Craft your way out of the rejection spirit

IMG_20170905_111336_690

Several years ago, I was the cute single girl who couldn’t find a date. Despite all my accomplishments in life, people were puzzled as to why I never had a date or a serious relationship. I think my singleness made people uncomfortable based on their reactions. Did I have a secret? Was I a lonely and bitter person? The truth was that I was painfully shy around men. I’m very much afraid of men. I don’t think I ever grew out of it. I don’t think I ever really faced why I’m afraid of men in the first place? Why can’t I behave naturally around men. Why is it easier for me to talk to some men more than others?

FB_IMG_1518298582589

Like most people, I have feelings. I could be afraid, but I would like to be loved too someday. I realize that my behavior has played a role in why I’m still single. As I grew older, I would develop crushes. I believe crushes are these comical things that start off very  innocent, yet end painfully. Sometimes, I wonder if having a crush is a way to hide behind going after what one truly wants in life.  The idea of having a crush sets you up for failure at times. I put a lot of time in admiring those who showed no admiration for me. I would get so depressed and hide in self-pity. I kept repeating to myself that no one would ever love me. The truth was that I kept finding crushes to hide behind my fears. Having a crush is safe because it allows one to not have to do any work in actually being in a relationship. Instead, I would sit around and complain about being unloved. Life was passing me by. When it happens, I had to learn to pick up the pieces and move on. I was missing too much of life. I wasn’t developing new relationships.

downtown

I remember looking from corner to corner one night. I remember being downtown after 9 p.m. one day on a cold winter’s night. “Where is the love of my life?” That question popped in my head. “Why did I have to wait those cold evenings alone?  Can someone  out there just be there for me?”

What disturbed me more was that I was feeling sorry for myself? There are plenty of women who are single? I bet they aren’t sitting around feeling sorry for themselves? If you have to spend Tuesday nights getting by alone downtown, then so be it. Deal with it, I told myself.

I looked within and I told myself that I would have to be strong. There will be times when you will feel like you are the loneliest person in the world. It hurts so much. But, I told myself that I would work on my crafts. My maker life seemed very exciting to me. It was a positive aspect of my life. I made up my mind that I would focus on it.

table runner

I would study, experiment, and learn through the early mornings and late nights. I would push myself even when I didn’t feel like going any further. I would keep busy even when I found my mind slipping to a place that reminded me of how lonely and undesirable I felt in life. I learned years ago that what I focus on is what I will become.

There are days for dealing with your feelings and then there are other days when you have to get the motivation to get moving with your life. As painful as it was I had to find something to occupy my mind. I remember crafting my ways through quilt blocks, failing my way through quilt blocks, and ultimately improving upon my failures. I remember feeling happy and satisfied when I learned a new skills. There was this feeling. It’s a feeling you get that after so many failures you find the answer to the idea you develop sometime ago. I started regaining my confidence.

IMG_20170915_172557_054

IMG_20180211_082642_367

When you can’t seem to take your mind off of rejection, focus on how you can create your own happiness. What can you create to make your life a little easier? What beauty do you want to see in life? What life do you want to craft for yourself? I remember creating several projects last year. Some good and some bad. However,  the point was that I was determined to keep moving forward. I’m not saying that crafting is a remedy for everything. What I’m saying is that you shouldn’t be afraid to start investing in your own self-confidence. Build a little bit of yourself each day. Get out of the depths of darkness.

IMG_20180212_223430_880

 

Advertisements

Knitting through pain

I’ve been knitting since June 2016. I discovered that I like working with my hands, but sewing wasn’t a hobby I could take along with me while away from home. I learned the the answer to my problem was knitting. Sewing is still dear to my heart, but there isn’t anything wrong with learning more than one craft.

IMG_20170117_091948

Knitting from a place of emotions

I started knitting coming from a place of emotions. I was having emotional problems, and I couldn’t necessarily escape them. I couldn’t allow myself to act on them either. It was so important at the time that I held everything together.  People were depending on me. I had to fight. Making things with my hands plays a big part in how I deal with life’s challenges. When I get busy making things, I’m more resistant to depression.

When you feel pain, you just want to numb what you are feeling inside. Physical pain is different. As annoying and terrible as physical pain can be, sometimes  it can be subsided with medication. However, I’m what some people may called “an overly sensitive person,” and I never handle it well. I’m a big baby, and I will complain until the end.

