This blog is part of a series of posts that chronicle my participation in Reverb 10. Reverb 10 is an online event that encourages its participants to reflect on the past year and gear up for what's to come in the next. A prompt is given each day to fuel some personal reflection. Although I'm a little late on starting the challenge, I'm still looking forward to 18 days of honesty, acceptance, and growth.
December 14 – Appreciate
What’s the one thing you have come to appreciate most in the past year? How do you express gratitude for it? (Author: Victoria Klein)
I find that I have come to appreciate people this past year. Living with Asperger's, it is sometimes difficult for me to understand the purpose of having people constantly in your life. I have a tendency to shut people out and keep to myself. I find it difficult to ask for help or assistance, partly because I want to prove myself but also because there is a part of me that doesn't understand that the people in my life would not view helping me as a burden.
I have immense appreciation for the people in my life (family, friends, peers, coaches, directors) who support me without question and allow me to burst into their lives from time to time, ranting and raving about who-knows-what. I appreciate anyone that has supported me and given me praise and encouragement this year, whether it was in regards to theatre performances, speech competitions, or blogging endeavors. The people who say, "YES YOU CAN!" are a huge part of what pushes me forward in what I do.
Despite truly appreciating what I have been given, I have difficulty showing my appreciation. It's that whole "give-and-take" thing that Aspy's lack, not just in conversational eloquence, but also in those mysterious unspoken social interactions. Things like love, support, concern, empathy. As an adult, I can now accept these things in my life and process them, but showing my appreciation and gratitude is still difficult. Reciprocity has been a great place for me to start. I support those who support me, I assist those who assist me, etc. However, I still find myself wondering, "Are there other ways I can show my appreciation other than mirroring what is given to me?" This is probably common sense for neuro-typical adults, but it is a concept that does not come as easily to me.
I have a tugging need to thank the amazing people in my life who support me. A simple "thank you" won't cut it. There's got to be something more, right?
So in the next year, I'm going to continue in my growth. I will continue to let people in and appreciate the fact that they honestly want to be a part of my life. Hopefully, I can find a way to communicate my appreciation to them. Perhaps the best way to start is to make them proud. I want to keep doing the things that make people believe in me. While I have to remember to grow for myself, I think it's more than okay to have those other people in the back of my mind when I'm working towards my goal. The people who say, "Keep going, you can do it," because I appreciate their love, friendship, and support more than anything.