Asperger's,Autism Spectrum Disorder

Why Do It Now?

Did you ever not do something because you felt it was too late? Maybe that you felt too old?

I have.

I hate it when people tell me that we are never too old or some other [insert your choice of curse word here]. I don’t dislike it because I think it’s entirely wrong, I dislike it because it’s just too simple and too easy. It’s something you can say if you don’t care enough to actually think about the situation someone else is in and not something to be said if you really care.

The thing is, sometimes it really is too late.

Sometimes we are too old.

The issue is not if it’s too late or not, no, but rather whatever the thing that we want. That’s what matters. Our dream or desire.

I will never play piano as brilliantly as I could have, had I never stopped playing. I started learning when I was just a little kid, but as I grew up I stopped playing. Now, I miss it and I want to play again, but I’m not. I’ve wanted to play more piano for more than a decade, but in that period I’ve hardly touched the keys of one. It was too painful.

It was painful because I forgot too much. It was painful because I can never be as good as I could have been and therefore I feel like I’ve wasted years of possibilities – years gone to waste.

It feels like because I wasted so much time it’s too late to start now. I feel like I have to start over in spite of all the piano classes I took as a child. In spite of both my mother and grandmother teaching me. I forgot too much, wasted too much time. Now, it’s too late.

Of course, in this case, it’s not too late to learn to play piano again. It is, however, too late to learn to play piano as well as I could have, had I continued to practice since childhood. Obviously no matter how much I practice I will always be more than a decade behind because I didn’t continue.

But I’m not really behind, am I? Life doesn’t work like that. It just feels like that to me.

Every day I don’t do something feels like a waste. Like I’m falling behind.

Every time I’m not doing something I feel like I’m messing up. I should do this. I ought to do that. I’m never going to be as good as I could be because now I wasted yet another day, another month, another year…. or even just another hour.

Of course I’m too old to do some things. Some things my body can’t do now because I’m just too old. I don’t have the reflexes, the strength or even the determination to overcome such obstacles.

Determination can do a lot, I have no doubt, but it cannot change my age and you know what? I’m okay with that.

The real problem for me is not accepting what I cannot do. I can deal with that in some way, even if it is painful now. The thing that I want to change before anything else is the feeling that not doing something is making me fall behind.

If I’ve fallen too far behind, what’s the point?

As long as I believe not doing something is the same as falling behind, as losing something, then I might start, but I won’t continue. Every time I’m working on it, like playing piano, I’m thinking about all the times I didn’t practice and not the fact that I am.

If I follow my own logic, then I’d probably only have one way of not feeling like I do; I can never stop.

I’d have to play piano every single moment of my life not to feel like I’m wasting time and that…. that’s not realistic at all.

But I can’t help thinking that because I did not already do it, why do it now? It is already too late. It has become pointless.

It feels pointless.

It doesn’t matter that it’s unrealistic, it still feels pointless.

This isn’t just about playing piano, no, it is about everything really. I know it’s silly because I can’t possibly do everything at the same time all the time. I don’t want to be like this.

I don’t know how to change it, though. I know I’ll find a way to overcome this, and for now, I’ll settle for just reminding myself that what I feel I need to do is impossible. I try to tell myself that I do things because I enjoy it; I read a book because I love the experience of reading – not so that I can cross a book of my list of books that I am planning to read. I study because I love studying – not just so that I can do something. I cook because I love cooking – not just because I need to eat something. I remind myself that way and you know what, I am a little bit more relaxed now than I was before I realised what was holding me back.

It was holding me back, and in many ways still do, from enjoying a lot of things in my life that I always loved doing.

I wasn’t like this when I was little. I became increasingly focussed on this and at some point, it started to control my life more I than did myself.

I think it started with a feeling of guilt once, a moment which passed only to be forgotten shortly after. The feeling of guilt, maybe it was a feeling that came from not studying something I was supposed to and getting away with it, that came back. It came back many times and left me just as many times, before it decided to stay and settle in my mind. There it grew until I forgot I had ever been without it.

I can’t remember what it was like without this feeling of always being behind, of never being good enough and never being able to become good enough, but I know I was without it once. I remember that it was different, even though I don’t remember what it was like.

I hope this is the first step to letting go and accepting that I don’t have to be perfect all the time. That it’s okay, that it’s actually perfect, just to be me.


Life with Autism Spectrum Disorder is not always easy, but it doesn't have to be impossible. Since I was diagnosed myself, I have been trying to raise autism awareness and share my own experiences and thoughts about life as well as my search for a happy and fulfilling life.

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