I spoke in front of an audience today for the first time in a while. This audience was different than my previous speaking engagements. They were on the spectrum. It was a small but lovely group. Aspies are generally great public speakers by nature because we tend to monologue (one-sided conversations) but I felt even more comfortable because I was speaking to neurodivergents. I feel an instant connection with minds like mine. Like they can relate to me and I can relate to them.
I think I enjoyed myself just as much as the girls did, if not more! I felt revitalized by the end of the evening. It gave me a sense of purpose. I know I blog and admin a social media page, but it's very different to bond with people in person. It reminded me of who I was at that age. Maybe it's the first time I've ever really felt nostalgic about anything in my life. The girls were so sweet. So kind. It makes me wonder if I was like that, and if I'm still like that because I've gone through so many transformations over the years. A part of me wants to revert back to the girl I used to be but I'm not really sure who that was anymore because I spent a lifetime mimicking others. I saw a glimpse of the real me in those girls; the straight-forwardness, the unapologetic giggles, and the genuine keenness. They were just being. No acting.
I was asked to return for their summer camps. I'm thrilled. I don't even consider these things as "volunteering my time" because I enjoy it. It feels very validating to be told that my writing has helped someone coach and understand autistic people better. When I started my blog it felt like I planted a tree. I just wanted to feel rooted and explain that my bark doesn't bite. I'm stumped that I've got to see the day where others would sit in it's shade. The highlight of my night was when a girl asked me for a hug. Little did she know, it was the hug I always needed at her age but never received until now. The expression "treehugger" may have taken on a new meaning.