Life: Growing Together

Thu, February 23, 2012

I recently picked up and am in the middle of reading "The Journal of Best Practices: A Memoir of Marriage, Asperger Syndrome, and One Man's Quest to be a Better Husband" by David Finch. While I have mixed feelings about it so far it is witty, insightful and an interesting read.

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The author discovers that he is an 'aspie' (a person with Asperger's syndrome) in his 30s. But the main take away I have is that this is a man who is trying to understand himself, his world and how to navigate it better. While he initially wants to attribute all his shortcomings to the pathology, he moves past it and evolves. I think we can all relate to that. While I'm not an 'aspie' myself, we're all on this continuous journey to discover and understand ourselves. Even cooler is that I have been privileged to do this with YAI members by my side. I'm part of their journey and they are equally part of mine. This feels somewhat selfish but together we make each other lives better, happier, richer, fuller ... I could go on.

I'm with them for firsts: First night away from home, first time they overcome a "can't." make their first friend, first time to zip line, or first time they talk about their disability.

Some of the people I work with have known me since I was 18 singing "rise and shine" at the top of my lungs in a camp dining hall. If you're counting, as one traveler says, "We've known each other for over a decade of friendship." They've known me in college, when I got married, and in fact my first time down a zip line (I was screaming much louder than my best round of "rise and shine.") I've learned so much from the people I work with about the world, how to navigate it and about myself. My only worry is that they have gotten as much from me.