And now we’re here…
Just as the title of this chapter says above…my current situation.
And where I’m at now…I thought I would’ve never come to.
To think that research said nearly 20 years ago that I could never thrive on my own…MAN, THAT RESEARCH WAS WAY WRONG!
But today…I have a full-time job that I love, I live on my own (well, I live without my parents, that is, because I have four roommates right now), and I am finally a grown, independent man who is able to look after myself and take care of myself. And I should add onto that…there are thousands of autistic adults doing the same. Many of the autistic advocates and influencers I currently follow on social media are doing, and have done, the same thing. They’re making strides, breaking barriers, proving their naysayers wrong…YOU NAME IT! There is absolutely NOTHING on this planet that autistic people can’t do.
Of course, there are still the challenges, not just for me, but for ALL OF US, but I think as long as I stay positive, I’ll get to the places and the dreams I am trying to make true for myself..and hopefully others. And the real start to chasing these dreams has already begun.
A week before graduating college, I accepted a job as a TV station producer in Eugene, Oregon. In order to avoid any conflict of interest, I will not be giving out the name of the TV station. But maybe someday I will…way down the road when I’m off to a different career, if that ever happens at least.
As I briefly touched on in Chapter 2, two ladies who I went to WSU with currently work at the TV station with me. Again, to avoid any conflict of interest and out of respect for their privacy, I will not give their names out (if you’re one of the two people who’s reading this, though, you know who you are, and I think YOU’RE AWESOME!). But I can’t tell you how exciting it has been to work alongside them in my very first full-time career job out of college. These two people graduated a year before me, so when I first came to my job, they had already been at the station for a year.
So, they were able to provide me with not only a personal connection since I knew them already, but experience that I certainly needed as the so-called “new guy.” And so far, I have had nothing to say but good things about the job I have. Unlike in the movies and TV shows where they treat new people on the job like crap and berate them, it’s not like that in real life. In this case, it’s nothing even close to that at my job. In the long run, everyone wants you to learn and get better. They point out your mistakes in an open and honest way, but they do so with an encouraging tone, teaching you step-by-step on how to be the best at what you can do.
Don’t get me wrong! Some days have been tough, but many days have been easy. And even on the hardest days, I don’t get flustered, I don’t get emotional, and I don’t EVER throw a hissy fit. In life, you have a choice. You can either respond to a tough situation by getting angry and impatient, OR you can breathe, take a step back, and look at all the progress you have made in your position so far. I choose the latter option because I know by handling a hard day calmly, I am able to humble myself enough to learn. I also think being in harder situations than most people throughout my life because of my autism has given me the knowledge and experience on how to handle them properly.
But aside from my job, I think my personal life has been very positive lately, especially since moving to Eugene. It was very hard to move away from the WSU area, since I made so many memories in just those two years on campus. But I also understood that in life, you have to move on and go forward. Because, like I said all the way back in Chapter 1, IF YOU DON’T MOVE FORWARD, YOU GET STUCK LIKE CEMENT! So when I moved to Eugene, I really didn’t have a lot of friends to spend time with, since the area was new to me and I didn’t really know anyone out there.
I hinted earlier in this chapter that I currently have four roommates. They are all in a friend group together, and go to the University of Oregon. They admitted to me that they were slightly nervous at first to be getting a brand new roommate they didn’t know, but once they got to know me, and saw how laid back and chill I was, they’ve now accepted me and talk to me every time we’ve seen each other.
I think they’re still, in some ways, getting used to me, since I’m still a new person to them, but I know our friendships will become stronger over time. But I also believe I’ve applied a lot of what I had learned as a student at WSU to how I interact with my roommates now. The lessons that my first roommate Patch showed me, as well as some of my other friends and acquaintances in college, has taught me how to be more of a laid back person, instead of a tense, uptight one who chooses to overload himself with work.
Now let me be explicitly clear, though: I am not saying work to me is unimportant. I have just learned how to have a life balance between work and hanging out with friends. My dad has always taught me that anything in excess is not good. In this case, working too much isn’t good, and spending too much time with friends isn’t good. Everyone has to learn when work time is work time, and when relaxation time is relaxation time. Besides, I know that I am at my best on the job when I have that life balance with me.
And with these positive things happening to me in my life, I am able to devote more time to my business, something that I have both a love and a passion for. During my time in college, I tried to work on some parts of my business, but it was very difficult because, of course, school is always the number one priority. But now that I’m out of school for the time being, I can literally get home from my job, and tackle an hour or two of work on my company and influencer campaign, since I don’t have to worry about school work when I get home.
All in all, I love life right now, and it is going FANTASTIC! And I hope all my friends and family are feeling the same as well. And if you’re reading this right now, and you’re not in the best place in life, I’m not going to repeat the same advice you’ve heard thousands of times by simply saying, “It will get better.” But instead, I’ll say this: you have so much time ahead of you, and it is never too late to improve yourself as a person, and correct your wrongs and turn them into rights. And hey, if you think the sky is falling, then the sky is falling. But if you think the sky is rising, then the sky is rising. However, action speaks louder than words. You can think positively, but you need to execute…and that’s by putting the work in. And really, this is how you get to the best point in your life.
It’s just unfortunate how some people don’t want to listen to this advice and/or don’t put the work in, simply because they’re too lazy to. Whoever is reading this, I hope you don’t fall down that path of setting goals and being too careless to execute them. You all have a chance to make your “current situation” the best situation possible, like I’m doing right now. The real question is, “Will you follow through?”