3 June 2022

Green grass dotted with yellow dandelion flowers.

So, funny thing: apparently I love giving talks. I kind of suspected this, but I’ve given quite a few talks over the last few months — academic talks, guest lectures, public talks, professional development sessions — and I’ve really, really enjoyed it. My big talk for the ASNL provincial conference was postponed, so that’s not happening until Monday, and I’m really excited about it. Public speaking. I love it. Who knew?

Part of the process of sorting out a lifetime of undiagnosed autism is learning to identify what you actually enjoy vs. what you’ve trained yourself to enjoy (or to appear to enjoy). When so much of your life is spent deep in a state of masking/morphing, you don’t get much of a chance to consider things like personal taste or interests. Every job I’ve ever had and almost all of the academic work I’ve ever done have been the result of someone saying, “You know what you should do? You should…” and me responding, “Should I? Ok!” and then next thing I know I’m standing in a workplace I have no investment in or I’m three-quarters of the way through a paper on something I couldn’t care less about, and I’m asking how I got here, and trying to pinpoint the moment when things could have turned out differently.

There are lots of things I’m good at, and I get asked to do those things a lot. I call this the curse of competence: you demonstrate capacity at something that people typically find difficult; folks are impressed; you get asked to do it again. Next thing you know, it’s your thing whether or not you get any satisfaction out of doing it. Finding things — like, career-type, bill-paying things — I find fulfilling is a trickier task. Identifying a long-term goal? Forget it. I’m nowhere near that yet.

In other news: three years after quitting Twitter, I’ve gone and joined up again. When I left I deactivated my old account so I’ve had to start from scratch, and I’m not allowed to have my old handle back. Sigh. I’m @CallananAndreae if anyone wants to go looking for me.