Eleanor Roosevelt once said
The purpose of Life is to live it, to taste, experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience
My family has learned what Eleanor Roosevelt meant by that beautiful and inspiring morsel of knowledge.
My mind kept rejoicing that I had finally discovered the pivotal phrase that frames up what our life has become: An Unexpected Journey.
I then began to clearly play back expectations that I had brought with me into various life seasons and how the unexpected had altered them in ways I was unable to clearly recognize. How, at the time, I felt as though I could barely breathe - as though I were drowning.
I would surely live but not emerge untouched.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr once said
A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.
I have found this wisdom to be true.
I also found that the less I fought these ripples, the less painful and consuming they were. In fact, I found that if I opened my arms and, dare I say it out loud, embraced them, I eventually learned to enjoy the unfamiliar and most unexpected journey.
The fabric of my once perfectly ironed life transformed into something much more valuable. More reminiscent of a quilt carefully gifted from generation to generation with priceless fragments of moments and lessons- a story that is a treasure when imparted.
I began to hold on less and less. I loosened my grip and began to raise my eyes to see what was happening around me. I actually invited others to join me!! The experience was no longer overwhelming, it was an adventure. I was actually excited to see what came next!
It was then, that my family made the decision to commit to this mindset. We did not "have" Autism. Autism would not consume us. Autism did not make us "less." Instead, as a family, we would Experience Autism.
Anytime I am asked to describe Kylie's diagnosis, I simply write that she experiences Autism. When asked about our family situation, I tell them that we experience Autism.
To some it is just a word, but to us it is much MUCH more!
We are experiencing life- even Autism- together, as a unit, and it is an adventure: a very wonderful unexpected journey!!
A few more kernels of wisdom that we draw inspiration from...
The only source of knowledge is experience
Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely