Everything excites me. Learning, that’s what I will focus on for this post, how learning excites me.
Okay so if you didn’t know then I am telling you now, growing up I lived with my Dad my siblings (four of them) lived with my Mum. I am the youngest of four, then out popped my younger sister, technically she’s a half a sister, we don’t do halves in our family, she has been always will be my sister and my Dad has always treated her this way. Okay why am I telling you this bit? As a baby, a toddler a kid and a teenager the only things I had to learn was how to be me. My Dad forced no other lessons on me which was a good thing because I was not into cooking, cleaning, sewing or anything else all girly, glittery and made of candy floss. Instead I was taught how to love myself for me. This however, is also the reason why my creative side managed to stay dormant so bloody long. I had no idea it was there, my Dad I don’t think knew it was, but looking back of course it was there. It was in the knee high sky blue wedge boots I wore, and the waist length dyed black curly hair, it was in my make-up and the clothes I chose I left particles of it every where that I went. Anyway fast forward to the learning bit. A few years ago whilst studying my confidence began to grow and I could finally see that I was more capable of things than I had realised. At the back of my head was starting to form this niggling list of things I wanted to try. Knitting came first, and filled with excitement I picked up the needles and suddenly that memory of watching my mum teach my older sister to knit came flooding back. Great I could knit rows!! It didn’t take me long to decide I wanted to knit different shapes because squares and rectangles are great, but boring. It took me ages to learn to do triangles, the reason? Because I was winging it, in my head I can shape and form and know how I need to do something but I refused stubbornly to take it seriously and look up a tutorial so I was in a constant flow of starting, stopping and tearing it apart. Then I watched a youtube video and simply thought fuck it, maybe it’s time I tried following a pattern. So, off I went to learn what the abbreviations were and something that had started life looking much like a combination of foreign languages now is like a second language to me. I still knit best without a pattern, but understanding patterns and techniques means I have more scope for development.
Ta da! Once as I had mastered my knitting skills I moved onto crochet, I can’t lie I am still on the crochet, I can’t even crochet an even line yet, but I will get there, I know this.
I also own a lovely little sewing machine. Now anyone that knows me from back then and all, will be sitting there reading this and laughing because they can recall ‘home tech lessons.’ these lessons are the essence of evil for anyone that does not want to sew. The machines were huge and made this amazingly loud whirring noise, and instead of needles they were packed with double sided machete blades. I refused to use one. Every week the same thing. I tried all the other excuses first, forgot my apron…’here use this one!’ and finally I decided that I would sit there arms crossed and stare out of the window. I wasn’t allowed to do that either! A lovely friend of mine would thread the needle for me whilst he was laughing at the irony of the situation. Still I refused, and when we hit the point where I realised that I wasn’t getting out of it, I just stopped going to that lesson! So fast forward and now here I am with a sewing machine of my own and absolutely no fear of that tiny little needle that can sometimes look like a double sided machete. Again this was a desire that I found hiding out deep inside of me, and again I discovered that I had an understanding of what was required without a firm base of knowledge. I’m still getting there, but, I’ve managed to make a Dorothy Gale outfit for my daughter as well as a handful of other things, so I call that a triumph :).
So why are these things so exciting in my opinion? Well throughout my teenage years I fought against the stereotypical image of a girl, I didn’t want to become someone who cooked, cleaned, sewed and knitted. I felt strongly that my path went in a very different direction. So for me the learning of these skills is symbolic for having finally discovered the skills that had been dormant inside of myself as well the acceptance of myself as a whole.
I would love to say that’s where the learning stops, but it doesn’t. I am extremely independent and will always try to find a way of doing something myself before I ask for help. You tube is often my best friend, as is a huge DIY book I have hidden down by the couch. Learning allows me to develop as a person, it ensures that I’m constantly moving forward. This constant flow of energy provides a positive base for my mind.