Today was a rather exhausting and emotional day. In honor of Friday, February 14, 2014 being a worldwide day for Autism Acceptance, with hundreds of bloggers doing a flashblog under the #lovenotfear tag, I felt like it would be an ideal time for me to let go of the weight I've been carrying on my shoulders. I went public about my Aspergers/HFA diagnosis, via my work for Aromaleigh Cosmetics. I've been deeply touched by all of the stories I've read for the flash blog. I've made lots of connections with wonderful people like me. It feels so good to reach out and feel understanding, not judgment. I learned about the campaign of fear and negativity perpetuated by organizations such as Autism Speaks, and I learned about the campaign of hope, strength and neurodiversity celebration that is present in organizations such as The Golden Hat Foundation. I was madly impressed by TGHF and decided that I wanted to create a special eyeshadow that would be sold through Aromaleigh, with part of the sale tallies going towards TGHF as a donation. I've felt trapped and silenced for so long, that I can't begin to put into words the happiness that I felt today, when this project finally fell into place and was published on the Aromaleigh website and blog. I was actually shaking with nervousness and excitement. But sadly, also fear. I was scared. But I kept telling myself that people who would seek to diminish me based on my neurology and marginalize my experience aren't people whose opinions that I should allow to make me waver in my commitment. Formulating cosmetics is something that I love to do, and it is something that I am better at doing than most other things in my life. It is also my job. I don't have family taking care of me, I am not married or in a relationship, and I do not receive any state assistance. I rely on doing what I do to support myself, my Son and our canine family. I am blessed to be doing something that I love to do, and that I am able to do, even despite my environmental requirements for work. I am most of the time, able to work on my own, in a quiet, calm space. I'm grateful for this, and I feel extremely fortunate about it. Even though I was diagnosed late in life, and have had a lifetime of challenges, heartbreak and traumatic experiences that have left me somewhat scarred, I realize that I am far more fortunate than many others like me. And it is for that very reason that it was so important to me to use my special skill and unique perspective to create something that can in turn help others. I want to help others, and I feel that I can. I'm scared that people will think that I am lying about my diagnosis, or that they will minimize my experience and pass it off as "drama", and in truth, people will think what they want to think no matter what the actual truth is. I can't control or change people, but I can help to increase awareness of the concept of acceptance and neurodiversity. It's been almost three years since my diagnosis, and finally coming out and telling the world about it makes me feel very light in spirit. I had been carrying my secret for far too long. I had allowed fear, not love, to control me. Today is not about fear. Today is about love. Today is about accepting our neurological differences and realizing the strength in between the spaces of those differences. It is frightening to speak your truth when you've been silenced and lived with stigma for so long. I started writing about my experiences because it is the words of other women like myself, who made me feel that I had a safe space in which to write. I thank all of you who are out there writing and raising awareness. Without your work, I wouldn't be writing this right now. And I know for sure, that I'd still be carrying around my heavy secret. I've never been fond of Valentine's Day, but this holiday has taken on a new meaning for me. I will from here on out, think fondly of this day, when I felt like I could finally speak my truth and join together with others working towards a common goal. That is the beauty of neurodiversity.
Tags » Aromaleigh
FEBRUARY 14, 2014
Today, most people are celebrating Valentine’s Day. But a passionately active segment of the internet is conducting a flashblog event, under the tag #lovenotfear . 777 more words
Earlier this month, Aromaleigh launched a brand new (permanent!) collection of eyeshadows inspired by bad-ass, often-forgotten ladies throughout history– Ignis Antiquita. As this combines three of my favorite things– history, pretty colors, and bad-ass ladies– I decided to sample some of the collection, which weighs in at 40 new shades. 1,637 more words
I have a problem. I love the variety of shades that come out of indie makeup companies. Indies are a great and relatively inexpensive way to sample colors that you might not ordinarily try, and these companies consistently put out some of the most innovative hues on the market. 1,461 more words