I've got a few new things going on in my corner of the universe. The first, you have probably seen if you're hanging around my social media profiles (ghost towns that they've been.) If not, feast your eyes on the cover for the conclusion of The Risen Age Archive, Rune Bearer! As always, Kirk DouPonce of Dog Eared Design did an amazing job of capturing the essence of this story.
Outside of my author world, but inextricably woven through it, I've begun a deep dive into understanding what it means to be neurodivergent. If that's a new term to you, it's basically an umbrella to encompass people whose brains are wired differently than the majority of the population. Those with ADHD and on the autism spectrum hang out under this umbrella and try not to get soaked in the stigma, mischaracterizations, and frustrations that some folks rain down on them. I have spent my life struggling to fit in, while living with the misconception that I'm not noticeably different. But the more I learn about ADHD (the one good thing that I've gotten out of TikTok) the more the puzzle pieces of my struggles start to snap together. And don't worry, I have the guidance of a therapist, who essentially said, "I'm not allowed to diagnose anything officially, but since you're a compulsive researcher, you might want to spend some of your time looking at neurodivergence."
Suddenly, I'm discovering that a lot of the things I hate myself for might be wiring, not bad character. Now, I don't believe that it's healthy to just throw up my hands and say, "Oh well, this is just the way I am." It just informs me what I'm up against and that I need to mine the neurodivergent community for tools to help me manage my hurdles.
It kind of sucks to be a gen Xer, because when I was a kid, we just called kids like me awkward. I spent my life trying to hide the aspects of my wiring that bullies found irresistible, and only now am I learning that I grew up with neither a choice about my "oddness" nor tools to help me be OK with who I am. But hey, better late than never, right? Today I can begin advocating for myself, accepting that some things will be harder for me, and having the assurance to ask that others be patient with me as I patch up 40+ years of misunderstanding myself.