It seems only fair to you, the unsuspecting reader, that in this very first post I should try to explain why I am writing this blog. I will try to be brief, but I make no promises!
The story starts a few years ago now – not that many, but a few.
It is often felt that significant birthdays (20, 30, 40, etc.) are times at which our lives change – and for me being 50 years old was just such a moment. Not the actual birthday itself you understand (although I did have a very nice one), but during the months that followed I had a truly deep, meaningful and eye-opening ‘awakening’ – one that has had a profound effect on my life ever since.
Not a spiritual ‘awakening’ and maybe it is something that many would find a strange thing to celebrate, but when I was 50 (plus a few months), after struggling for much of my life with so many apparently ‘ordinary’ situations, I discovered I was deeply, very much, no mistaking it, an ‘Aspie’, by having what is pretentiously called ‘Asperger’s Syndrome’ – sounds awful – but it isn’t really.
Realising, without a shadow of a doubt, that I had Asperger’s was not actually a shock in itself, and neither was it anything that made me sad in any way – it was, and still is, a point of great satisfactory revelation – a true ‘awakening’ of self-realisation which has led to me to completely re-examine, overhaul, redirect and recalibrate my life from the ground up, since that day.
To set the scene, we need to go back to the mid 1950s…. Please bear with me – I promise the history lesson will be short…
All my life – even as a toddler, I ‘knew’ inside myself that I was ‘different’ – certainly my parents thought I was more than a bit ‘odd’ and, although I was academically bright, I struggled terribly with social events and any sort of peer interaction…
As a kid, and actually more so as a teenager and as an adult, it is difficult enough to know you are ‘different’ to your peers but for me it proved to be a very isolating and lonely experience, because I didn’t know why I was ‘different’, or in what way I could help myself not be ‘different’…
With the perfect placement that only the Universe seems to manage at times, I fortunately had a grandfather and a great-aunt who were truly wonderful and stood out head and shoulders above everyone else in my circle of friends/family by accepting me as I was, warts and all, and I forever owe them a huge debt of love and gratitude for helping keep me trusting in the innate decency of some people, while around me life was not a happy place at all in most ways. Dreadfully bullied at school, manipulated and bullied at home, and struggling with almost constant ill-health meant I had to retreat into myself, mentally and emotionally, to simply get through from one day to the next.
For me a true light came into my life when I was 20 – I met the woman to whom I have now been married for over 40 years – another of the very few people who has always accepted me as I am – and, thankfully, still does!
So, I made it to 50, and my ‘awakening’ was when I found out why I had been struggling for so long, in so many ways. Suddenly a great deal made sense, and immediately I knew I had to take stock and consider how best to proceed, building on what I had discovered and how my 50 years had been shaped up to that point.
And here I am – a lifetime of trying to figure out my existence, how others interact with each other, often studying the world from a third-party perspective and, for the last few years, jotting down thoughts, inner discussions and rules-of-thumb to help myself best deal with life from here on in – when suddenly other people wanted me to share these ideas, affirmations and analogies.
Given the nature of my past, I started using the name Gaius to distribute my writings – very gradually at first, but slightly more expansively as time has gone on. Having also been a photographer for part of my working life I often incorporate some of my images with the words at times.
I hope you will want to take this blogging journey with me, and I will start the process with the first step – one of Gaius’ writings from a few years ago that came to me as I was thinking of how my own life in the past could help me find direction for the future.
‘By knowing, accepting and dealing with your weaknesses you will gain strength.
By knowing, accepting and dealing with your fears you will gain courage.
By knowing, accepting and dealing with your anxieties you will gain confidence.
By knowing, accepting and dealing with your failures you will find success.
Embrace life’s difficulties, because the sooner you do, the sooner you will reap life’s rewards.’
~ Gaius Quinterus