Sunday, April 13, 2014

2014: Back from Another Abyss

So I'm back.

I haven't blogged in four months, so my apologies to the few of you who read this all the time. Right now I shall just provide a life update, as there are a few topics for me to touch on in the next few months.

Life has already changed in 2014. I went to Las Vegas in March to celebrate a good friend's bachelor party. This is certainly a place with bright lights and cliches, and I was surely concerned that I could embarrass my friends with an overload moment. Somehow, this did not happen. There are many bright lights around Vegas, but over the years I have managed to become used to big places and scenery. The hardest part for me was concern about some of our friends being left behind when we were rolling from place to place, which nearly made me frantic, especially the second night. I attribute this to enough life in the city and having been to clubs before. I still hate the club for the most part, but for the Vegas experience I had the adrenaline rush behind me. What may help someone on the spectrum get through this environment is basically a quest for fun. If you know your friends are having fun and there's just enough room to breathe, then you will likely be okay. This doesn't mean the club and the party bus are for everyone; I seldom do it. However, it's really a matter of blending in to larger environments, and if you can handle all the adult entertainment.

Speaking of bachelors, yesterday was his wedding. Being a part of a wedding party for the first time lead to plenty of online research and questions for the other guys on how to play the part. From what I have gathered, many people on the autism spectrum don't consider wedding parties or weddings; we struggle enough with relationships. What helps is that I was able to go along with what my friends did, picking up on small cues like how they would handle their toasts and asking questions about how to stand when the ceremony starts. I was the youngest in the wedding party, and I'm not as annoyed by others advising me anymore, so this was surprisingly easy. There are occasions where I need people to tell me to act, as I'm still figuring out various social environments even on the cusp of 30.

Basically, a lesson from these events is that going with the flow can actually be a good thing, allowing you to have your moment and look like one of the group in the process. Probably helped that I've matured over the years to merely look like an eccentric rather than a nut. Also, in the case of weddings, the key was remembering that the event was not about me, but about two great people joining together in matrimony. Now I feel more at ease about all the other weddings I am attending soon.

My job situation is changing, I'm attending more professional events to help my career path, and I have some more trips planned. First semester of graduate school is wrapping up, and I'll go for MCSA training over the summer. Another big help for this next step in life.

Better updates are coming.