Laurel Hill State Park Willis Pavilion
Adulting, Independence

Adulting: Expected Maturity and Expectations

In most cases, when you come of age and become an adult, if you are able in the capacity that you are able, it is expected that you explore the possibility of being employed to some extent. However, my mind many times thinks that I don’t need to do that, even though I know that is not the case.

As ironic as it may sound, I have been employed or engaged in an employment-seeking program in some capacity since I was 18. With the exception of a handful of months at two intervals, I have not been idle at home nor engaged in outside activity and while I might think of it being the ultimate dream, I somehow deeply know that it wouldn’t be healthy for me. It has been experienced twice in my life and when it did, it wasn’t pleasant and ultimately resulted in me returning to the day program that I know.

While at times being engaged in the dynamic that I must be involved in so I can obtain my employment services can be challenging and be hard to see the positive in the situation, I must realize that without it, I wouldn’t be as mentally well as I am today as a result of those services. Many times I chant about making a quick exit and wanting to not be engaged in anything, I do not see the big picture and the inability of not having the added benefits that I am accustomed to would result in. I would not have the ability to have the financial freedom alone to make some of the food or reading choices I am used to because I wouldn’t have the means to do so.

When I am in a mind frame of all-or-nothing thinking (autistics are and I am no exclusion,) all I can see is the ticket to what I think will be as to get rid of something that I think is a problem, but in reality it is not and deep down I know I need it or my ability to live the life I am living would be worse or non-existent.

It can be hard to hear that when professionals and family tell me that it is expected that many go through the motions of life, even though they many times do not want to and not having to do so would be an ultimate dream of theirs, it simply for many reasons cannot happen. While I may think that not having the responsibilities that I presently have will void my mind of undue worry and stress will somehow make my life easier, it can somewhat be further from the truth. I need the engagement in order to occupy my evermoving mind that constantly fills with information and needs a way to process and move it around to good uses as I do.

Even on my day off, I know that I am needed in many capacities both in terms of my employment and day program because often in my home life I am receiving emails and texts following up on things that need my attention and work to some extent. I have many talents to offer both entities and as such I know they can be put to good use to their own extent. Therefore I must realize that it is imperative to not give in to the inner voice to tell me to “take my toys and go home” because I do not like something the way it is. In reality, I have to realize that I am a very talented individual and can use my gifts in many ways and while I never think that being engaged in activity outside of my home is beneficial or wanted, in reality it is deeply needed and sought by those that wish to have my intellect and I am deeply valued for what I can provide to benefit my employer and day program with my talent and intellect.

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