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Blog Post 3

Hey, you! Welcome back. 😊I’m glad you aren’t bored of me yet…

So, it’s been a little while since my last post, naturally. And I bet you are all just dying to know what has occurred in my busy working life! To look at, I haven’t changed much. My hair is still green and frazzled to the core, I’m still 5 stone heavier then I actually should be, and I still wear the same outfit every single day of my life. (A black shirt, white leggings, and my dirty old cat shoes)

Yes, Indeed, I remain the big swampy bridge monster that I always have been. But hey, at least I’m still smiling! Which is really nice.

A lot of different things have happened as of recent, and I am just so excited to tell it all to my loyal and adoring fans. For starters, I finally have a tattoo, at last! Which… actually wasn’t as painful as I initially feared it to be. I had spent the whole week prior to my appointment preparing for it. Dreading it even! What if I chicken out at the last minute? What if It takes hours and I can’t sit still for that long? What if the artist finds me annoying and bans me from the shop for life!? what if… I melt? All of these things continued to circle rapidly in my brain, and that dreaded feeling of self-doubt was quick to emerge from the deep abyss of my mind and consume my inner thoughts. Walking through that huge door into the parlour was not as easy as some would think, but when the time finally came to lie on that gurney with my arm stretched out wide ready to be inked, I felt amazing. I couldn’t believe it was finally happening. All the years I had spent waiting for this moment. One of the main things I had hoped for and wanted above almost anything else was finally mine. And boy, does it look amazing, gorgeous even! And It’s so refreshing to see something other than scars. I still flap with excitement to this day whenever I look down at my arm. Take that stomach butterflies, I win this round!

I still spend my days working hard at the petrol station, and I have encountered a lot of interesting people during my time there. It always seems that regardless of who they are, someone has a story of some sort to tell, whether it’s simply what they are up to for the rest of the day, it’s always fun to listen. Ohh, and the drunks really like the colour of my hair, which sure is entertaining.

Shortly after securing a working position at the petrol station, I was offered yet another position in a much different place of employment by a very close friend of mine. A retail position! I had taken an interest in working at this particular place for a really long time, so to finally be offered a position, regardless of what it was, was just too good of an opportunity to turn down. Besides, I am always up to try out new things.

Now I know what everyone must be thinking at this point, but think again! There’s no way I would abandon my job at the petrol station just because another opportunity has come into light. Not for a long time anyway. The staff are much too friendly, and the pennies are always pretty. I have no plans to walk away any time soon, in fact, I’ve just gotten started! Besides, who said I can’t work two jobs anyway!

Learning the ways of retail work was quite the struggle at first. The last thing any autistic individual wants to hear is “You have to greet everyone that comes through the door”, or, in my case “You have to smile all the time and seem approachable”. Ugh. Just the sheer thought was enough to make me snarl in disgust. Surely, I could just stick my headphones in and block out the world completely, right? There must be another way to go about this job without actually having to speak to any one… right?

Wrong.

I am required to communicate all the time. I have to sell our store! Gush about the deals even! I am required to assist in every single way I can from the moment I clock in, to the moment I clock out. Even if that means spending the entirety of my shift as far away from my comfort zone as possible, it has to be done.

Working in retail has definitely proven to not be as simple as I had initially hoped it would be, but even so, I come away after every single shift having learned a whole lot, and with a brand-new set of skills. Like I said, it was difficult at first, as there was so much to the work genre that I wasn’t used to, like sellable and confident communication with strangers, and having constant control over my temper to remain professional, but I’m proud of myself for making a conscious decision and stepping out of my comfort zone for the sake of not only myself, but for others around me as well. Now, I do so many different things that I never thought I’d ever be able to do. I communicate every single day, I have full on conversations with the customers now. Heck, I even get along with children a lot better! I have made so many steps as a person, and I continue to flourish and thrive with each passing day. I still make the occasional slip up, but I try my hardest to not let those mistakes define me. I am human, and those boundaries will always be there, but the difference between then and now is that I am learning to cope on my own without any help, which is the one thing I feared I would never be able to do.

I spent many years of my life viewing my condition as an obstacle. A barrier preventing me from living a normal, functional life. I saw my future as dark, with all the things I wanted to do forever remaining unachievable. I feared for my older self, and whether or not they would be able to cope with all the challenges the world had in store. I truly felt like a lost cause.

I realise now that I would not be where I am today if I wasn’t autistic. My autism is what makes me the loyal, trustworthy, kind and resilient individual that I am. My autism is what drives me to want to work even harder during my next shift then the previous one, because things haveto be right. My autism is what gives me the passion to make sure every single customer that enters my shop leaves with a smile on their face. My autism is what makes me want to continue this journey regardless of the bad days. My autism is what makes ME. And I couldn’t be prouder of what I have become.

Thank you all so much for taking the time to read my blog once again. The one thing I hope to gain from writing this blog is positive influence. Regardless of what may happen, and where the road may take us, we are good enough just the way we are.

Shannon. 😊

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