A World of Possibilities

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Hi all,

Today’s post will be more of a life update post and if you follow me on Twitter you’ll likely be able to work out what this is about. This blogpost will discuss some of my thoughts regarding my life after I graduate as well as discuss some of the research I have done already. Maybe you will learn something as well.

I have been worrying about what I am going to do after I graduate for a lot for the past year. This worry is something that I am struggling to deal with because I feel like I am running out of time. I am due to start my final year of university soon and there is of pressure on final year students to decide their next path in life. There is a world of possibilities out there for young people hence there is the expectation that university graduates will continue their path in life into the workplace or further study.

For me, making this choice has been very hard due to there being too many possible routes I could pursue hence it has been very overwhelming for me. Furthermore, the lack of detailed guidance for people in my situation has made it very hard for me to decide the best course of action.

My research and self-analysis so far have led me to the following conclusions:

  • I will require accommodations due to my disabilities – which includes working from home.
  • I don’t know what career I want to pursue that could feasibly earn me a living.
  • My disabilities limit what careers I can pursue.
  • I do not wish to continue education just yet as I need a break from the education system and would like new challenges.
  • I will have to relocate but will also need some level of support.
  • I also realised I am a woman while I was in Japan and would like to start transitioning in my final year (I am still mostly closeted at the time of writing hence did not want to talk about this on my blog prior).

As you can tell, I am in a pretty complicated situation. I am trying my best to get answers but it has been exhausting. I managed to get a careers appointment for instance but the advice I got left me with more questions than answers. This includes the confusing idea that I may be restricting myself too much. I am trying to pace finding these answers so I do not overdo it to the detriment of my health and education. I only have so much free time and the answers are not going to come to me as soon as I would like.

Due to being autistic, I struggle to focus on other things (including relaxation) until I have the answer that I am looking for. This especially applies when a dramatic life change is the subject at hand. Self-discipline and getting a work-life balance are important skills to learn as they are required in order to work from home. I am getting the hang of this slowly but it isn’t easy.

Some things I have learned during my search have been interesting though. For instance, I have been reading up on UK law thanks to some of the research that has been done and there is legal protection for all my marginalised characteristics. There are also various sources of support out there for me whom I can go to advice across the country including services I was not aware of before. Furthermore, there are also job sites that are specially geared towards disabled people in the UK such as Evenbreak.

Additionally, there are a lot more UK regulations surrounding working from home than I first thought (as outlined here). For instance, an employer would need to conduct a health and safety check on the proposed working from home space before any home working is allowed. Furthermore, planning permission and tenancy agreements may need to be made or altered depending on what the circumstances are. The employer’s needs also need to be factored in just as much as the employees which means the employer needs to see benefits of me working from home too. This genuinely surprised me and will only serve to complicate my situation as many employers will decide to retract job offers when I ask for this accommodation.

I do plan to seek further, more detailed advice in the future due to my very specific situation from a variety of sources. Until then, I will try to enjoy my free time before I head back for my final year of being a student which will be my toughest year yet. I am hopeful that I can find my way in life.

That’s all for today.

Best wishes,
Subtle

(@subtlykawaii)

PS. If anybody has any links/stories/advice to share written by people like me that were in my situation (preferably people who are trans + autistic + disabled), please share them in the replies! Thanks 🙂

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Finding a Social Balance

(Featured image description: Five people are sitting round a desk in a classroom talking. There are notebooks and pens on the table.)

Hi all,

In this post I’m going to discuss something I had noticed in my time in Japan from a social perspective. This won’t tread the ground I discussed previously but I will talk about how other people perceive someone’s interest in socialising. This will focus on a Western cultural perspective.

To give some background information, I was in Japan for two whole semesters. In these semesters my social stances towards making friends were very different. In the first term I was very eager to make friends and went about trying to forge the connections by talking to people, going to clubs and more. People said hello to me when we saw each other in the halls. In other words, I had some success in forging the connections and establishing myself. I had been able to be socially present but it eventually came at the cost of an autistic burnout because I had acted neurotypical for too long.

Yet in my second term, the opposite happened. I wasn’t able to forge connections with other people and kept away from clubs and other social activities. I also eventually dropped the friendships I had forged with other students from the first term whom were still on campus for the second term. This is because I couldn’t maintain them as well as handle everything else I had to deal with. Hence, I was mostly ignored in halls and even in the classroom myself during some social activities. I had however managed to compose myself better and not enter another autistic burnout – in part due to mainly communicating over the internet rather than in person.

It’s worth noting I had been hit by the onset of the trauma from a traumatic incident and had to back away from socialising in general. This is so I could process my thoughts and learn how to cope so I didn’t harm other people due to being volatile. By the time I had recovered from this the semester was coming to an end and I didn’t see the point in trying to make friends at that point. No other student at my uni knew this. Either way what I had noticed first-hand was this important lesson.

If you’re not perceived to be taking an interest in others in a way that is subconsciously approved by the majority people won’t take an interest in you.

I think that is an important thing that many people have come to learn over the years especially autistic, mentally ill and other disabled people who don’t/aren’t able to communicate in the way that the majority approves of. This especially applies when said “approved ways of communicating” are vague and there are double standards and cultural differences to take note of as well. It isn’t fair and that means those with anxiety, poor social skills and/or members of marginalised groups are more likely to lose out and it’s sad.

For me, how best to counteract this leads to a question of trying to find a balance between socialising to make friends and advance my social standing in the community or to be by myself and talk to few people. Finding such a balance is important as once this is found I can use it to greatly improve my life chances (and maybe others too).

From my own experience, this is something I am slowly learning as the years go by and I experience life. This happens by making and losing friends through various approaches to socialisation. This also includes alongside not socialising at all which includes letting certain friendships go as they no longer become healthy and/or sustainable. I have successfully managed to make friends whom I still keep in touch with over the years so I must be doing something right.

However, much of the hows and the whys of this “something” elude me. This is something I will need to learn sooner rather than later so I can achieve a fulfilling career and possibly a relationship (should I ever go down that route). The right people will understand this. Hence it is important to keep going and let the right people find their way into your lives.

That’s all for today.

Best wishes,
Subtle

(@subtlykawaii)

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