-- by Trevor Pacelli
A decade ago around this time, my high school's drama club had its year-end ceremony celebrating the students' accomplishments throughout the year. At the end of that night, it was time for the club supervisor to announce next year's new officers. At that point, I had nominated myself to be the historian (or photographer), and prepared so vigorously to make sure I was seen as the right candidate for the job. I met with and shadowed the historian at the time, Louise Whitaker, wrote out my speech, gathered materials for it, and even dressed up to show how serious I was about it. To my absolute joyous surprise, after the supervisor said, "the Historian is…" he paused and said my name (albeit incorrectly). I walked right up to the stage to Louise, she congratulated me with the greatest of joy she ever expressed for me, and gave me this blue Styrofoam wand as a memoir of the torch being passed down. I was literally shaking with joy at this moment, this was a monumental achievement in my life that I still am so grateful about.
That summer, I worked with the other officers on fundraiser events and bought my own point-and-shoot camera for my historian work throughout the school year. Over that next year, I discovered just how much I loved photography, and was commended by others about my eye for the camera, and how hardworking I was as a club officer. Onward from there, I bought my DSLR camera after high school, and accomplished so much with it since then: I photographed various community events, church camps, took senior photos, engagement photos, proposal photos, business profiles, and even took a summer job as a photographer in North Carolina. Now, I've been able to use it to make my own cooking videos, proving that my journey as a photographer is continuing to grow, all because I worked hard back in high school for something I cared about. I went from a weird autistic kid desperate for friendships to someone with a clearer understanding of how friendships work. Funny how it all started with this silly little blue wand, but all that Eastlake Drama Club and its members did to help me grow and discover myself is something I will treasure forever.
Inspiration for Life with Autism
This blog has a variety of articles about people living life with autism, and topics and ideas that can help in the journey. Guest bloggers are welcome. Inspired by Trevor, a young adult film critic, photographer and college graduate on the autism spectrum.