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Today I Am 70!

70 years old today — April 10, 2017.  Where did the years go?

Only 3.5 of those years did I know that I had Aspergers/High Functioning Autism.

I’m part of the “lost generation” who grew up before there was a diagnosis of Aspergers or of High Functioning Autism.  Yet, in our later years, many of us are getting diagnosed or realizing that we are on the spectrum.

I think of those agonizing childhood years when I KNEW I was different from other kids.  But I had no idea how or why.  I could only put it together in terms of being defective … inferior …. less than others.

I struggled with feeling God calling me to ministry and to social work, but doubting that I was competent.  My life has been many years of pretending to be like everybody else — learning to play-act and to imitate what I saw around me.  But always feeling myself to be a fraud.

Now that I know who I am, it’s clear to me that I haven’t lived my life as “me”, but rather as an image of “me” that I thought I was supposed to imitate.

At 70, I can see my real talents and appreciate those skills.  Yet, I also am starting to see what I don’t know and never will. There are so many ways I’ve tried to tape and staple pieces of myself together to try and get by.  I do get by, but always something is given up.  I can’t do everything I want to do.  The more I focus on my work life, the more I ignore my house,  my finances, my friends, my health.  When I focus on the personal areas, my work life suffers.  I don’t know that I can interweave and balance all of these on my own.  I’m realizing how much help I’ve always needed to keep my life together — but never admitted that I needed it and never got it.

I don’t know that I’ll ever figure out how to put it all together.  But I do know it is a deep calling inside to tell the story of our generation — and invite those behind us to learn from it.