Greetings and salutations! My name is Rowan Nicholas McEwen, composer, novice artist, trombonist, and singer.
I used to have a dream when I was younger. I wished I was like everyone else. Why do you ask? It’s because I’m autistic. I know what it’s like to be ‘different’, and feeling like a misfit or outcast. I’ve even been laughed at because of it.
But am I that different?
I mean, my interests definitely don’t match up with the crowd. I’m not into Soca music (I’m more of a Jazz person); I’m not very sporty; and I don’t play videogames or watch shows anyone would expect someone of my age to watch. With all that considered, talking to my peers about anything is a nightmare, since more often than not, I can’t make a lick of sense of what they’re talking about.
I’m pretty different in many other ways, too. For starters, I have something called synesthesia—a condition where if one sense is stimulated, another sense is experienced. For example, in my case, when I listen to music, it generates colors in my head. Apparently, only a small percentage of the world’s population (1 to around 25 per cent) have such a condition, making me quite a rare case. I also possess the gift of perfect pitch, which was something I didn’t know wasn’t natural.
But I’m pretty much like other teenagers my age. I love a good laugh. I enjoy being a part of something special, like my Scout band, my school band, and my church choir. I like hanging out with the two members of my section in the Scout band and talking about our interests. And I really love food!
So, that’s me. Rowan Nicholas McEwen, your brand new columnist. Yes, I’m just like everyone else. But I’m also different. And that’s okay. One of the most empowering things I’ve learned was that out of all the billions of people in the world, there will never be another me.
And that’s exactly how God meant it to be.
Rowan is an 18-year-old form 6 student of Queen’s Royal College, Port of Spain