Counting down to the Asia Pacific Autism Conference🌱 I’m juggling the last deadlines and projects before we leave. The mission now? Memorise my speech, and forget everything else – forget that the 1800 strong conference is sold out, forget that just attending a conference of this size and level of awesomeness is going to be mind-blowing enough without actually having the opportunity to speak, forget that the conference is having Autistic speakers for the first time ever, forget that although it’s my story and my words – I am there as more than me; I am representing Takiwātanga, Taranaki, and Aotearoa, as well as the families and organisations I will speak for and return to, forget that I’m being funded to go by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Lottery Minister’s Discretionary Fund. Forget that standing between me and my presentation lurk airports, people, tickets, schedules, shoes, food, waiting, change, smells, sounds, people, people, and people.

I may also try not to think about pink elephants.

Once I get done with all my forgetting and remembering, I’ll do some marinating: How did I get this lucky? Stunned. 😍