Here’s my self-portrait during my time in the SPED workshop, before which I never got my chance to do some serious DSLR photography.
Here is my first time writing a blog entry for Foreword Coffee. Let me start first with my life story. I was an odd silent child when I have my autism diagnosis. I define all the odds to go to a mainstream school thrice. In finding employment, I went from 300+ applications to finding an employment program that told me that I cannot be in open employment.
Of course, it did not work out for me as I developed anxiety and a loss of confidence which I have conflicts everywhere while worrying for my future. My worst breaking point was when I nearly hit a guy at work which showed how broken I was in an environment that treated me more like a child than an adult and making me feel useless. I do have my highs and lows in getting my confidence back via different activities, therapy, medication, and even doing a small business. One of the things I want in life is to get a job in my mental health recovery journey, which was causing a lot of conflict in my family as they were getting hurt by me, and they want me to be happy.
I created this reminder for myself when I do café work.
I was recommended by Wilson (or Uncle Wilson, as I call him) to go for an interview with Foreword Coffee. This was during my lowest point when I left my previous employment with PTSD and depressive episodes alongside with delayed projects and never getting my dream job in an art gallery. I was stressed at that time as I want to make that good first impression and I surprised myself in getting an internship even though I thought I had failed the interview then.
Me volunteering at MINDS which was fun and I was exhausted here
My first day was dynamic as I was not only dealing with my first day at work while being nervous alongside with dealing with my mom being in the hospital at the same time. Thankfully it went well as everyone, especially Leena (cafe manager at Civil Service College), who is my second “mom” to me, helped me out for cafe duties or the cleanup. I felt that I am slowly but surely was able to fit into this company. Besides the cafe work, I do some design work with Eva (Foreword Coffee’s intern) which was stressful yet fun. I also learned about the aesthetics and feel to the company. I also learned some photography tricks here.
Me with Eva a few days before she finished the internship. She was the design and marketing intern who showed me the ropes and showed how fun (and nerve-wracking) it can be waiting for our designs to be confirmed.
They helped me to bravely face my trauma when I went to MINDS for a workshop. I even got my voice heard and be not afraid to ask anything. My colleagues have been supportive of getting my autism back to normal and I found my fellow spectrum folks enjoying a fresh start here. I feel that my interactions with colleagues still need to be worked on but slowly they become my support system for me if I am stressed for my design work at the cafe.
This photo taken by me was shown in Foreword Coffee Instagram. I was so proud here that I even share with my family and friends on that.
Things have changed since I’ve been in Foreword Coffee, I’m much calmer in my home life. I am working to manage plus my confidence blossomed slowly and being in Foreword helps to return the fun and confident person that I used to be. Foreword became my second medication for me. Although I did not share much on my work on social media, I do share it on my CV and LinkedIn, and with a few texts with friends. As for my artistic stuff, I leave it to my mom to do the PR work for the art career I want to mold while I focus on work and enjoying life again.