QUESTION FROM MY FRIEND From the NETHERLANDS
“How you control your feelings about girls? Because I do not have a girl friend and you have your feelings? And do you think that some day I will meet the girl of my dreams. It is difficult for me too make contact with people of my own age, because they have other interests and I don’t go out in the night.”
My friend from the Netherlands is a young man who has dreams and goals like everyone his age. He has some unique challenges and that sometimes makes it difficult for him to meet girls to date and gather a group of friends to hang out with.
His passion is for film and animation, specializing in that of the Walt Disney Company… Something that would be a wonderful subject to pursue in college and yet he knows more about this subject than most film students from his private purpose and drive to study the history of animation and by learning from the writings and interviews of the animators themselves. This young man also speaks several languages. He taught himself English when he was growing up watching Disney videos.
My friend has a form of autism and that challenges him in some situations in life. His interests in animated film are shared with many of his older friends but he doesn’t often run into people his age who he can share this passion with. His knowledge in film abounds and his interest and his critiques are keen and intelligent.
I wonder if you could go to the university and “audit” a class in animation history. You may not be able to qualify for admission with your learning difficulties, but sharing your passion with others in a discussion about the art of animation would be fulfilling. When I met my Netherlandic friend I was amazed at how much he knew of the artists and I felt he could teach a class on the subject. It would be a place where people would appreciate your strengths and considerable talent to discuss in the academic and the art world.
Also, Bram, if you love the art of animation, you may want to take an art history course… Auditing of course. I just saw the story of Van Gogh and learned that he was developmentally challenged. He may have suffered from siezures and that may have given him the fragmented vision that allowed him to see world in a unique way and so he applied the pigment to his canvas with such a style as to allow us the viewers to see color and shape in a wonderful way with these chunks and strips of color and light. How special is that!!! He lived a challenged life and gave us the gift of his art and he never knew he would be seen as a genius and master when he was gone. He would be surprised by his importance in our world today.
When we are different we can feel separated and alone. The strength to follow are dreams and follow the passion is the road we are on. It may not mean that we are promised our dreams. The journey has value. We can not count on the reward. The passion gives purpose to our lives. That is the reward and the goal: To live our passion…
Now about the girls… I can’t get a date myself, so I can’t offer you any good advice.
Controlling feelings is difficult for the autistic isn’t it? You can not help but be honest. That is a gift also, as many of us are tired of playing games and dishonesty. When we are honest and lay our feelings out to someone we do not know how they will handle that. They may not have an easy time with the truth. You have to be willing to accept the disappointment… what is the saying:” nothing ventured nothing gained.” Easier said than done I think.
Be yourself and enjoy your dreams. Don’t let your disappointment stop your dreaming. Already many of your dreams have been answered and you are still young… Patience.
Sending love to my Dutch Friend…