April 05, 2017

Avoiding Snake Pits and Other Scary Things

I was being interviewed by a neurotypical about how I handle certain situations. I was asked how I might handle things that were challenging to me. I explained that I usually wait for another time when I am feeling my best. For example, I won't go shopping at a busy grocery store on a day I'm already tired or feeling overwhelmed. Usually there's nothing that can't wait another day. Or maybe I'll ask my husband to do it.

But, it was insisted, there must be other things I find challenging and *have* to do. I simply don't put myself in situations that are just too challenging.

 "So you just avoid things?"

Yes, the short answer is, yes, I avoid things that would be too challenging. It sounded really judgemental, the way it was said, as if I gave up on life. But I thought about it and don't most people? I mean, if you are scared of snakes, I would guess you'll avoid snakes or places where snakes might be. You might wait for a day where you are well-rested and ready to run, should you encounter one, but for the most part, you probably just avoid hanging around snake pits. That would seem logical to me! Surely there's no pressing need you need to go into a snake pit.

image of a brown snake with white writing Avoiding Snake Pits and Other Challenges by OneQuarterMama.ca
By that same token, I've designed my life in a way where I can avoid my personal "snake pits." I don't particulary enjoy taking the metro in my city anymore, so I got my driver's license and a car.

I call it a life by design - I make it work for me. Why should I stress myself out to do something I'm not comfortable doing when there are other options? And why is finding another option seen as a failure somehow? As if using all my energy to fight a situation I don't want to put myself into is somehow more valiant? Or the "right way" to function in the world? Surely thinking up alternatives and finding solutions has some value.

I don't have to do things like others do or even enjoy the same things others do just because. My way of being or designing my life is just as valid. I do what works for me and makes me comfortable. I'm pretty sure you do as well. 

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