Let’s compare embroidery to life

Because who doesn’t love a good reach for a metaphor?

If you don’t already know, I spend a lot of my downtime putting a needle and thread through the fabric in an embroidery hoop. It’s not something I ever saw myself doing, but I love it. I believe I’ve finally started to grasp a couple key things about this craft that I think I can also turn into a cool life lesson moment.

Because you know, I’m an expert and know how to navigate life like a pro (read: I have no idea what I’m doing but I’m going to try and be wise here for the sake of the metaphor and try to follow my own advice).

Here’s a fun list:

1. First of all, f*ck what all of the “experts” and tutorials tell you. The only way you’re going to figure it out is if you figure it out.

2. Through trial and error, I’ve learned that any project is basically going to turn out pretty good if you treat each move like it means something.

3. Not every project will turn out well, and that’s okay. They’re hilarious to look back on and will remind you of how far you’ve come.

4. Sure, once you get some momentum, you’ll get to the end a lot faster, but the quality will suffer. Make sure you slow down and enjoy the process.

5. Don’t let other people guide your needle. That’s frickin’ dangerous and they probably suck at embroidery (read: don’t let other people guide your path, that’s frickin’ dangerous and they probably suck at embroidery).

It’s still art, and don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. You’re creating it, so find some way to take pride in it.

It’s still your life and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. You’re creating it, so find some way to take pride in it.

I think I should try to write some stuff.

Not only because I like the physical act – writing in pen, pencil, hearing the satisfyingly soft tap of my fingers against a keyboard – but because I feel like my head has a lot to say. I have lots of weird questions, normal questions, stories I tell myself, stories I want to tell other people, good poetry, bad poetry, some jokes and a bunch of gibberish that might actually also make sense to someone other than myself.

My downfall is I can’t seem to organize everything. I can’t organize it in my head or on the page unless I already know what I’m supposed to be writing about: an email, a social media post, or creating content for a hand-out or a poster. It’s almost always been part of my job. But I cannot seem to sit down and write about things I like. Without a prompt. Without a purpose for it.

I’ve tried in the past. The pattern is ironic and embarrassing.

It always goes like this:

“So I can’t seem to sit down and write.”

This, I always feel, is kind of relatable and might catch someone’s attention. I already did this here. See? Ironic. Might also turn out slightly embarrassing. We’ve not quite reached that level, but standby.

“I feel like maybe me sitting down and writing will help someone, or inspire someone. Nah, who am I kidding, right? Chances are, there’s no one reading this. And if there is, you probably know me as I am, a 20 something college drop-out whose only skills are cake decorating, sarcasm and eating. Or, it’s just my mom reading this. Hi mom.”

Here’s where it starts to get embarrassing. I’m rambling and self-deprecating. Hi mom.

“I like embroidery, people, biking, yoga, design, art, entrepreneurship, zero waste, and cooking.”

It then starts to turn into something my 7-year-old self would write in that really widely spaced lined journal because my Grade 1 teacher Mrs. Friend (yes, that was her actual name) asked us to describe ourselves. There was also room at the top for a drawing – remember those notebooks? They were sick. Do they still sell those? I’d buy one.

I digress.

Somehow describing yourself at that age turns into either a list of your physical attributes, or what you’re into. Which was probably Pogs, Polly Pocket, mini sticks, Pokemon, or colouring. I HAVE HAZEL EYES AND BROWN HAIR. 

Now, I catch myself doing the same thing as if being so overwhelmed as an adult has caused me to revert back into that seven-year-old self when trying to communicate who I am and what I want. Further evidence: when I try to tell someone what I want, I start to cry.

If you know me, then you know this is the truth. I am always crying. If you don’t know me, you’re just going to have to trust me on this, and sooner or later, you’ll see it too.

All of this aside, somehow I’ve managed to land good jobs, climb a ladder or two, and accomplish some things.

I’ve waded my way through more than several men (hi mom) and they’ve waded through me. I’ve learned who’s good for me and who isn’t.

Somehow I’ve been able to hold onto someone who has their shit together and only wants me to get my shit together when I’m ready to get my shit together. Who likes me both because and despite everything listed above.

But here I am. Rambling on about crying, Mrs. Friend, and my hipster-esque range of interests.

If all of those things interest you too, including finding out why I’m crying and seeing me create some stuff, then I guess you’re in the right place.

I’m challenging myself to write a blog post every day for a year, and after that, we’ll see where it takes me. I’m hoping my writing will improve, I’ll feel motivated to create, and I’ll find some stuff to talk about.

I’m just trying to end the pattern, learn about who I am, ask for what I want, and find a way to keep it all together.

Hey world.