Well, my days with old college friends I was looking forward to with excitement and trepidation?
It was a rousing, complete, really really fun success. Not only was it great to talk to them, but I managed to restrain myself when my Aspie brain was screaming at me. A couple of times it was tricky, but I managed to keep what was in my brain, in my brain, and though each time it took me a bit to calm down, I was able to do so with time by myself before I entered a new situation. I can say that if you can avoid driving through the Caldecott tunnel during Rush hour when you are very upset, I'd suggest it.
I had really lovely time being around the Berkeley Campus again, joining my friend's running group in a good solid workout, eating at La Burrita, seeing the Campanile, getting hot chocolate at Cafe Strada. It reminded me just how much I love UC Berkeley. The campus still speaks to me and reaches out and touches my soul.
I also enjoyed having wonderful discussions about interesting topics that engaged me, interested me, and taught me. It was so wonderfully intellectually stimulating! I didn't realize how much I'd thirsted for just that sort of exchange of thoughts and ideas--it brought back those heady college days with the same college friends. We just slipped back into the same pattern (and we all look exactly the same way we did 14 years ago, which amuses me). I have to admit that at dinner one night I just got caught up, my biggest fear was that in getting so excited and happy and exuberant I might have come across too strong, as I was so involved I forgot to do my normal self-monitoring during the conversation. All I can do is hope it went well.
It was also lovely seeing my cousins and their truly amazing two and a half year old son. One of the highlights of the weekend was playing with the (smart, creative, imaginative, wonderful) toddler for over an hour and trying to interpret his toddlerese while mom cooked dinner. It was good to be an auntie.
I also learned that with direction, guidance, and someone who knows how to lead, I can actually fake my way through dancing pretty well! I danced two nights and truly had a blast. It makes me want to find places to dance in my hometown now. This is a big turning point for me, even five years ago going to a dancing lesson then dancing, especially with strangers, wouldn't have been possible because I was too self conscious. I think a lot of my self-consciousness in my 20s came from my lack of social skills from being an Aspie, and now that I have worked hard to gain those skills by rote, I am much less scared to put myself out there. I've learned that it's OK if I am not good at dancing or don't know the steps, that people honestly are nice and are willing to teach and forgive mistakes, and that a smile and a laugh makes it fun even if I tread on a toe or so. I'm so glad I got past the anti-dancing block in my head because it gives me one more thing to enjoy in life. And my friend was indeed an excellent teacher.
I also only finished half of my race before being rushed to the emergency room because I couldn't breathe, but I am not thinking about that part. It's the only mark on the weekend, and though it frustrates and upsets me, I am determined to simply move on, try again, and think of the good instead of the bad.
I'm tired, my lungs are still weak, and my legs are sore, but I have days of good memories stored up. Did I have to fight the Aspie monster? Well, yeah, I always do. But this time, I won.
Life. For all the bad moments, you get the days like this, and it makes it all worth while.
God is good,