In which I ramble.
The crafting community is amazing, and the internet its greatest showcase. From forums to blogs, from to businesses to zines, the imagination and ingenuity on casual display is extraordinary in vision, in execution, in quality and in sheer, unending volume.
And then there’s me. Watching a myriad of exquisitely inspired internet crafters I often feel the outside-looking-in sensation of the woeful underachiever. I look upon the creations of my crafty idols and see vital forests choked with growth, rich gardens of heartrending beauty, overflowing vitality. Myself, however? The sporadic grassy knot, yellow and crisp-dry and clinging to a emaciated sort of existence amidst a vast wasteland of blasted dunes. I’m sure I have readers who sympathize with the feeling; if not in the crafty sphere, than in some other area of your life (academically, perhaps?).
Here’s the thing about despairing one’s inadequacy compared to the masters of any field: that way lays madness, because it is totally, utterly and completely unfair (not to mention absolutely irrelevant). This is an important realization and talisman for any crafter. How much harder are you on yourself as versus everyone else? Why? Does someone else’s success degrade your own in any way, shape or form? Does brutally attacking your own confidence really make you do better, or might you succeed more if you gave yourself positive reinforcement, rather than going after your spirits with a proverbial chainsaw?
Here’s a good rule of thumb to start with: never treat yourself in a fashion you wouldn’t treat your best friend or deepest lover.
It seems to me that people often deal unfairly with themselves, imposing impossible standards and expectations, ignoring the good to revel in and magnify every failure. Perhaps people fear that looking at their own being without the razor of unfair, unabating criticism in hand is self-indulgent, even selfish. It’s not. I’d go so far to say that wallowing in self-criticism, two steps from self-pity, is about as self-indulgent as it gets. It takes no effort to perceive failure. The hard part is understanding –and working for- success. So I have a desert where others have rainforests- I would be remiss in my duties as a biologist if I didn’t tell you that the desert is as fascinating, vital and ultimately beautiful a biome as any other. (Ecology homework? What ecology homework?)
Both your time and your energies, physical and emotional, are limited. Why waste them when there’s so much glory not only in the world and in others but in your own short life, your abilities, and your infinite potentials?
All this pseudo-metaphysical rambling serves largely to make me feel better about my lamentable progress on the so-named Lottie Gloves:
Every stitch counts, though. Onward!