Waiting for the Right Time
One of the best years of my life so far was 2013. Among some of the high points were: finishing my first book, continuing my writing at Autism After 16, graduating with a Master’s degree, getting my first full-time job at Autism Speaks, joining a panel for the Autism Society of America and starting a nonprofit organization. This was also a year that provided a lot of opportunities to celebrate good times with my friends and family. Something that stood out was the number of my friends who tied the knot! I saw Facebook status after Facebook status announcing another friend getting engaged.
I’m pretty excited about how well 2013 went for everyone. One New Year’s resolution I want to keep, however, is to not be pressured into getting married too soon. I also want to finish a short documentary on growing up on the autism spectrum, finish my second book, and continue to work on the rest of my ongoing jobs and projects.
As regards my first resolution, my initial thought for this was that just because my friends are getting married doesn’t mean I have to as well. One thing I’ve noticed from a lot of younger self-advocates is the pressure they feel to follow the trends of their peers, especially when it comes to relationships. With social media and the age of technology it seems like that pressure gets escalated at times because everything is more out there in the public eye.
Personally, I’ve had some great relationships and some bad relationships. What I’ve learned from putting myself out there though is that a relationship is a commitment. Before I can consider any of this I need to be able to commit. With my current schedule and workload I feel as though that would be almost impossible to do right now. It came to me a few weeks ago, while I was getting ready for a Halloween party, that I will be ready for it someday. That has made me feel really good about the thought of marriage.
Ever since I was a kid I knew I wanted to get married one day. Thinking about all the progress I made convinces me that anything is possible. As I get more comfortable with my work and more comfortable with transporting myself from place to place, I’ll be able to explore the possibility of a relationship. Then hopefully one day I can get married to someone I love deeply. This is something I know I want.
A final note to the young self-advocates out there: I encourage you to do what feels right for you. If you want to try to have a committed relationship, then you should do that. At the same time, if you don’t then that’s ok too. Temple Grandin has been an amazing role model for our community and has never wanted to get into a relationship. She is comfortable being just who she is. Doing what feels right for you is a great resolution! Set resolutions every year that will help you improve, make you feel comfortable in your own skin and maybe most importantly, that make you happy.