The trip is coming up quickly and because I promised not to say this at home, I’ll say it here…this time next week I’ll be in Portugal (insert skip here).

Which means that all that summer sewing I didn’t get done six months ago suddenly needed to get done now. I took full advantage of the Queen’s Birthday long weekend: had Friday off to spend ‘quality time’ with the kids prior to the trip (and slip in some sewing…), invited other people’s children over for three days’ in a row so they could entertain my kids, and then hid in the study.

What did puzzle me was how I could suddenly find the time and incentive to do this sewing when I needed the clothes six months ago and should have done it then.

I figured out that sewing new clothes for an overseas trip was like building myself an exoskeleton.

At home, I don’t need to translate myself to family and friends all the time. If I do, language, shyness and hamburgers aren’t huge barriers. I know who  I am, I’m in context, and for the most part, I am understood by others. If I’m not, I’ve learned to navigate my way through an explanation or how to avoid it. Put me in a strange country on my own and I have just lost every external prop I have ever relied on.

This doesn’t necessarily scare me at all. The feeling of being a stranger in a strange land is quite freeing and since I am seen by others as a tourist or visitor, I am expected to observe, to stand on the sidelines, to wait until I am sure what’s expected of me. And all of that comes naturally to me since it’s the essence of Asperger’s. But I need someway of externally representing who I am since I can’t explain it (language) or it’s incredibly difficult (shyness/hamburgers). And I need to remind myself of who I am since I unconsciously rely on others to reflect me back at myself. Hence the work on the exoskeleton.

I’ll do a slow reveal over the next few days but I’ll give you a sneak peek of some of the fabrics used – a little bit of printed 1950s decorator weight cloth to get the creative juices flowing.


1 Comment

  1. Kate said,

    June 16, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    I found, when I was travelling, that I enjoyed the freedom of being able to be whichever me I felt like. Those people didn’t know me, didn’t have years worth of memories of me that forced me into a particular shape. I found that I could be MORE myself and less the me that other people expected to see. I had more of an idea, when I came back, of who I was.

    I think I could probably do with a better exoskeleton, too. I might have to work on that.

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