This morning I was thinking back to my experience with the students the other day as well as a question that was asked, "What made you want to be a motivational speaker?"
The answer I gave to that question, at the time, was only a sliver of the reason. I've done 295 presentations now and in a way it feels as if I have been doing this forever although this most certainly isn't the case. Then, earlier this morning, I stumbled upon a blog in Poland that did a review of the Polish version of my book. It's such an honor to say my work has been translated! Anyway, I translated the Polish blog I found and the writer of that article mentioned that my reason for writing was simply for the world to understand as I felt alone and isolated from the world.
It's hard to remember those days for me. I've only been speaking for not even three years and yet it feels as if it's been my entire life. Forgotten are the nights I spent wondering if anyone would understand me. Forgotten are the nights where I yearned for just one person to know me not for who I wasn't but for who I am. The only thing I wanted was for someone, anyone, and hopefully everyone to understand me.
These thoughts bring me to my presentation at the school on Monday. In yesterday's post I proudly proclaimed that the future is bright. It wasn't until I read the translated Polish blog that I realized that what I wanted all those years ago is exactly what I am doing now.
There were several questions from students that had Asperger's at that presentation on Monday and when they asked their questions they asked it in a way that showed no fear. This alone, okay I must admit I just got massively choked up because this shows that they felt more comfortable with who they were as well as how their question would be taken by the group. Personally, if I don't feel comfortable I'm not asking any question in a group that has anything to do with myself. And yet when the questions were asked, or when a student gave a personal example of how Asperger's plays out in him there was no laughter, no looking down upon but just an ever growing sense of understanding.
I have no idea how my life and social life would have been different if there was that bit of understanding when I was going through school. As I mentioned at the start of this blog, it does feel as if I have been doing this forever when really I am still relatively new at this whole thing. Somewhere within me is still that person from eight years ago screaming silently desiring nothing more than an ounce of understanding. Without understanding how can a person have compassion? We are in a constant state of increasing the awareness but we are still a long way away from reaching everyone, but I'm sure there are others like myself out there today wanting nothing more than just an ounce of understanding.