”If you have a degree…why do you work in a supermarket?”

Have you ever had a moment where someone says something to you that makes you ask yourself…have I made all the right decisions in life…or am I a failure at it?

I am a 27 years old man with mild Autism and for most of my life, it has felt like an uphill battle and that’s just to prove that I can do even the most basic of tasks as many have cast doubts on me since day one and part of me feels my childhood was one where I never had time to decide what I really would like to do with my life, I was too busy being asked what was wrong with me for so many years…it turned out I had Autism.

With Autism can come labels from everyone which include

  • Anti Social
  • No Jobs
  • Not being married
  • Never having sex
  • Living with Parents
  • No expectations

However, since I turned 16, I feel like I was able to do things for myself, such as making decisions about my life and since then, I have done the following.

  • Married
  • Had sex
  • Have a 2:1  University degree and an award for Overall Achievement
  • Have a job
  • Have good friends and family
  • Have had a short story published in a competition

That doesn’t sound bad in my honest opinion but my job is working in a supermarket and that was because of money…it was cheaper to move back to where my girlfriend lived then stay in the city where I went to University and at the time, not many places were hiring…that included being at McDonald’s for a month but I didn’t like that so I left and went to a supermarket in town where I am still to this day, I enjoy it…the staff are nice and most of the customers are as well but after a while you wonder what you are doing with your life.

I want to be an author someday, have my stories be in stores and online, I can dream right? I mean I did enter a contest in University and had my story go into a book with other writers…better than nothing right? Yet when that customer said the quote at the top of this blog…I couldn’t help but feel…ashamed…like it was bad to be working in such a place when I had a degree…she would go on to say how her daughter was a solicitor…which was nice and all but when people rub it in your face…you struggle to keep the smile on your face because 9/10 people are nice but you always get that 1 who is in a mood, boastful or just ignores you the entire transaction.

I always tell myself that it won’t be forever, I’ll get somewhere else someday because I don’t want to spend the rest of my life at the tills…I know people who have been in that place since before I was born which is alright for them but not for me, I want to try and do more with my life…but will my Autism hold me back? Will others see it as a hindrance as they did once in my childhood?

Me and my wife have talked about wanting to start a family soon but I feel so nervous about that because of how I am…I would be gutted if my children grow up to see me the way I am…I don’t want them to look at me with pity someday because of my job or something…I want them to be proud! For all I know, I could be worrying over nothing and overtime, I’ll go on to better things…who knows maybe I’ll get that book published and feel like I’ve found my calling because at one point in my life, I was told I would amount to nothing by those around me, made to feel like I would never grab that brass ring and do anything meaningful with my life.

When it is my time to leave this world, I want to know that I didn’t waste my life…that I didn’t listen to the doubters and that I left my mark in someway. Maybe I just need to cheer up a little…I mean I haven’t blogged as much in a while…life getting on top of me I guess! I have to keep going though…writing is everything to me…it was the one thing that kept me going through all the dark days. Not able to put words to a canvas of any kind would be soul crushing for me! I feel like someday…I’ll write something that will leave a mark on everyone in some way…I don’t know what it could be but I always just have that…feeling.

1 Comment

  1. Thank you for this posting. I saw a number of things in it that had me thinking we are in some ways kindred spirits but the one that stood out was “writing is everything to me”. I am sure our reasons for feeling this way are different but my few attempts to write for publications produced only one that ever saw light in a national magazine and my blog though in existence for years does not have many followers. However without this outlet, my life would be that much less. At 71 I am nearing the end of life’s road and my daily life is void of purpose but I hold on to the art of writing as a buoy to mark my continued direction in life. I now too wonder what my legacy will be and am adrift hoping that buoy will point the way.

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