Clan MacLeod moved to Hong Kong in the height of COVID, to say it wasn’t straightforward is an understatement and I’ll bore you with the details at a later point. When it became very clear we were definitely moving to HK, leaving my career in food innovation and becoming, essentially, a full-time mum seemed pretty exciting. A new continent, country, lots of things to explore. What an exciting time.
However, it was March 2022 when we finally arrived, after 4 months away from my husband (he moved in November 2021), 8 cancelled flights, one 3 week washout and 2 weeks quarantine on my own with the two kids. The excitement of moving turned to depression. I truly didn’t realise how hard it would be. The shock was real, my first time ever in Asia, this was it. Weeks and months passed and I realised I had lost myself. I had never not worked. I always had my independence, my own money, my own career. I suddenly felt I had lost my identity, and, as much as I used to dislike this buzz phrase, my purpose.
Moving to HK has taught me a great many things. It has also taught me that I really did not have any idea what my purpose really was. We have met so many wonderful people in our journey, navigating the support system for autism in Hong Kong. Sarah, Xander’s speech and language teacher, has been our saviour here. Not only has she helped Xander to go from non-verbal to saying phrases, in 1 year, but her method has been to do this in a way Xander understands and feels comfortable with. Sarah has also been a constant support and ear to my questions and worries. A wonderful woman!
But then there was another side to the world of autism support here. I was so incensed by the way that some professionals spoke about autism and to parents of autistic children. It quickly became apparent that there needed to be more voices championing neurodiversity and autism. My purpose is to always talk about autism, support autism, champion autism and neurodiversity in a positive way.
Hong Kong suddenly became this incredible opportunity to do something I felt very passionate about. Have my own business and champion, live to support neurodiversity. For years I had been researching making my own bracelets, sourcing materials, it was only when we moved here and I was forced to make the leap in to my own venture, that I really did it. I launched A Fancy Flamingo in September 2022, vivid, bright colours, beautiful things, simple designs, the feeling of creating something, makes me really happy. This together with being able to have a public platform to speak about autism, support charities that champion neurodiversity, what a dream!
This is what we do, this is our purpose, we create beautiful things, for everyone, so that we can all support neurodiversity.
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