Around 9 years old, I could already tell that most people experienced life very differently than I did. However, I suspected that there might be a few whose experiences were closer to mine, or almost matching, if we found ourselves in matching situations.
Every once in a while I would spot a stranger, or sometimes a minor character in a movie or play, and imagine that she might be one of the humans who felt like me. I imagined us having similar motivations, reaction patterns, past experiences, and perspectives.
I had a word for such people: A “me.” I’d see them and say to myself, “I wonder if she’s a me.”
Late in my twenties, I learned that it wasn’t just my imagination. I really do see the world differently, and was trying to spot others who share my neurotype. I even labeled it correctly, since “autism” comes from the Greek word for “self.”
Once I knew where to look, I found that the world is full of me’s.