learning patience

I don't think of myself as a particularly patient human being.  When I can't find something, I panic and go into full anxiety mode.  When I get hungry I get grumpy (my family and Ted can attest to this whole-heartedly).  When I know I am going to receive new information from someone, I think about it constantly.  I obsess, stress, and become anxious at the drop of a hat.

So imagine my surprise when I found myself repeating to my sewing students, "Sewing takes patience," as if  I was some kind of Dumbledore of sewing.  What did I know about patience, anyway?

But then it got me thinking.  As anxious and impatient I can be, sewing has always brought me to a calm sense of being.  It can be stressful and frustrating for sure.  It can make me want to shrivel up into a ball of self-doubt when something goes amuck.  It can make me wish I wanted to excel at something more conventional, like math.  

But then I remember I hate math. And I remember that if I keep trying I will be able to have something tangible, creative, and even practical to show for my efforts.  So I am patient, and try to be kind with myself even when I have to take out the seam ripper and start over.

I'm thankful to have found something that at the same time calms and challenges me.  I think the focus that sewing takes brings about a balance in me that is lost when confronted with life's more trivial things.

I think that's the benefit of going into a creative job.  It is such a rewarding experience to create something useful with your hands, but it's even more rewarding when the act of it brings out a side of you that you wish to cultivate more--like patience, resourcefulness, self-sufficiency, independence.  I've realized that although I love collaboration in the artistic sense, I love doing stuff on my own.  I think that's why I chose costume design to study--it allows me to help out a larger cause by doing my own part by myself.  Of course there is collaboration and meetings, but the bulk of the work is done on your own, and as intimidating as that seems, that's what I prefer.

And although costume design seems like a good path for me right now, a very (very) large part of me wants to someday be in the position to open up a craft shop one day.  It might seem weird that someone who loves doing stuff on their own would want to have a job "in the public eye" but I really can't imagine a more perfect life than this one I have dreamt up over the years, but never put into words:

Kaylie opens craft shop.  Kaylie's talented and crafty friends all happen to live in the same place as Kaylie.  They contribute their numerous talents to said craft shop to make it as awesome as possible.  Craft shop becomes a lovely place for the community to gather for classes, laughs, and baked goods.  The window displays are always crowd pleasers--especially the holiday ones.  Every evening Kaylie closes shop and goes home to her beautifully renovated old house and cuddles up with her hairy significant other (whether it's a human or dog is insignificant to the outcome of this story) as they watch Netflix and drink tea.  Everyone lives craftily ever after.

Okay, so there is a reason I've never put it fully into words.  It sounds like somewhere between savvy 50's housewife and hopeful commune founder.  It sounds like a craftopian lifestyle that is so simple in its nature, that it almost seems impossible to accomplish.  It sounds perfect to me.

I understand it's a very attainable dream (right?  I'm not asking to be the next Martha Stewart), but it's hard to figure out what it would take to get there.  Where would I even start?  All I know is that if over the years I decide that it's what I really want to do with my life, I know I'll need some patience.


Anonymous said...

I love it when you put your thoughts and dreams to writing!

Isaac said...

I don't think I would be able to open up my own store. I bet I could hold up maybe half of the jobs, but something would always end up getting forgotten (like, rent, for example).

Natalie said...

i love your third to last paragraph, sounds so dreamy. mmm. one day i want to be a quilting master. i haven't sewn since 7th grade home ec at stapley... but quilting is definitely still on my theoretical dream board. sew kewl.