Dreams and Boundaries
I vaguely remember as a young girl having watched alongside my father, a show airing on one of his favorite science-saturated television channels; this feature in particular depicting a child who had no means of communication except for pointing out letters to spell out what little there was of his answers and replies.
“A group of stars”. The definition to what a galaxy is, the quote that surprised the immediate loved ones of the child. They wondered what had been happening the entire time beforehand, how he was able to spell out such a sentence when all other chances of communication seemed futile.
Listening; personally defined as an act of sitting still while the world and everything among it changes around me. With listening, I become a vessel that absorbs perceptions by my senses. These perceptions are stored in memory, sitting in the back of the mind to boil, to develop, to mix with other ideas, and to finally become what little we remember of those strange abstract visions we call dreams. To others, these dreams are nothing more than blurs of strange visions we see in our sleep, something of little to no significance. However, to someone who perceives, and thinks upon the given perceptions, I see dreams as links, connecting the deeper darker mysteries of the mind to the vast bright spaces of reality. As someone who lives with high-functioning autism, I put quite the amount of thought into these dreams, as focusing on specific interests is one of my most prevalent of traits.
Autism is a larger umbrella than most would think; underneath the spectrum, everyone has their own distinct personalities, their own specified interests, their own dreams. I want to bring these dreams to light, hoping to provide a key that will allow us to see more of ourselves, and to have a better understanding of ourselves. I want to express these dreams in such an artistic way, I want so desperately to bring awe and inspiration for the masses of our generation, to add a splash of color to the tabula rasa of the world.
My eyes lay on a prestigious art school, Savannah College or Art and Design, one that has all the means to prepare me for the goals I want to reach, for the sake of sharing my inspiration with the world. The campus has a dreamlike aesthetic to it; integrated into a historical city, with large antique trees creating a canopy of leaves and umbrage over the narrow streets and sidewalks. The students there share my common ground and speak my artistic colloquial. While visiting the campus one day, I had met a student who had shared the high-functioning autism diagnosis. The reassurance is incredible, seeing one’s own kind in such a wonderful place. After that short visit, I have been strongly convinced that this is my niche, this is where I belong, and this is where I will thrive.
There are, however, some setbacks. The school itself is not necessarily a setback at all, save for the tuition upon revealing itself. One look at the numbers devastates me. It is a serious matter that can and will hurt my family financially; and it doesn’t help at all that my family is already struggling to maintain itself to begin with. My passions for my influences upon the future are powerful and passionate, but I love my family too much to bring them more hardship than necessary. I would feel forever guilty if attending there caused such damage to those that love me and support me, but at the same time, my hopes and dreams tug at me in the direction of progress, like an emotional and ethical tug-of-war.
I am headstrong in the idea that my purpose in life is to open the door to a new perspective. My dream is to debunk the stigmas and prejudices that often follow and haunt people with autism along with their loved ones. I want to prove that we as autistic individuals are not burdens; that we are not without emotions and passions; and that we are not useless or peculiar, and none of that can be done if I cannot make my mark somewhere in the world for all to look upon.