However, emotional pain is something that can linger on forever if you allow it to. It’s important to take the time to understand your emotions, but at the same time you don’t want to allow it to affect your life so much that you end up neglecting yourself. You also don’t want to take your negative emotions out on others.  Based on my personality, emotional pain is something that holds me captive. I do my best to try to not stay down very long.  However, your emotions and insecurities can trick you into believing that what you are feeling is necessary and that you must act on it. I had to learn how to put my emotions aside so that I could continue to grow stronger and take care of the matters at hand.

knitting work1

 

So, I started knitting in between my breaks from sewing  because I wanted to let go of a lot of negative emotions. I knew that my feelings would eventually create problems, so I decided to resist falling into them. I started knitting my way through areas of life. I called it “knitting my way through life’s obstacles.” I pray to God a lot while I knit so it helps me stay positive. I get a lot of knitting down before work just to ease my mind and prepare my mind for the day.

 

IMG_20170122_123622_458

The Process: Knit 1 Purl 1

It took me about a week to get my hands together in order to learn how to knit. The idea was so foreign to me at the time. It was so challenging that all I could focus on at times was how I was going to make any stitches. Eventually two weeks later I was taking my yarn and needles with me to work.I started knitting in my car before work, during lunch, and breaks. I would sit in bed in knit while binge watching Netflix. I learned that I could accomplish making a scarf by learning how to create garter stitch. However,  I think all new knitters learn after a while that garter stitch can get boring.

IMG_20160608_092952

The Plan

I had a plan last summer. I received a Michael’s gift card for my birthday during the end of July. I bought 9 skeins of yarn. My goal was to make three scarves for the fall. I bought  6 skeins of yarn from  Loops and Thread.I also purchased  the last three skeins from Lion Brand’s Homespun yarn. I had three different colors that matched my wardrobe. I also did my research and purchased a specific needle size for all three projects.

Action

I needed to take a knitting classes, so I enrolled through an online class on Craftsy called The Knitting Lab with Stefanie Japel. The goal for the class was to create a lace scarf I believe. However, I wasn’t prepared to make a lace scarf at the time. I tried, but I wasn’t at the level. However, I did learn how to do garter stitch. I figured I would start off small and just knit in garter stitch for a while. I took my knitting projects with me. When I made mistakes, I had to rip it out or I had to live with them. The important thing for me was that I was learning.

Accomplishments

Learning new skills and creating my own scarves proved feasible. During the fall of 2016, I completed all three scarves. Although they aren’t perfect, my family and friends really liked them. I also discovered that the scarves I made felt a lot warmer than what I purchased from a big-box store near me. Garter stitch creates a warm feeling when knitted in bulky yarn. It felt good wearing my scarves to work in the cold weather. I eventually got bored with garter stitch toward the middle of November, so I decided to practicing the purl stitch. I started purling away until I stop twisting my stitches and learned how to move my yarn from front to back while knitting and purling in the same row.

IMG_20160928_213658

The more I learned, the more I realized knitting increased my self-esteem. There’s a community of knitters out there. I found myself being connected to people through my experience.  Each time, I learned a new skill, I felt better about myself. Yes, it was a struggle. I made a lot of mistakes.  However,  I felt more independent. I felt like I was making an effort to bring more joy and contentment into my life. I also thought about all the possibilities, I could bring into someone else’s life. Someday, I hope to learn to improve  my skills so that I can give knitted gifts to others. If you are a crafter, then you already know how much junk you can accumulate over the years.

IMG_20161114_082232

 

Life Update

stephanie3

It’s been a little bit over a year since I’ve posted a blog. At one time, I was uncertain about the  direction I wanted to take my blog. I knew that I wanted to be a professional, but I felt like my blog was lacking purpose. I think that was true for my personal life as well. For many years,  my story was related to depression and how my work-life contributed to it. One day I decided that I wanted to change my story. I decided that I wasn’t my depression. I wasn’t the negative things that I believed all these years.

job club display2

I took a break from blogging for a while to focus on new goals and hobbies. I’m 30 years old now, and for the first time in my life I feel like I’m passionate about the work and the things I’m doing in life. Back in my twenties, I focused a lot on how everything was making me depressed. Two factors I recognize that contributed to the depression was  lack of identity and community.I  didn’t have a strong sense of self. Because I wasn’t social and didn’t do a lot of hobbies back then, I couldn’t relate to people. I didn’t have anything to talk about. I must admit, I wasn’t a very interesting person.

Today, I’m an aspiring quilter who loves petting new fabric. I love patchwork, woodland animals, and all things cute. I love visiting the PNW, eating vegan food, and exploring all things natural and healthy.  I do have a day job as a public librarian. I enjoy watching television shows from the 1990s. I also venture into other crafts such as knitting and crochet. Someday, I hope to have an Etsy baby store full of warm quilts and cuddly accessories. That me! I wasn’t those dark things I told myself all those years. It just wasn’t true.

In life we go through changes. What I’ve learned is that challenging times bring out the strength in a person. I’ve learned to accept life when things don’t go my way. I know how to cope when trouble comes. I’m better at picking myself back up after a stumble. I didn’t get here alone. It was God, good people, and recognizing the blessings that life has to offer.