked to his work and met him there and spent Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights at his apartment. We went to the Saturday Market (which is like a farmer's market/craft fair) and walked around the college campus and went to some bookstores, and mostly we watched a lot of movies. I was so happy to be visiting BT! Of all of my cousins, he is the one I grew up with the most. Even though he lived in Oregon and I only got to see him for one or two weeks in the summer, and then only for a few years in a row, he is the only cousin my brother and I had who was somewhat close to our age. My next closest in age cousins are nine years younger than me, and nine years older than me. Whenever BT came to Chicago my brother and I would be over the moon! I have a lot of memories of playing in the lake in Wisconsin with him, where he told me that there were giant fish called Megadeaths living under the raft that would bite me if I swam underneath it, and of pretty much playing together 24/7 when we were together. Sometimes he used to play My Little Ponies with me. He wanted to be a hair stylist back then. This was back before "Bronies" were a thing, so I guess you could say BT was ahead of his times! You have to remember that I really didn't have many friends at all... pretty much none... and BT was nice to me, even though he did tease me and stuff.

Anyways after I was 12 I all of the sudden never saw BT or my Auntie Em again. I don't know why, but it may have had something to do with the fact that, this same year, my dad got arrested for drunk driving and was out of work for a long time. Although maybe I'm wrong... maybe BT did come that year too. I remember my mom had gotten a full time job that year, and my brother and I spent the long summer days roaming our neighborhood alone, and I seem to remember BT being there with us for that. So maybe that was the last time I saw him. But after that, not again until I was 23, and that was just for a few hours while my parents and brother and I were on a road trip out that way. And after that, not until two summers ago, when Auntie Em, Uncle J, BT, and my parents and I went up to Wisconsin together for old time's sake. But both of those times I was a little overwhelmed by being squashed by my mom's personality, while also being afraid to say much in case BT thought I was dumb. He probably knew I was a little odd as a kid, but I was afraid he'd be expecting me to be more like a normal grown-up, and that he'd be disappointed when he realized I wasn't. You know that look people get on their faces when they're talking to you for the first time and they start to think, "Huh?" PLUS, I am really accustomed to being told to shut up, by Bro, when he is around, so I was sort of expecting the same from BT. Although he never did tell me to shut up, I was just always expecting him to be annoyed by me the way Bro always is.

SO ANYWAYS AGAIN... the whole point of that paragraph was to say, I had fun getting to hang out with BT, without all this pressure to try to act "right." 

Then I came back here. And it kind of makes me wonder why I freaked out about moving to E-Town last month. But maybe I would have freaked out even worse if I had actually gone then. But now I think I could handle it. I just gotta find a job. And that is the hardest part. 

I took a lot more photos but I haven't had time to upload and edit them all. So for now, here is one more cool one! 


  1. I've struggled with feeling sad after traveling as well, particularly when I go back and forth between visiting my family and my husband. I know it can be really hard and make you extra anxious, but life will eventually return to normal. I can only tell you this because I've rediscovered it time and time again. Your pictures are beautiful, btw! Have you ever taken a photography course?

    1. Thanks! I've never taken a photography course, but my uncle loves photography and he's taught me a few things. He was with me when I took those pictures!

  2. Your pictures are beautiful! That foggy, spooky, misty one is terrific! Great capture of the spider web, too!
    I think you are in a transition in life now, trying your find your place to live and work where you will be at peace. You have a lot of courage and I know it will happen for you!


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