To raising Autism awareness and Acceptance, and battling negative stereotypes about Autism.
To advocate for the inclusion of Autistic people in the community.
To offer a forum to broadcast our stories and thoughts, and to help the messages of Autistic people and non-Austistic allies reach as many people as possible.
That's the opening for one of my attempts to write something today. It's a piece on depression. I got partway through trying to describe the deepest pits of despair and darkness, and then I realized I didn't really want to talk about that.
Even taking out politics, I think we've all had enough of that this year. Heck, enough of that for the past four years.
It is now 2020, and 11 years later. And I'm not sure whether the 10th anniversary was last year or this year. I'm not very good at these sorts of things. But I counted the years on a piece of paper, and according to my count, it's been eleven years.
It definitely doesn't feel like yesterday. This year alone has felt too much like forever for it to be yesterday. But I'm reminded of both the changes and the similarities, both the good and the bad.
There are the obvious things: I live in a different location. I dress differently, my hair has grown and I dye it a different colour.
Family drama has come and gone and most like will come again.
I've learned that my body is not quite as reliant as I thought it was, and the gears of capitalism is wearing it down.
And countless other things, the painful, the joyful, the sorrow, and the wonder.
Including, the fact that this is the year that I am finally finishing my Disability Studies degree. As I type, I am in my last elective course: creative writing. One might think I can get by with minimum effort, and then pass. But they would be wrong. There are some frustrating aspects about the course; there are a lot of readings that show great misunderstandings and misjudgment towards genre fiction. It's a widespread attitude throughout academia that makes studying creative writing typically difficult.
However, I'm making my own challenges for the class, taking the assignments as they're given and putting my own twist to them. And the result is that I'm finding myself more encouraged to write more.
The last few months, I've been making more things, sewing, embroidering and crafting. It's been a sliver of silver lining, and I wish I could just stay home and create.
I know that there are still troubles ahead of us, and I hold onto the fact that writing gives joy. That making things makes me happy and gives me reasons to start my day. It might be a small thing, sometimes, but sometimes a small thing is all a person needs to keep going.
And sometimes, a small thing becomes a big thing, and lasts for years.
Here's to making things. Here's to the small things. Here's to the big things. Here's to the things that just make us happy in these dark times. Let them keep us together.