• J.R. Reed

Am I the Man I Hoped to Be?


In short? Absolutely not. If we’re being honest, I don’t know that many of us could answer yes.


That’s not to say that a vast number aren’t happy in their current situation, but is being happy the same as being the man you hoped to be?


Not in my book.


I’m very hard on myself. It’s typical of Asperger’s Syndrome, a more verbal, less social version of autism.


I’m Asperger’s.


We’re not pessimistic. I see the glass as half full. I just know that I’m the dumbass who spilled the other half. But back on topic.


From a young age, I remember hearing on a repeated basis, that I wasn’t living up to my potential. I was trying. If I was trying and if not living up to your potential equals failing (it does in the Asperger’s brain), then what was the use in trying?


To be clear, today as an adult I do try. I try pretty much everything. I just fail. A lot.


I’m stubborn. Being on the spectrum, I know I learn differently than others and I have to be ready to adapt. Trying to adapt when I have no clue what’s really going on is some pretty scary stuff, but I try and tough it out sometimes.


Sometimes I’m a moron.


I’ve seen the autism symptoms progressively get worse over time, which means instead of most guys being in their prime in their 40’s -50’s, I had to be in mine in my 20’s and 30’s. Not ideal.


I spent several years as a sales manager/finance manager for a couple of auto dealerships and made a decent living. It wasn’t even close to my dream job of being a full-time writer, but it brought home the bacon.



Finally, after years of being called Forrest Gump (because of my still-undiagnosed autism), I decided to quit and go out on my own as a freelance writer. As I said, the symptoms were getting worse, and dealing with people was putting me into panic attack mode every day at the dealership.


Since then I’ve written for way more magazines, newspapers, and websites than I ever dreamed possible when I started out. Symptoms are still progressing, and I can’t compose the same daily amount of prose as I once did, which is frustrating, but what can I do, ya know?


So, am I where I dreamt I would be? Nowhere near.


Do I blame being autistic? Not at all.


Life throws stuff at us and it’s our job to get through the stuff so we can make it to the end where our dream has been.


Let’s reunite with our dreams.

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