Spectrum-Coloured Glasses: The UXmas (W)Rap

Spectrum-coloured glasses

It’s gonna be a long day, I can feel it already
Sunlight burns my eyes, it’s hot and I’m sweaty
My head is spinning, feeling so tired
Fighting through brain fog, but simultaneously wired
Stressed out of my mind, for the day ahead
Can’t find my phone, is it under the bed?
Mouth is dry, what time is it? Seven?
Found my watch… Shit, it’s after eleven!
Trip over my cat, we can’t be late
If it happens again, they’re gonna call me a flake
Throw on a dress, drop my keys on the floor
Grab shoes and my bag, rush out the door.

Put your spectrum coloured glasses on
And see what I see
Put your spectrum coloured glasses on
And get to know me
Got ev’rything to prove, and ev’rything to lose
Welcome to my world; walk a day in my shoes

Restaurant is crowded, packed with loud people
I clearly learned nothing, from last year’s prequel
The room is spinning, feeling so dizzy
My heart is racing, worked up in a tizzy
Feeling overwhelmed, before I reach our table
Someone grabs my arm, my feet are unstable
Waiters come by, what the fuck is that smell?!
I’m going to be sick, stuck in this hell.

Start rocking my chair, trying to relax
My mind goes blank, from sensory attacks
Time to check out, I want to go home!
Someone asks a question, my cover is blown!
I can feel their eyes on me, what do I say?
Want to crawl under the table, wish they’d just go away!
Dessert rolls around, fruitcake on my plate
The texture, the aftertaste, and chalk icing I hate
Nails on a chalkboard, it grates down my throat
Someone gives me theirs, umm… Nope!
It’s finally over, I’m emotionally dead
Kick off my shoes, and go home to bed

That’s how it was, for 30 long years
Neglecting my needs, and fighting off tears
Hiding my thoughts, squeezing into a mould
Leaving my real self, out in the cold
Trashing my welfare, in more ways than one
Holiday season, was a bag of no fun
I finally learned, got an autistic brain
I do the holidays my way, and don’t feel ashamed
Walks alone, tacos for lunch
Lights in the trees, no family brunch
I see my parents, the day before
Tell them I love them, they love me more

I put my spectrum coloured glasses on
And I’m free to be me
I put my spectrum coloured glasses on
And I get what I need
Got nothing to prove, and ev’rything to gain
Embraced my new ‘normal’, turned my back on that pain.

Ashlea McKay

Ashlea McKay

Ashlea McKay is a Senior User Experience (UX) writer, researcher and keynote speaker with a background in industrial design. Ashlea is also Autistic and has held state and national level volunteer leadership positions in the Diversity & Inclusion space. Ashlea is the Chief Columnist and Co-Founder of UX advice column, UX Agony Aunt which can be viewed on the Optimal Workshop blog. A well respected UX thought leader, she is passionate about mentoring and is heavily involved in the global UX community. Ashlea is currently writing a book about her experiences and ideas as an Autistic UX professional. Based in Canberra Australia, Ashlea is an art and craft obsessed cat lady with a love of vintage fashion who missed her calling as a hairdresser, and can be found on Twitter.

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