Today was relatively spent focusing on completing my filters project in Adobe Photoshop for my multimedia design class. I'm proud to say that it's completed and ready for presentation tomorrow. I don't think I'm as artistic as my classmates and my instructor I'm sure hates me and dislikes my work because he's grades two of the first three projects down. I'm not planning on becoming a professional designer so I really don't want my work to be competing with those of my classmates'.
Tonight I attended the first commission meeting since Doug Huneke's retirement. I pray for Pastor Barb that God won't tax her or give her more of an overload than she can handle. I care about Barb and want her to be happy without being taxed with assuming the additional church responsibilities she now has as interim head pastor. My other concern is that I want to grow in my responsibilities at Westminster Presbyterian Church and would like the staff (Barb, Bethany, Nicole, and Ted) to take my requests seriously. Unless graduate school happens and takes me out of the Bay Area in the next couple of years, I would like to take a greater leadership role, starting as chair of the Congregational Life Committee which I'm now serving on, to becoming a Deacon and then possibly an Elder--in that order. I want to show the staff I have potential and what isn't clear to me is whether they think I can eventually handle it or whether they think my disabilities would get in the way. I think the key to all of this is learning all the Congregation members' names, and networking. Serious networking. I don't mind emptying the trash at various church functions, but I'm hungry to take on more advanced responsibilities that have more complexity and have greater breadth. I want to specifically show Barb and Bethany that I have the metal to assume this level of responsibility. I would love to take a greater role playing the piano or doing something greater in weekly Sunday worship such as preach a sermon or read scripture. I have talents that the church hasn't tapped me for and hope that this will soon happen, but the idea has to sound good to staff. I would love to be given a piano solo to 0lay in service to... one that the church wants and gives me to play. By the time Barb retires in two or three years, I will have wanted my chance to make my mark at Westminster and do something that Barb will positively remember me for.
In past and recent blogs, I've emphasized how having a disability makes me feel lost at sea and feel as if I can't do anything. But I don't believe that's true. Being in my thirties, it's time for me to make my talents known and be put to use. I have plenty of them, but my fear is that people think because I have disabilities, I'm "less than". I'm hungry for more experience. I'm hungry to break the barriers put to me being on the autistic spectrum. I'm tired of people saying, "oh, that's just Jesse". Every single aspect of my life is screaming at me to change, to produce, and to become better and more than what I am. I want to reach that mark where I do whatever it takes to never be seen in the old ways, and to be seen with greater respect and pride. I give myself that. But I have to demonstrate it. It is frustrating.
I want the graduate degree, the condo, the girlfriend, the engagement, and eventually a family. I want to be making enough family to support an eventual wife and family. But more than perhaps any of that: I want to make my mark on the world and make a major contribution of some kind that makes the world a better place. I fel like a lot of people including my family, have their dounts about how much I can achieve and the f*** with that!
The movie "The Lion King" may be illustrate how I feel. I want to be that cub that turns into a roaring, lean, fighting lion that stands on Pride Rock and is determined to succeed. This has been what's been going through both my head and my heart in the last several days. I want to be that regal, fierce, loving lion that gets respect in the jungle. I don't want to be handed this. I want to earn this role, but have mentors who help me get there. I want WPC staff to take me seriously and to offer me steps that will lead to this. I want to succeed in my internship with COTS and in whatever new placement I land, show complete empathy and problem solving skills that don't interfere with my having Asperger's.
I want and am determined to be that cub that turns into a lion. I want--more than anything--to become king of my jungle and to fight for the rights and the hearts and lives' of others. I want God to show me the way and not let me down. I am determined to be taken seriously!