Thursday, 25 October 2012

View from a bridge

I found this picture on the internet:

The source is, although the painting is by the Norwegian painter Edvard Munch. The girl in the white dress is with the others but alone, she is in the same place but sees different things. The title of the painting is not 'girls on a bridge', but 'girl on a bridge'.

Somehow we are always on a bridge, always developing from one state to another. From child to adult, from being a child to having a child, etc. The bridge I stand on these days goes from the country of fitting in to the country of not fitting in at all. From the place of people to the place of solitude. From the average to the odd. From NT-land to Aspie-land.

And I have to find my way, my place on the bridge. Should I accept being part of a team at work, or should I do my best to avoid it? Should I join the others for a Friday beer or should I close my office door and stare at a spreadsheet? Should I call or e-mail? Should I respond to 'lets have coffee' or just 'forget' (I don't)?

Within the past few weeks some people that I've known for many years have asked if we should meet. A group of old colleagues have arranged to eat dinner at a (noisy) restaurant. Another former colleague wants to have coffee, well two former colleagues both want to have coffee. One of them I actually regard a close friend. I really like to have these people - and others - in my life. But I don't want to see them. In particular, I don't want to spent too much time outside my home and my workplace. I get exhausted by the noisy café. But I also know that that is the way we people socialise.

Something in me (but not the whole me) wants to run as fast as the white dress allows to the 'other' country. Kindly decline all invitations to gather. Cycle to work every morning, and cycle back every afternoon. Go shopping, cook, and after dinner open my computer and write long e-mails to all the people I like to have in my life, go on Facebook and comment at their photos, or communicate via text messages or even the chat function in wordfeud.

There's one part of real life socialising that I enjoy a lot though. I like having people over for dinner. If I am uncomfortable with our guests, I can always find something to do in the kitchen. And I am at home. My base. So my favourite place on that  bridge would be a few steps away from the country of never seeing people in real life.

I tried to explain myself to my husband. I may have misunderstood, but I gathered that he felt that since I've fitted into social norms for 44 years, I might as well continue. It would, admittedly, make things much easier.

It is as if exploring my being different per se makes me more different. It is as if there's no turning back to the country of fitting in. And I think that scares me a little, and it scares my husband too. What if I turn into a hermit? Is that covered by 'for better for worse'? I don't know if I am about to turn into a hermit, I cross the bridge in my own speed and explore as I go.

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