Home » Uncategorized » not as manic as I sound, I promise

not as manic as I sound, I promise

We’ve been saying for a while that October was going to be an interesting month around here.  I don’t really know if that was the right way to put it, or if it was saying enough.  Tim is away, has been for nearly a week now, at his big yearly SCA thing in California.  The spawn left on Monday to join his grandparents in traveling to a family wedding in New York, gone until next Tuesday.  It was going to be more interesting, because I was supposed to be leaving on Saturday for eight days to tour the Midwest with my choir.  The two of them fending for themselves for a week was going to be… interesting.  And me in the constant company of thirty near-strangers for eight days, away from my safe zone and my routines and my decompression time – there’s another word for what that would have been.

As it is now, the tour will only stretch over the weekend and I’ll be back home just before the boys instead of nearly a week after both of them, but this is still a big deal and it has meant certain arrangements had to be ironed out regarding the pet situation (nothing so straightforward as asking someone to come by the house a few times and make sure they have food and water.  Not with our dogs, not under the circumstances.)  It also meant we had to spend money we could ill afford to spare renting a car for the week while Tim is gone, since the Mirage is sadly beyond repair and we haven’t yet come to a permanent solution to that.  But practical considerations aside, this is a bigger deal because, well.  I’m autistic.  Pretending that the whole idea of this trip isn’t freaking me the hell out for all of the reasons would be disingenuous.

To be clear, I’m excited about it in more ways than just the excitement of terror.  I do actually want to go.  There was a moment, in the beginning, when I could have said no, but I chose to opt in.  Back then (oh, August, how long ago you seem now!) I was enthusiastically blinkered to all of the ways in which this is actually beyond my coping skills, and was only seeing the tremendous experience-broadening and artistically fulfilling possibilities of the thing.  Now I’m just about ready to start hyperventilating.  And this is without even getting into the fact that I’ve never before headed into a concert feeling this unfamiliar with the material.

But in the midst of all of this psychic turmoil, there remains the germ of eagerness to get out there and prove I can do this.  All of this:

Getting myself together and out the door on an out-of-town trip without anyone else standing behind me to make sure I’ve got everything I need (even though I’m always the one performing this function for others and know perfectly well that my powers of organization are up to the task), and to push me if I balk; taking care of all of the administrative preparations necessary to leave the house unattended for a few days; bearing up under the strain and the demands of traveling with such a large group, with a rigid itinerary not at all dictated by me; being among people and their sensory output for so long without melting down; successfully performing this difficult and extensive set of music that I haven’t learned to anything like my satisfaction; belonging to and with this group of musicians in a way that makes me an asset rather than a liability to the whole.

And because this is simply the way my mind works, now that I’ve got too much to do to actually have the leisure to sit down and unravel my thoughts into words, I find myself turning back toward the piece I started outlining about my reaction to The Impressionists.  It’s because I’m preparing to immerse myself for the next few days, rather selfishly, in activities that are entirely centered around my art and my self-expression as an artist, and I don’t do that, like, ever.  Certain mental associations have been called forth.

Tomorrow, if I finish all of my preparations with enough spare time, there may just be an entry not about my thoughts on the film, which I am still sifting, but about my need to justify the right to call myself an artist before I can allow myself to talk about the film as though it says anything about me.

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4 thoughts on “not as manic as I sound, I promise

  1. I’ve waited patiently all the hot summer for you to stick your toe out, I can wait a little longer. I’m pulling for you to have a successful weekender

  2. If any of your fatigue is coming from the message, “I should be able to handle this, others are,” I’d just mention that probably some other people involved in the event are dreading it, too. I’m not autistic but as an introvert, I would also have issues with being away from home that long doing a performance activity while constantly in a group of people. They wouldn’t have you along if you were a liability, I suspect. Cheering for you and hoping it all goes well. And waiting eagerly for what you write!

    • I’ve already learned the hard way that telling myself “I should be able to handle this, others are,” only leads to utter breakdown as I push myself harder and harder to compensate. (Not that I don’t still find myself trying sometimes, but I can back off when I realize that’s what I’m doing.) But I’m still new enough to the group to feel like I don’t belong and they just haven’t uncovered my fraudulence yet. Silly, I know. Thanks for the encouragement!

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