Earlier today, I had been for a run, because I’m still doing that, and stopped by the local shop to get something for lunch. After I left the shop I took the shortcut round the side of the building. The shortcut involves going through a few trees and jumping over a wall and, while I’ve never seen anyone else go that way, I’m well-acquainted with it because for some reason it’s one of my son’s favourite hangout spots.

So that’s how I came to be leaping down from the darkness of the foliage onto the pavement, nonchalantly clutching a meal deal at chest height in a t-shirt with a t-rex and the text ‘ROAR!’ across it, to a small audience of slightly alarmed pedestrians.

I felt that quiet satisfaction and amusement I get having done something adequately weird without having priorly realised it was going to be weird. Hmm, yes, look at me in bemusement and secret admiration, oh meek onlookers, for I am not one of you.

And then my right foot decided that was a good time to just trip over nothing and put me back in my place.

Strange blessings

My neighbours are kind of shitty neighbours. They’re loud and dirty and often behave in ways I find inconsiderate. They’re low to medium grade annoying a lot of the time. When other people experience them they tend to comment things like they don’t know how I put up with it, it would drive them mad, they’d be raging at them after a few days. I, on the other hand, don’t really mind.

I like living in my flat. And yes, I even quite like living next to my shitty neighbours. Because underneath the crude, obnoxious, substance-loving exterior, they’re just…good enough people. They’re trying their best. They very truly mean no harm. They’re good enough.

At first, their shittiness itself was a relief to me, because I’ve spent so much of my life feeling like a burden, an inconvenience and a liability that I always enjoy being unequivocally not the worst. But then, as I learned to accept and appreciate them as people, they taught me to accept and appreciate parts of myself that I’d still up to that point been keeping estranged.

So I’m actually very grateful for my shitty neighbours, because their shittiness was exactly what I needed.

Glorious Divergents

Further to my last post, I spent a lot of my day yesterday catching up with the activities of Guy Martin. I started thinking how nice it would be if there was some kind of meet and greet event, or facility for my son to, like, ask him a question or something. Or maybe some of his TV work would be engaging viewing for him. Because although the idea of my son one day careening around the Isle of Man on a superbike is not a comfortable one, Guy Martin is still a fucking beautiful example of a human being, demonstrating multiple values I wish to instill in my offspring.

And then I thought who are you fucking kidding, Yve? You’re not researching Guy Martin for your son’s benefit here, you’re just having a nice bloody time.

And THEN, fucking chest-deep in Guy Martin content, I thought holy fucking shit, Guy Martin is obviously neurodivergent*. Like it’s glaringly obvious that he’s neurodivergent*; how slow on the uptake can you be, super-fan-girl? And then I actually googled it and, sure enough, he’s diagnosed with autism, and he doesn’t give a single shit about it.

I actually highly suspect that almost all (if not all) of my long term favourites are neurodivergent*. Specifically neurodivergent* people who have learned to embrace, celebrate and nourish their neurodivergency. Most of my hyperfixations sprang forth years before I understood what ‘neurodivergent’* was, or realised holy fucking shit, Yve, you obviously have ADHD. Like it’s glaringly obvious that you have ADHD, how slow on the uptake can you be, person-who-lives-in-your-brain? …and I like to think my brain was guiding me toward the revelation.

I’m not actually diagnosed with ADHD. I was denied a diagnosis, it seems, on the basis that I did exceptionally well at school up to the age of 16. I didn’t actually get to speak to the psychiatrist responsible for the decision, but the message relayed to me was ‘if you had ADHD, there’s no way you’d be able to do what you did’. This made me very angry, and I drafted a lovely letter about it. I have an IQ of between 137 and 161 depending on which test you ask; school was easy, what I couldn’t do was brush my teeth. I may or may not send it at some point.

*Note: I struggled to find a link that adequately summed up neurodivergence in a way that reflects my understanding without including some aspects that I just don’t vibe with, but suffice it to say; a neurodivergent person, to me, is an individual whose brain is fundamentally, structurally and functionally different from the majority of human brains, leading to unusual strengths and weaknesses that don’t fit into society’s concept of acceptability. This is usually due to neurodevelopmental differences such as autism, ADHD, dyslexia and dyspraxia (not an exhaustive list). I could ramble my psychology-enthused head off about the many complexities and implications of the term, but I’ll save that for another day, maybe.