Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A line in the sand

Yesterday I had my last ever actuarial interview. That's a promise. On the ferry into the city, I thought about all kinds of stuff, but mostly I thought about why I wasn't thinking about the interview. I felt a real sense of déjà vu; I'd been there before, several times. For no apparent reason the Pet Shop Boys song Let's Make Lots of Money was going round and round in my head. Outside the tower block was a 15-foot-tall snake-like sculpture made out of hollow metal. I got this sudden urge to want to climb it. If I had climbed it, what would anyone have done? I don't remember much about the interview, except that it couldn't end fast enough. Thankfully it was all over in forty minutes. I ran down Queen Street and caught the ferry with a minute to spare - normally I'd have happily waited half an hour for the next one, but I was desperate to get the hell out of the city. It felt good to have drawn a line in the sand.

The good news (potentially) is that an agency rang me this morning about a possible temp job with Auckland Council where I'd be working with large spreadsheets and databases. I'd be delighted if they gave me the job. If last year's earthquake work is anything to go by, getting the Council job would benefit me enormously. My mental health (which as I write is some way short of perfect) would likely improve, and a lot of other doors would open up for me. For one it'll make moving out of this flat easier (and now that it's been sold, I might have to).

Last week I read Simon Baron-Cohen's Autism and Asperger Syndrome - the Facts. There's a lot to take in; the brain is one hell of a complicated piece of kit. The link between Asperger's and depression is hardly a surprise. A recurring thought whenever I'm depressed is I don't fit in. People with Asperger's face a daily struggle to fit in. I answered the Autism Quotient (AQ) questionnaire at the back of the book, scoring 28 out of a possible 50 (the average bloke scores 17 while 80% of people on the autism spectrum score 32 or above). A high but not autistically high score is just about what I expected. I dislike (and am very bad at) planning and organising; that took a few points off my total. But maybe because I was never diagnosed as a kid, I came into contact with mainly neurotypical people so some of their traits might have rubbed off on me.

On Monday I spoke to Gran in her home, although she no longer knows where she is. She lives in a dreamworld. Since she went to hospital at the end of last year she's been in rapid decline. It's sad for someone who had such a brilliant mind to deteriorate like this, but that's old age I guess. I'm so glad I was able to see her last year; she might not have known whether it was New York or New Year, but she was still very much Gran as I remembered her. My dad flies out to the UK next Monday - I don't envy him one bit.

I've felt things get on top of me today. I really just need a good sleep.

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