As is in the season of giving thanks, and Thanksgiving being a few days away, there’s a lot for me to be thankful for in my life. I am grateful for where I am and what joys I have currently in my life, the joys and sufferings of my past that have led me to where I am, and the hope for the future. Most importantly, I want to thank God, the creator of my life, including my yesterdays, today, and tomorrows, for all these things.
As we approach the end of the decade, there is a sense of looking back at ten years ago to now to compare. I think that is where I’ll start. I was in the 8th grade in the fall of 2009, and finished my time in junior high in 2010. It was a time of transition. I remember that somehow I was in yearbook club, among many other things. I remember that I was never really that much of a writer, and that when I got to high school I took Journalism for maybe a short week or two before dropping out. 8th grade was also the first time I played bass clarinet in Band. I stuck with the bass clarinet throughout my high school career and I enjoyed it. I haven’t played it since I left high school and I miss it. I don’t get the same satisfaction with my clarinet. I also got to attend my first ARD meeting, and I gained a better understanding of my disability in my education. I now realize that autism is not a disability ,but a different neurology that provides me with different abilities to give to serve others. I am thankful for these experiences because I now realize they prepared me to see what I truly like to do, and what abilities God has given me.
In the spirit of transitioning, I want to skip ahead a little to another four or five years, to another time of transition: the first two years of college in Fall of 2014 through Spring 2016. Adjusting to college life was hard for me. I started college in a stressful major that depleted me of who I am: Architecture. Ironically, I thought that is was made me who I was. My freshman year I struggled with a major that didn’t fit my talents or skills. I tried to build my faith, but it was sporadic as I spread myself between Ignite Texas, STRONG and Longhorn Awakening, all retreat-based organizations. I had to make a retreat of my own from that life. I didn’t want to retreat from the things I loved, but I had to find where God was truly calling me. In the end, I changed my major to Civil Engineering. It was not an easy transition, as I wanted to be in Architectural Engineering, but my GPA was not high enough at the time, and I said I wanted to be in Architectural Engineering in STRONG meetings. That last part made it confusing what my major was to my friends in STRONG. I didn’t want to get involved in Ignite Texas again my sophomore year. I stayed in STRONG and Longhorn Awakening, with these two organizations, both of which came from the University Catholic Center, helped me find community, strengthening my faith, and sharing my faith and love to others. This time period I’m thankful that I found a place to build God’s kingdom by building up infrastructure in both civilization and my church community.
Fast forward to today, I’m in another time of transition. I don’t know where I’m going next. Now, I’m just trying to work hard to keep my current job so I can move out next year. It’s going to take a little time as it did in the past. I’m still on contract at my job at Barry Engineering. I’m hoping that I can become a full-time employee and stay for at least four or five years. The thing is I feel clueless as I was back then in 8th grade, or college. That’s okay. I do not know if this is where I will be at the end of the year. I am grateful where I am. I am grateful for the friends I have made here in Houston. I got involved in a Young Adult Ministry at church where I was baptized: Epiphany of the Lord Catholic Church in Katy. The church my family attends now, St. Edith Stein Catholic Church, does not currently have a Young Adult Ministry. I hope that changes, but at the same time I’m grateful for the new friends I’ve made while my sister and I attend weekly bible study at Epiphany of the Lord. I’m more grateful that it provides me with a way to build my faith by seeing different perspectives. I’m also grateful that this group is quite supportive of disablities, as there tends to be quite a few people who are disabled. I am thankful for where I am because it mirrors the past and leads me to my future.
I do not know what this is leading me to in the future. All I have of the future is hope. Hope in the future that I will be serving others in my engineering job, using the talents God gave me, including my autism, and I can find a place in the community where I can strengthen others. I am in transition right now, and it might be enough. I might end up in something completely different in my life in the next year or so. That’s fine with me. The stronger hope remains in the resurrection, in renewal and in eternal life in God. That’s something to be thankful for.
In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.-1 Thessalonians 5:18
The Nerd of May