Mafe Maria: Personal stories by autism parent mentor, Maria Stultz

Life without a story

Lately I’ve noticed the constant presence of stories defining people’s existence. We seem to crave them, collect them, learn to seek to create them to define ourselves and stand out from the crowd, to be “somebody”. I have mine too, of course… “Mother of a special child whose journey to save her son ultimately saves her”, “highly-educated female daring to self-teach in a lower-paying new career in search for meaning and happiness in her work”, “unschooler”, “son-rise mom”, “artisan”, “alchemist”… blah blah blah…

Noticing how boring these stories get when they’re repeated a number of times in a short span of time, I’ve decided to try to let go of mine. I may still express my current thoughts, but have abandoned any projects centered around the perpetuation of any story that defines me (like all the ones I created to organize the content of this blog a few months ago). I’ve felt free. Free of the pressure to be “someone” or “something”. Every day, my only direction has been to just “be”; be whatever I want in that moment; be without judging it; do whatever I crave that second without the pressure to continue anything until something clear, defined, “important”, and finished emerges to justify my existence.

It’s felt very good.
Very easy.
Very peaceful.
Very undefined (and suddenly “defined” once you try to communicate it with words like right now).

And it’s funny to notice how the mind rebels against this. Funny to notice the kind of stimulus that suddenly triggers a little voice inside me that wants us to do something so a label can be assigned to us and our life here. I feel a mild discomfort when I notice certain characters being –or on their way to becoming– “something” I think could also be possible for me. Not all of them; just the ones my mind somehow associates with mirrors of myself. The voice wants me to compare myself to them and feel somehow inferior, left out. But I don’t have a strong motivation to become anybody right now, and I realize my mind’s judgments aren’t true. Those characters are not really better than me; they just have a particular label in this moment, and the voice asks me:

“What’s your label?”…
“Who are you?”…
“What do you do?”…
“Who will you become?… And when?”

Really… who cares?

More and more I don’t any more.

Single days,
Single moments,
Single interactions,
Freely moving in and out of experiences without trying to find patterns or themes or outcomes that justify… ME… whatever that is.

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