Autism Insights, My Journey

Living Life Slower, and On My Own Terms

There’s this old folk-tale called the “Tortoise and the Hare”, you might have heard it growing up; about an over-eager hare desperate to finish first in the race and show off to the tortoise, who is patient, slow, methodical and approaches the race from in his own way, and pace. The moral of the story is of course, slow and steady wins the race, as the tortoise pulls ahead in the end, but it’s also a reminder that we all go at life from our own paces- whether that is a fast one or slow-. While there is lots to be said for those who experience life faster, there is also something to be said for those who take things on the slower side, where extra patience is needed and that in the end have a chance to pull through as well. It is a message that resonates so well with my own experiences and shows that if being Autistic has taught me anything, it’s not just that I move through life in a different way, but often when it comes to navigating new experiences it’s sometimes the pace that works best.  

It’s not always easy to accept that the way I move about the world is different or at a slower pace and there are still times where the struggle between what I’ve known to be true and right for myself- which is going into these experiences on my own terms and timing versus what others might consider a good time. In which case, to navigate these decisions I have to really tune into what’s going on for me and learn how to distinguish whether it is something I am doing to please others (in which case, it’s usually not right) or because it really feels like the right step for me to take and therefore it’s something for myself that could truly be right for me; or ensures that I am most comfortable taking it.

Finding the Answer:

The answer may vary depending on how you’ve approached past experiences and how comfortable you’ve been at making them work. It may also depend on what it is as some things may seem easier to dive into than others; such as taking a big step like working, where it not working could cost you, so diving deeper into the hesitation, that comes from exploring some quite intimidating is an important step. Another is looking at what exactly is holding me back, and question it’s validity for holding me- is it a valid reason I’m not ready to try again, like still processing the rejection from the last experience, and feelings from that or is it something else like fear, stubbornness or having already tried once feel like it is no longer worth trying again? These are just some of the questions that help me explore and figure out whether an opportunity is right for me and a find a way to movie into it that matches my own readiness at the end of the day.

The second part is simple, and that’s each opportunity I’ve stepped into that has been the right one has felt good and in tune with what I’ve been comfortable to explore, not one has felt too overwhelming or too soon, and somehow along the way I’ve been able to figure it out. Following this encourages me that while my pace is slower than most, it’s helped me step into opportunities that have been in line with my own experience and outside my comfort zone in ways that felt comfortable to me.

For now, Keep trying my friends at your own pace and remember to Stay You-nique,


Feature image: Photo by David Boyle on Unsplash