Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
A New Year
As one-year ends, and another begins. I feel imbalanced and at a loss of direction, a loss of self awareness.
As I lay down in deep thought, reflecting on both the high and low moments of my life; realizing that I am way too hard on myself. I am not a robot. I need to step back occasionally to appreciate all the hard work that I do. Also, to acknowledge that I have a happy son.
Life can be hard and get serious at times. So, it is important to have some scope of self awareness, be present and live in the moment.
I hope that when my son is older, he will gain more self belief. Likewise, I want him to have an equal opportunity to achieve whatever he wants to accomplish in life.
I feel that today, children have it harder. Just think about it…they have to compete with machines as well as each other for jobs. A delusional reality where we feel like we must strive for perfection. So, what happens to those made to feel like they were born at a disadvantage because of their social environment? Those with physical disabilities and those who struggle to read, write, and interpret information and social cues? Where does this leave them? That is why it is necessary to advocate. That is why it is important to discuss mental health too.
We are all people without a manual just trying to do our best in life without knowing the result.
Everyone has a perception of a place or a person. Like a piece of art. An artist has an idea of what their masterpiece conveys. However, people have their own interpretation on what the art piece represents.
This does not mean that the artist has to modify their piece of art to what another person interprets it to be.
Just like my son, when I mention that he is autistic, some people have (in the past) a certain perception of him. After knowing him, they then realize that autistic people are truly diverse. They begin to understand that autism is not an illness but another way of viewing the world.
One thing that I have worked hard on together with my son is mental health and wellbeing and for him to have his own identity. He sometimes gets upset when he makes mistakes with his writing. So, whenever I make a mistake, I point this out to him and say it is ok, I make mistakes too. I do not ever want him to feel that it is only him making mistakes.
I have been told many times that I could not do or achieve what I wanted to. As a young child, my mum was told that I was being lazy when it came to schooling. Later, I was assessed at university, which concluded that I’m dyslexic.
At secondary school, the headteacher advised me not to bother choosing subjects for my A-levels. He felt that I was going to fail my GCSE’s. When I picked up my test results, the first grade that I saw was an A. (thinking that they gave me someone else’s paper, but in fact, it was mine).
At university, my placement coordinator said that I was too shy to choose a work placement in America. Furthermore, she said that I should focus on the UK placements. When I had an interview for an American placement, I was their first choice. I worked a year in Orlando Florida, which was a once in a lifetime opportunity. I had gained more self awareness throughout the years, and confidence in myself.
As a youth, I felt I had to prove to others I could achieve what they thought I could not; but, as I grew older, I realized that the only person I have to prove that to is me.
With my son, he shouldn’t be told what he can and cannot achieve in the future. The future is unknown. More than anything, understand the importance of children to dream.
To everyone, dream big and start the new year with no expectations. Be kind to yourself and know that you are doing a great job.
*The contents in this post is based on my views and personal experience.