Adulting: Flexibility

In last week’s adulting blog, I shared my experience when accepting a change to one’s routine. However in this day in age, I for one am learning that I need to be flexible by being open to changes in my routine.

Flexible is a word that I have heard for several decades, yet it is one of those words that I don’t like. Just because I do not like the idea of being flexible does not mean that I have to be stuck up and throw a fit like a spoiled little brat. I have understood just like we have to understand that something is changing, that we must be open to doing things differently, even if we as a person do not agree with having to be open to doing something differently. As long as there is no harm being done, it is sometimes best to be open to the ideas of others, even if they may seem scary.

I, for one, have known time and time again how hard it can be to be open to something happening in a way that we are not used to. It can be frustrating at times because you may have had a plan for something to happen the way that you wanted to but being in a state where you sometimes have little notice of something happening differently can be hard to hear. Oftentimes, it can cause anger because our plan for the way that we as neurodivergent individuals wanted our day to go is not going the way that we want it to go.

I also know that while I want to vocalize the anger that I am feeling, I know doing so will only make things worse and make me look as a immature person, especially when there are others that I know are looking up to me or know that I have been through so much and know that I for the most part I can be mature. I know that society has standards for how individuals conduct themselves in public, therefore I know, while unhealthy, I must reserve my need to cope properly when it is safe to do so in the safest manner possible. Reacting negatively to a situation that may be already delicate only further hinders it and makes it more challenging to endure.

Life isn’t fair sometimes, and the hands we are dealt can be tough to accept sometimes. It can be easy to react in a negative manner and it can draw unwanted attention to you that you may not want others to see. Yes, I know it can be hard sometimes to prevent meltdowns, but as one who has been there, I can tell you that the memories of meltdowns and other negative reactions stick deeply in the autistic mind. You rehash them over again and again from when they happen, constantly thinking what you could have done to make the situation better or even prevent it from happening. I constantly think of some of my last meltdowns and how many times I was not flexible to something changing to my routine as that can be a stressor as if I do not have control over something, even if it is not my place to do so.

I have grown so much in this area because I know for one that I need to be the better person, while understanding my role and that yes, there are people in many situations who have somehow known my story and may have read it or looked up to me as a role model. Even sometimes, I know I have to be a role model to them because I see the younger me that has been there when I was in their shoes. That makes me want to be the one to let them know that there is hope in their lives than where they are in their journey in the present moment.

Life is challenging for everyone right now, even more so for autistics. It can be hard to be flexible when you can only think of what you need to be in your safe place, but knowing that you can be ready for whatever comes your way so you are not caught off guard when the need to be flexible arises and you are ready to tackle whatever is necessary to be your best self.

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