Filed under: life progress
It’s hard to describe how satisfying I find it to make things – specifically, things about which I am pleased and satisfied that do not also happen to look like carbon copies of other people’s work. As anyone who has ever met me can attest, I have issues with not succeeding, and that applies to knitting about as much as it does to flunking a test.
Over the years, I’ve gotten a lot better at accepting that it’s okay to:
- practice my ________ project before actually doing it (sewing, writing, painting, etc.)
- practice the specific skills that will allow me to do something complicated, rather than just JUMPING RIGHT IN because WHO NEEDS BEGINNER STUFF (yes, I thought like this as a first grader. Doesn’t it explain a lot?)
- not succeed the first time
- make something that looks handmade
- not listen to other people’s aesthetic suggestions
Even so, it can be really frustrating to realize that you’ve spent three hours bent over a collage or your sewing machine or whatever, only to realize that despite the sweat and paper cuts, what you’ve made is the equivalent of a macaroni ornament. I’m not going to pretend like I haven’t kicked a lot of chairs in my time. Even though the chair always, always wins.
I went through those same angry-first-grader feelings yesterday, as I tried to make a mockup of my still-embryonic website and realized that although I know how to doctor photos and make neat pictures like nobody’s business, I lack the basic Photoshop knowledge to make a grid 960 pixels wide. This is my issue with more or less everything: I decide to teach myself the most difficult things immediately, and thus end up with really large gaps in my understanding. (See: why I am reading Teach Yourself Economics.)
But today I decorated a pillowcase I made, and it not only shows off one of my favorite Louisville institutions, but it looks like someone armed with a thread marker doodled all over it, which was exactly what I was going for and exactly what I achieved. And that is pretty much all I wanted to tell you, that sometimes things go right and it feels good.
(Also, that one of the photographs from my old blog is being used for a press release for a design exhibition in Belgium, which means that surely I am very close to stardom of some sort. The next time you wonder if your life is complete, stop and ask yourself: “Am I famous in Belgium yet?” If the answer is “no,” keep on trucking.)
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