Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Looking Back on 2014

As I look back on the past year, I think of all I've accomplished. It definitely was a fulfilling year.

I finally got my official Asperger's diagnosis. I've met a lot of awesome friends all over the world by networking on various autism groups. I met one in person and we've become close friends. I'm featured in an autism calendar for the upcoming year. I feel I've raised awareness and helped people to learn a little bit.

I got a new job which I love. I've met more awesome peeps. I had lots of good times with family. I watched my cousin get married. I wait as she is expecting a baby. I enjoyed the holidays a lot this year.

I've learned a lot about myself. My strengths and my weaknesses. What it means to have my own special hardwiring. Where I'm at in life and that it's exactly where I'd like to be. That I need to just keep taking one day at a time and live it up!

2014 was a pretty good year overall. It's been a journey of self-discovery, and one of lots of fun times. Here's to a good 2015! :)

Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas Eve Eve!

Well, it's Christmas Eve Eve! The holidays are almost here :D I can't wait. This is one of my favorite times of the year.

On Christmas Eve, we are going to go to mass and the have my grandma over for dinner: pot roast. Then I go in to work the overnight, and come home to present waiting for me :) After that, I'll crash, and then go to my grandma's for Christmas dinner and more presents....BUT, the best part will be spending the day with my family.

I look forward to our holiday traditions every year. There are always stories and good memories made. My grandma makes some of the best Christmas cookies ever! Just being there together, relaxing, eating and talking, is so peaceful and a lot of fun at the same time. There's never a year just the thought of that doesn't get me in the spirit!

Once Christmas is over, it's back to work I go. I'm not complaining, though, because working overnights allows me to have the day off to spend joining in the traditions! I'm glad the way things work out. What are your favorite holiday traditions?

Online Friends

In thinking of a good topic for a blog, (besides the holidays one which is coming up after these messages ;D) I decided that there's something I've really grown to love about Facebook: making online friends!

I was once "one of those people" who swore against adding anyone whom I didn't know in person, and then one day, something changed. Well, I can't pinpoint it directly, but over the past few years in learning I was on the spectrum, I started joining many autism groups on Facebook. Being a member turned into conversations. Several conversations then turned into actually adding people to my friends list, and maintaining regular contact! If I hadn't stepped out of my comfort zone and never added anyone I didn't already know, I'd be missing out on a lot of awesome peeps! I would never have met the author of the blog that taught me I was autistic in the first place! You know who you are ;)

Through keeping in touch with several of my online pals, I've learned so much about myself and met some wonderful people. I now now that distance doesn't matter; one can still show someone they care through a friendly message or conversation! I've also met one of my Facebook friends in person, after all! We chatted in groups and added each other, and had a lot of conversations. We learned we had so much in common! I then found out that they had moved to my neck of the woods, and now we hang out and go to Aspie group together! You know who you are as well ;)

I just want to reflect and look at how much has changed since I've stepped into the realm of online friendship. It's helped me to come out of my shell, meet people from all over the globe, and get to know many personalities who are alike yet different from mine at the same time. It's helped me to become cultured and more open-minded. To all my online friends: thank you for being there and making it possible to get to know you! You're all amazing :D

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Delayed Emotional Adolescence....or None At All?

For the past 6 months or so, since my diagnosis opened my eyes to various facets of myself and led me on a path to self-discovery, my first thought was that it was then I was beginning the emotional/mental stages of adolescence, as I never went through such during my chronological adolescence. However, I'm beginning to wonder if that's what I would call it in the first place, as a lot of the key features of typical adolescence still aren't there. Questioning one's interests. Wanting to act older but not knowing how. Starting to develop more mature interests and wanting to leave childhood things behind. I haven't gone through any of that, and quite frankly, I'm glad! I'm very content with the person I am and am in no hurry to act "older."

See, my mind and my body have never really been in sync. I remember being 9 and still having the interests of about a 6-year-old. Then came middle school and high school, where the other girls suddenly thought a lot of the things I still liked were lame, and started to change. There was no way I could understand it, as it wasn't happening to me. I remember watching my friends start to worry about their appearances, becoming confused and wanting to act older all of a sudden, and becoming interested in boys. None of it made any sense to me. I couldn't rationalize it. Why was it that when I felt perfectly happy the way I was, others didn't seem happy with themselves anymore? They'd beat themselves up about their weight, and other things that just seemed unimportant to me. I remember feeling kind of sad for some of them who seemed unhappy, as well as kind of lost amongst them, all the while being glad that none of it was going on with me.

Today at 31, most of these things still have never occurred to me. I still have the same interests I had when I was a teenager. I'd rather play video games than worry about my appearance any day. I collect toys and stuffed animals. My idea of a good time is going to the movies and eating lots of candy. I've never questioned my likes and dislikes. They come natural to me, so why try to change them? As for the acting older part, I see many of my peers maturing and starting families. It still just doesn't appeal to me. I don't feel older, so I'm not going to act it. It wouldn't feel natural. I still like the same stuff the Sue everyone's known in school always liked, such as Sonic the Hedgehog! I like how Asperger's gives me a childlike view on life and allows me to appreciate the little things. It may make development go at a slower pace, but so what? It's MY pace and no one else's, and it can go at whatever rate is right for ME.

Maybe what I'm going through isn't an emotional adolescence after all, but rather just a period of learning more about myself, without the changing part. I can live with that :)

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Aspie Perseverance

Thanks to one of the gifts that Asperger's has given me, that is, perseverance, I saved my baby. My cell phone, that is :P I thought I had done irreversible damage to it, and felt so lost and helpless.

After flashing a corrupt ROM file which failed to install, I found myself stuck in a bootloop. To my fellow geeks, you know what this means: a soft brick. I thought the solution was simple; a matter of connecting my phone to my computer and transferring a different ROM file to flash....until my computer wouldn't recognize my phone. I tried installing several device drivers, none of which were to any avail. I felt ready to give up. I even brought my phone to T-Mobile where the associate couldn't revive it either.

I went home, depressed, and after frustration and tears, stumbled upon a YouTube video with a tutorial on how to push a zip file using sideload. I was sure I was on to something, however had to leave for work. This morning when I got home, I gave it a try. Unfortunately, when I typed "adb sideload <>" into the command prompt, I got a message saying "device not found." I was perplexed. What did I need to do in order to get the computer to see that the phone was indeed connected. After much searching, I found a driver called "Universal Naked Driver." With all other options exhausted, I figured why not give it a try at this point? Well, I did just that, and bingo! The screen now showed "Android ADB interface" as my device's name! I tried the command prompt again, only this time, the sideload started! Once I saw the CyanogenMod boot screen, a HUGE weight lifted off my shoulders. I DID IT!!! :)

This is one instance I have my Asperger's to thank for. If I didn't have the drive and determinstion, who knows if I ever would have gotten that phone up and running again? I went from feeling like a failure as a geek, to reclaiming my rightful title. Today was a great day :)