PRIDE

This might come across as a boastful post. But hey, let’s face it…you are the one
who decided to read it. I am proud of quite a few things in my life. First off, I am
proud of being able to survive through multiple surgeries. Starting when I was four
months old, I have survived two heart surgeries (one of which I flat-lined during),
arm surgery, and being stretched out 3 inches on a table. While the last one is not
technically a “surgery” per se, it still hurt enough to the point where I started
convulsing. I am also very proud of my beautiful city of Baltimore. This is sheer
hometown pride. Baltimore has seen its share of “rainy days”, so to speak, but we
always pull through. Not necessarily about me, but I am extremely proud of my
sister in Philadelphia. She is a nurse extern at a hospital in Philly and a straight A
student. Kudos! My sister is one of those people who has worked her ass off to get
to where she is today and I, for one, could not be prouder of her! My other sister
works for IBM and graduated from Drexel. Like my youngest sister, I am very
proud of her and I am honored to call them family.

I am also proud of all my accomplishments in life. These range from graduating 8th
grade and High School to the work I am doing in the Autism community. I am
proud to be involved with great Autism organizations recognized throughout the
State of Maryland. I got an award for my advocacy work back in April of 2019 and
I am so honored to have been recognized by my co-workers and fellow advocates.
I am also proud, controversial as this might sound, to be associated with Autism
Speaks. Now before you rip me to shreds in the comment section, let me elaborate.
I know a woman named Fay who works for Autism Speaks. She and I are, I guess
you can say, acquaintances. We met in DC in 2017 and have kept in contact since.
I had the amazing, incredible, and once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to attend the
unveiling and premier of the Autistic Muppet on Sesame Street, Julia. This event
was held at the Capitol Building in Washington, DC in April of 2017. I grew up
watching Sesame Street, and have no shame in admitting I watched the Julia
premier episode. Without Fay and Autism Speaks, I never would have gotten that
rare and unique opportunity.

I am so grateful for the love of my life, Allie. She has been there with me through
it all for damn near a decade. Like me, Allie is also on the Spectrum so we can
relate to each other. I have no idea how I ever managed without Allie, honestly.
She has helped me through so much in our 7 ½ years of dating. I owe her more
than I can ever say and more than she will ever know. I am so incredibly proud and
honored to even know a woman like Allie, let alone get to boast about dating her.
Allie, if you are reading this, I am so proud to call you mine and this post is for
you.

Lastly, I am proud that I have such a supportive family. I’m going to take it a step
further than my “real” family for this one. Sorry, “real” family… I love my sisters,
mom, dad, cousins, everyone in my family more than anything. I am proud to be
part of their lives. I am also proud to think that my “work” family, namely my
bosses at my advocacy job, think so highly of me. My boss at my advocacy job
does not consider me a “co-worker” or as “just another employee”. She regards me
as a “friend”. I know this because she has called me her friend a few times. I am so
lucky to have people outside my circle of friends and family that think the world of
me. I would not change my status or standing as of right now for anything! So to
all of you who have helped make me into the person I am today, thank you and I
am so proud to know each and every single one of you!

Author: AuTom Spectrum Blog

I have Autism and am a self-advocate and public speaker. On the side I do stand-up comedy. I live in Baltimore County and have an AMAZING girlfriend

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