I was diagnosed with Aspergers when I was 5 years old. One of my school teachers noticed that I didn’t play with other kids much. I would play by myself waving blades of grass in the air, lost in my imagination. I started school a year late because the sound of the school bell terrified me. I hated sudden loud noises such as balloons popping, sirens or fireworks. I’m still hypersensitive to sound which explains why I love music.
I remember going to Brisbane to have tests. They had an obstacle course. I remember it because I was terrified of every obstacle course that I ever encountered throughout my childhood. I don’t think I ever conquered the monkey bars. I still find the importance of them to be overrated.
I had occupational therapy. I had to walk across a balance beam. I remember wobbling and my arms waving around as I walked along it. I’m pretty sure I did blot tests too, either as part of my tests in Brisbane or at occupational therapy. This was in the early 90s. I think they have a different way of going about it now.
All the while my parents also knew that I loved music and singing, they nurtured and encouraged that. I was singing solos in church at a very young age, before school age.
At around age 12 I remember my grandmother innocently ask me how I was dealing with my ‘problems’. It hit me hard. I knew I was different but I didn’t see it as a problem, just different. I remember feeling really upset and wanting to be ‘normal’.
As I reached my teenage years I remember the change from primary school to highschool was difficult.Every big change was scary. A whole new space, new people, new routine. I eventually settled and went through the usual wanting to fit in stage.
I soon discovered though that trying to be cool was seriously overrated. I began to embrace myself and my quirks and even celebrate them. Most of my friends didn’t know I had aspergers. I didn’t like that the way I was had a label to it. I promoted individuality and sticking out from the crowd. I managed to make some wonderful quirky friends, most I still keep in touch with.
I loved drama class and performing in the school choir. I grew more comfortable with the stage. Also drama class helped my social skills and my understanding of human nature.
I hated home economics class. I was terrible at sewing (still am!) I was constantly reminded that I have minimal fine motor skills.
My parents really helped me by just loving me and not pushing me to be something I’m not. I’m forever grateful. I have the best parents in the world.
I graduated highschool not having a clue what I wanted to do. I did a bit of busking playing flute while I looked for work. I eventually got a job as a checkout operator. I had a lady from an employment agency for people with disabilities come and visit me at work now and then. After a while she stopped because she could see she wasn’t needed.
In 2008 I finally got serious about music and songwriting and auditioned for C3 college. I was accepted and studied songwriting in 2009 and 2010. C3 college is a bible college with a creative arts stream in Sydney. That big change caused me to do some growing up in my faith and in my skills as an artist. Also the experience of boarding had its challenges. I was blessed to live with lovely people. Living under a different roof with different rules meant I had to adjust. It was good for me.
It was at college that I met a man from Darwin majoring in vocals. I found his enthusiasm for learning intriguing. I fell in love.
On November 18th 2011 I did something that in my childhood I thought I would never do. I got married.
Luke and I live in Sydney. I still work in retail to pay the bills. Luke teaches singing from home. I’m currently working on my debut EP. We are planning to do gigs in pubs and weddings together. We busk in Manly and in the city too. So that’s a bit of background for you all 🙂