A Work in Progress
"The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud."
My social-anxiety filled personality has given me brutally honest mouth ever since I started school. I tell people the hard truth and sometimes it is not always positive. I considered it great at being independent and making my own choices because of this trait. I believed thinking for yourself is probably the greatest work any person can ever achieve. I grew up in a household where my parents taught me to never let anyone define my career goals and ambitions, but it wasn't until the end of my Junior year of high school I realized I am not the only one making decisions for myself.
Life was simple growing up. I went to a private school with my older brother, had two incredible parents, and a great home. It was then where my life took a sharp turn and got a little crazy however. My little brother was born and diagnosed with Autism. I never truly understood what this meant and how it affected him until I was became older but having a brother with Autism is not the easiest thing to handle. It consisted with biting, scratching, pinching, screaming, and meltdowns. I never loved him any less although sometimes it was frustrating.
People would come up and tell me how I am such an amazing sister; how I am great at taking care of my younger brother. It was odd, figuring that he was my brother. I am going to try to be the best I can be especially with the issues he's going through. I was also told that I should work with children with Autism either in therapy, or as an aid. I was constantly told this when I was younger, and it led me to believe that that was what I wanted to do.
High School was when I really started to realize who I was and what I wanted to be. It was where I discovered my passion for Theater. Which took a halt on the other career ideas I had. Telling my parents that I wanted to switch to a theater degree was an obvious shocker to them. Especially since doing theater or any sort of acting isn't the most reliable job. For the most part, they were on board, but really suggested that I doubled majored, just in case. I happily agreed and was just going to stick with business, but I then discovered ASL (American Sign Language) and started to slowly teach myself the basics.
I knew some signs because we used to sign with Daniel, but I started to get in more-depth. I soon decided that interpreting was going to be my second major. Although it seems as if I had my career plan set in stone at the beginning of my high school years, I did not come up with this until the beginning of my senior year. This was all triggered by one event that happened in my class the year before.
Each student is required to do a presentation, in front of the class, about any topic of their desire at the end of the year.
The purpose of this was to help the students with public speaking. I decided to talk about my brother and Autism for my speech. I wanted to give my classmates a more in depth understanding about the topic. I tried to put in as much information as possible with the little time I had. The teacher came up and talk about how well the student did and point out the positive and negative aspects of the speech at the end of each presentation. When I was finished with mine, the teacher came up and started to give the rundown. To sum it up he said that I gave a great presentation and that it was obvious that it was a topic I was well informed in and was passionate about, but it wasn't until the end of his critiques that he asked me something that bothered me.
He asked if I was planning on working with people with Autism as a career. I did not remember what he said word for word, but I specifically remember how persistent he was about me having that career. It was more like he was telling me rather than asking. Even after I told him that I had a totally different plan in mind, yet he still went on about what I should be doing.
Looking back at the situation, it honestly was not that big of a deal but something about the whole scenario really upset me. Maybe I was annoyed with the fact of my teacher telling me what I should be doing, or maybe I was tired of people in general telling me what to do. I used to tell people what they wanted to hear because I didn't want to upset them. I was nervous to let them know what I wanted to do because I feared their judgement.
I have a brutally honest mouth, and if I were to be completely honest to the people in my life, I would tell them how I really felt. I do not want any career that involves with therapy for Autism. Is it because I do not like my brother or his Autism? No, of course not. It's because I grew up with it, and I know how hard it has been for everyone in my family.
I understand what it takes and how much patience it requires. I am my own person with my own plans. I will always love and take care of my little brother for the rest of my life but working with other people with his same issues is not the job I am going to take just because other people believe I should.