Feb 15, 2013 0 Share

Lucky Man


Newspaper headlines of job ads.
iStockphoto

“Kerry, what would you like to do when you grow up?” 

Oh how I loathe this question. 

After finishing my graduate courses a few weeks ago, I’ve been in a state of uncertainty. For many this is the time of the big transition from student to employee. For adults with autism this can be seen as an even bigger transition. So I’m taking some time to apply to several places and weigh my options. 

During this time I’ve also gone around my hometown of Jersey City and set up interviews with executives in businesses to gain information. It’s one of those things I’ve done ever since I was a kid. Asking questions and talking is something I never seem to stop doing. I’ve learned a lot in the past few weeks but I’m still overall in that place of uncertainty. 

I think that’s part of the nuts and bolts about my autism specifically. I’m very data-oriented and I like to have more information than less every single time. My undergraduate degree in Business and then my Master’s in Strategic Communication have left me with what seems to be an endless amount interesting fields to investigate, but also the opportunity to overthink the decision of how to head in any one direction. 

While this has all been going on, I have also been thinking about how blessed I am to have potential opportunities available to me. A few days ago I was having a conversation with someone in housing development and while I was telling them about my background I blurted out … 

“Honestly, just looking at where I was, to where I am now… I’m really lucky to be where I am today.” 

It’s weird because as many times I’ve said this aloud, I don’t know if really ever thought about this and taken it to heart. It has been a revelation for so many reasons because it has made me even more confident about the one thing I want to keep doing which is helping others. This has better helped my understanding of what I want to do in terms of nonprofit work. I hope this leads me to continuing my work, even in a part-time capacity, with autism advocacy groups. 

As much as my world starts to change as I take off the student hat and replace it with the other, I need to remain cognizant of who I am and what has gotten me to this point. It’s the big thing with our autism community. We want something constant which can give us even the smallest sense of comfort. Autism advocacy is my constant. By continuing this work and approaching every day one day at a time the question of “what would you like to do when you grow up” will at least start to look less scary than before.