Now, as a homeowner, I understand.
Here’s a thread.
Those of us who can afford it are prioritizing by spending money on repairs:
Either we’ve inherited bottom-of-the-barrel and neglected older houses, or bought new houses that were built quickly and cheaply.
But the gardening industry doesn’t stand to make much money from them.
I am ALL about those practices. However...
So you either need to know your stuff or hire a landscape architect.
The gardening industry was woefully unaware of why millennials weren’t buying their products.
We really do want to. We just can’t.
I also had a regular income at the time.
It made me recognize that the lifestyle blogging/writing industry absolutely REEKS of entitlement and privilege.
I didn’t want to be a part of it.
Now I realize that it brought me joy because I’m autistic and it’s my special interest.
Now I want to help people in more meaningful ways.
I hated the fact that I was writing about things that not everyone could afford.
I learned to garden, started a blog, wrote a book, for sponsorships and wrote for big brands.
Within eight years, I earned enough to quit my day job. But I was miserable.
As I struggled balancing that with garden writing, home ownership and fatherhood, I crashed.
I hit Autistic burnout.
Within a year, I was hospitalized with optic neuritis, shingles, pneumonia and shutdowns so bad that I couldn’t move a muscle.
My muscles were so rigid that I struggled to walk. I had temporary muteness.
I couldn’t function and lost work.
I could no longer piece together the thoughts it took to write, so I quit social media and eventually lost all my writing jobs.
But then I learned about autism.
Then I read up on autism, took some screening tests and re-evaluated my life in a whole new light.
Could I be autistic too?
By that point I was covered in bleeding sores from picking, and had missing patches of hair from pulling.
My son’s classmates always reminded me of this whenever I dropped him off.
I only did it because it comforted me.
So I tested a theory. Next time I wanted to pick, I would flap and flicker my fingers instead.
I flapped my hands in the mirror and saw my face light up. Pure joy.
I fluttered my fingers and felt my muscles relax.
The face in the mirror was that of a beaming child. Tears streamed down my face as I laughed and sputtered the words ‘I’m autistic!’
I realized that as long as I could stim, I could be me. And if I could accept myself as autistic, I could love myself and stop living in fear.
So I got an official diagnosis to show him on my last appointment.
They made an impact on people’s lives, so I became #OpenlyAutistic on Twitter as well.
My burnout was the lowest point of my entire life. It affected my physical health and made me question everything.
But it led to self-discovery, an autism diagnosis, and pure #AutisticJoy.
I put everything into a career,
Had an identity crisis,
Could no longer cope with demands,
Hit Autistic burnout,
Got very sick,
Realized I was autistic,
Got an autism diagnosis
And am now happier than ever before.