Saturday, May 14, 2016

My First Year Back at Home

It has been exactly one year (and six days) since I left the University of Central Missouri and the town of Warrensburg after graduating with a bachelor's degree while leading aand blazing a trail for people starting social network for autistics, promoting and supporting autistic culture and autism acceptance in a town where the people had never heard of neurodiversity, Autism Acceptance Month, or Light It Up Gold, and left behind the wisdom I gained from Johnson County Community College on leading a collegiate autistic community to several influential staff, students, and Warrensburg residents in the name of the Autistic Culture, while the UCM and Warrensburg have seen an increase in autistic students and families with autistic children moving to the town. After that I started a two year Disability Studies certificate program at UMKC, while dealing with a huge void of leaving behind such an incredible chapter of my life. However, over the last few days, I have looked at how I have spent my time in the year and six days since I have left and came back home and realized since that time I have:

-gotten halfway through my Disability Studies program
-worked nearly forty forty hour work weeks
-got my first car
-signed up for a health care plan and found a primary care physician in my area
-got together with Tyler and Jack three times, Tyler twice, Jack once, my friend Erin three times, and my friend Nick from high school once
-ditched a former friend who constantly talked down to me, belittled my accomplishments, kept accusing me of being all about myself, and scathing me with five page long Facebook comments, and messaged me until 1:30 in the morning.
-spoke in front of two groups of campers at Camp Encourage for autistic youth this summer
-got involved in the Arc of Douglass County/Self-Advocate Coalition of Kansas
-went all of April (Autism Acceptance Month) not wearing the color blue for the first time because of the color's use in April to promote medically modeled autism organizations that pay so much to executives and genetic testing and so little to autism services and have almost no autistic leadership, while posting selfies of my doing so everyday
-finished reading nine different books, as well as two Platte and Munk Co. books on different cultures, and started on at least fourteen other books
-read forty-one graphic novels and started two other ones
-drew over thirty pictures and did seven paintings and eleven watercolor drawings in my art class
-made about one hundred forty-seven coasters from receipts, ten bottle cap signs, four or five tambourines from bottle caps, a picture from bottle caps, a bottle cap cross, bottle cap fish, three toilet paper roll wall pieces, a sign made from straws, a wallet made from a book dust jacket, a mandala (meditative image) from plastic bags, started on a heart wall piece made from straws, and worked on a belt made from plastic bag yarn (plarn)
-made one thousand produce bags into plarn for a blanket for a homeless individual, twenty produce bags into plarn for a friend of mine, and over several hundred grocery bags into plarn
-sold two sets of receipt coasters and one bottle cap wall fish
-came up with nine new ideas for novels and three autistic fairy tales
-wrote sixteen new poems, one new song, seventeen blogposts and started writing at least nine of the ideas I have for novels, my three fairy tales, nine other poems, one blogpost, one song, three other books, and two other snippets of writing I couldn't fit into any other project of mine
-worked on my novels all but three days for the last four months
-went one time, when I had the time, to one of the meetings of the autistic student organization I started at JCCC
-fed Peter and scooped his litter box almost everyday for the last eight months, mowed the lawn in the summers, emptied and reloaded the dishwasher nearly every week
-disovered how teaching disability history in school could help future parents of disabled children to know what resources exist for their children and that modifying our television viewing habits could someday lead us to have politicians who have the experience and understanding to do more for their disabled citizens, as well as the fact that there are even people in the autistic culture who can make a business of helping autistic people with their troubles, and as such, do not want the autistic people to rise above their troubles, as that would mean these people would lose their livelihood.

Not only this, but I managed to do it while having an old woman crash into me while making a left turn, on-line mobs of cyber trolls, and getting fleebites from a colony that launched in my bedroom. Looking back, I truly believe that I have really managed to adjust well to this new chapter of my life. I have left a great one behind, after finishing another great chapter, and am ready for many more that await me.