How My Life Is a Highway as Someone With Asperger's


As someone with ASD, I often express myself through metaphor to give others a deeper understanding of what I’m trying to communicate. I wanted to give my own twist to the “life is a highway” metaphor by describing how my Aspie life relates to different types of highways.

Super fast express lane on a Sunday morning — things that pop up in my mind really easily:

Music references (lyrics, bands, you name it). 80s/90s television shows. What I was wearing the day in fifth grade when band was cancelled because my teacher’s mother had died. Perseverating thoughts (both bad and not so bad). Inspiration for creating medically-related song parodies. Dates — the numbers kind. The Japanese word for “splint.”

Freeway gridlock in horrible weather and already 45 minutes late to work — tension, discomfort, anxiety:

Work social events. Criticism. Being cold while indoors. Geometry theorems and proofs. Using the telephone. Locker rooms when there are other people. The sound a crayon makes when it needs its paper torn back (least favorite sound). Malls. Depression in general. Group projects in school. Having to be picked for a team in PE (usually last). Not knowing who to sit with at lunch.

The road I have to take when there is a detour due to road construction and I wind up in the boonies. I may get to my destination eventually:

Sarcasm. Coordination. “How do I know this person?” People’s names. Verbal, impromptu communication — enough said.

Highways that go through tunnels in mountains — usually things I am not totally aware of or get super focused on:

Flirting. Talking loudly. Taking 45 minutes to write a four-paragraph mass email at work for something that really bothers me and I feel strongly about correcting. Being naive. Uncertainty if something had or is going to offend someone.

Finally, that pleasant drive — windows down, music up and nice scenery:

Proof-reading the reports of other people. Staying home. Algorithms. Swings and rocking chairs. Photographing close-up macro shots. Independent movies. Soft, fuzzy things like when I touch all of the towels and blankets at Bed, Bath and Beyond.

I still have many more highways to ride in my life and I look forward to the unique adventures ahead.

Getty image by Den Belitsky.


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