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“Forget ‘New Year, New Me.’ Here’s to ‘New Year, Real Me.’”

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www.additudemag.com

It’s that time of year again when the world screams, “New year, new you!”Every January, without fail, we are inundated with messages about transforming our apparent less-than-optimal selves into something better. (“Shrink your waistline in 30 days,” and “Power up your mental health with these protein shakes,” read the subject lines in my inbox, to name a few.)I have been trying to create a “new” me for most of my life.

The “old” me, according to most, was too quiet, too intense, too awkward, too sensitive, and too focused. The “old” me needed to chill out, calm down, and stop talking about my obscure passions all the time.

For nearly 40 years, I did what I had to do to stay safe — I masked the real me and became “new” when others demanded and expected it.That all recently changed for me when I was diagnosed with autism — an awakening that transformed everything about the way I see myself.So this year, I don’t want to be a “new” me.

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