It’s Thursday, September 23, 2010 and my life seems completely knew. For the last several days, I’ve been riding an endorphin high rivaled only by the one I felt when my husband and I first moved to Southern Oregon nearly four and a half years ago. Many, many of my friends from all seasons of my life think this is a good idea, agree with me that this is, indeed, my calling.
On Monday, after my epiphany, I wrote a Facebook message to a large group of people who had responded to an earlier post about wanting to change my life. In the message on Monday, I poured out my realization. I had described my weeks of prayer. I listed off the questions I had already come up with for which I would need to now search for answers, and I tried to explain how this seemingly out-of-the-blue conclusion had come about from reading that catalyst CNN article.
More people than I ever would have guessed wrote back to support my inspiration and new ambition. A few were more cautious in their enthusiasm. My pragmatic aunt wanted to make sure this was something I didn’t mind looking hard into before I jumped in with both feet and my cousin, herself the mother of an autistic child and one of the people to whom I’d opened myself long before trusting almost anyone else, wanted to get answers to some of her own unique worries including, “Are you logical enough for this, because autistic children often think very linearly?” (I always got great scores on logic tests.) “Do you think you’re capable of compartmentalizing your emotions well enough to keep from driving everyone in your personal life crazy with the baggage you will otherwise bring home with you?” (Hmm, well, I know I’m not good at sparing my husband from every detail of my work triumphs and woes, but other than him…) “Have you thought about being an art therapist specializing in autism instead of an ABA therapist?” (No, but I’ll add it to my research list.)
She and I actually talked on the phone on Wednesday while I took my break in my car. I had let my honesty show a little more than usual and had decided to send her an e-mail that I imagine she could have written with all her worries and reservations about this new idea of mine. God bless her! She said she laughed very hard while reading it.
My aunt in Louisiana has written me a series of heartfelt responses. Turns out her sister has an autistic daughter (I never knew that until now.) and she feels, not only that I would be fantastic for this work, but wants to point out that I can also become an autism advocate and help people in my area and across the country. Her sister has wanted to write a book and here a writer (I) am showing interest in this area. Perhaps I can collaborate? Yes, perhaps I can!
Last night, I created a shell website and purchased www.daybreakautism.com, and now I am pointing that URL to the shell in order to get an e-mail address to use to start my new blog. Responses are still pouring in on e-mail and Facebook from those with whom I’ve shared this idea. So many positive responses! It seems clearer and clearer that this is where I’m supposed to go. I find a response now from a contact I received from my friend Nikki who has two autistic boys. She gave me the name of the school, its website and her contact there where her two boys spent their pre-school days getting the therapy and attention they needed. The e-mail response from the person at the school is positive. She would like to meet with me and has plenty of volunteer opportunities for me. I call the number in the e-mail immediately and end up leaving a message for her.
From here on in, the real research is about to begin.