Chameleon’s. Girls and women with Autism are great chameleons. We naturally copy the actions and words of those around us. Trying to fit in. Trying to navigate our world. Trying to learn what it is to be human in the cultural context relevant to us.
The problem with being a chameleon is that sometimes, say, when you are sick and/or disabled and you end up spending 99% of your time at home with no other women around, and no visitors, you end up with a black void of life where there used to be light and colours. You run out of colours yourself and become your own black void.
You lose who you are. Even who you were.
Sometimes, this can be a great thing – a chance to really find yourself and figure out who you are without all the noisy colour around you fighting for your attention and worming its way in to your personality. Sometimes though, when there is no inspiration, you just become black yourself.
That has been me lately. Black. No inspiration and no personality. Stuck in a rut some might say. Unsure of where I belong, that’s for sure. Lost. Devoid of personality, and of purpose. Jealous of my friends who have some idea of who they are – the advocate, the writer, the radio personality, the woman with a job of xyz, the stay of home mum doing stay at home mum things (which differs from me, the stay at home mum who doesn’t do stay at home mum things). People all doing things. People all interacting with the world and having the world interact with them. People who have a label, even if they don’t particularly like it at the moment.
Today I bought art supplies, painted my nails black and declared myself “Linda. The girl with the Caravan of Art”. I am going to start wearing my long flowing dresses more often, and I’m going to sing in the rain and jump in puddles. I’m going to buy my caravan and do it up, and then I’m going to do my art in it. And until then, I’m going to do my art inside and screw the mess. Becoming me can not wait.
I always wanted to be the old woman with an arty side – free flowing hair and lots of rings, who sneaks in a smoke in the afternoon after work and has wine with dinner. The woman who paints on the weekends and wears lipstick that most would say is too dark for a woman of her (my) age.
Meh. Why wait? I might never have the job, or own my home as in my dream visions of my future, but I can have the rest. I’ve been arty of late – finding that part of me awaken again has been amazing! Making jewellery, scrapbooking, my art – even my writing – it’s all a part of who I am if I allow it to be. Life and I may not be getting along right now, but that doesn’t mean I can’t force some of it inside still. I am still a force to be reckoned with. I am still me.