When You Stop Being RAW

Be Daring, Be Different,
Be Impractical,  Be
Anything That Will
Assert Integrity Of
Purpose And Imaginative
Vision Against The
Play-It-Safers, The
Creatures Of The
Commonplace, The
Slaves Of The Ordinary.

Cecil Beaton

I’ve always believed that you should live your life being the best you that you can be. Be strong and powerful. Create your own beautiful life. Rebel a little. Remember it’s okay not to conform, and different is good.

Then the last year happened.

It was unbelievably stressful for me. While there were moments of amazing, like my book being published and Alex Anderson at my School House (I almost died! I forgot what I wanted to say…it was all fabulous in my head until I saw her in the front row…then I choked a little bit), I always had the weight of some things going on in my life weighing heavily on my mind. December through May had me in knots, I was RAW, but since school ended I’ve been able to start getting my mojo back. Or as a friend of mine calls it, my sewjo. (Best phrase EVER!)

I spent a lot of the last six months WANTING to be productive and creative, knowing it would be a healthy outlet, but I didn’t have it in me. My inspiration was crushed. I worked on a few things, but not at my normal speed. Quilt making was slow and almost painful, in a way.  While I’ve always had ideas circling in my head, the inspiration for new quilts wasn’t there. I didn’t have a list of twenty new quilt ideas – I could barely come up with one. When I did have a spark of inspiration I had a tough time getting concepts to come to life, and if I got stuck, I’d quit. When I’d go back to the quilt or whatever project, it always seemed to take longer to make anything happen, and I didn’t always like what I was making. Blogging  from the heart was impossible because when I sat down to write the words were toxic, and that’s not me. I’m not perfect, but I’m not (usually) toxic. I’d become a shell of someone I didn’t recognize and kinda didn’t like her.

Try as I might, I could not get out of the fog in my head, going over things again and again. I knew it wasn’t healthy for me to do that,  but I was so angry –  so RAW – at some of the events that transpired AND at myself for getting so caught up in my head – the one thing I NEED to get my ideas transformed from cloth. I knew that space and time would help, and they have, but waiting for those two things to happen caused me much heartache.

Finally, summer arrived. I spent some time getting my house organized. It started with one closet, and trickled to other rooms. Cleaning closets, purging drawers, reorganizing toys, crafts, and fabric. The things you always put off because they aren’t exactly fun but you are always SO glad when you finish.

But for me, I wasn’t just reclaiming my house, I was reclaiming my heart. I was reclaiming the space in my head, clearing out the clutter that I’d ignored for months because I couldn’t deal with it, and taking that space back, literally and metaphorically. Welcoming back my creativity. My happy. My peace. My me.

All of ^^^ that has been good for my mental health, not to mention my house, and I’m starting to feel like my old self again. The me that loves life, and the special people that share it with me and have my back.

I’ve regained the me that is unequivocally, somewhat unapologetically ME. I’ve returned to being who, in my heart, I know I am, and once again being true to that girl. A little sweet, a little snark, a lot of sarcasm, and a little rebellious. And I have needed it. A LOT. Turns out I missed her.

Turns out, that finding her again has sparked my creative spirit, too. I have the next twenty quilts in front of me, and projects, and it’s good. It’s really, really good.

17359458_10155937369352995_5006696626382673197_oWhile all this was going on, I felt the need to rebel a little bit, to prove that the mostly sweet, creative soul with a splash of bada–was still somewhere in there. I’m not gonna lie, getting this tattoo felt good to honor the rebel in me.  I’ve wanted one for 25 years. A needle and thread, and the word fly….it’s a nod to my book club and nod to myself to remember that I conquer anything; I can put on my big girl panties and rise to the occasion to overcome, and when I need to, I can spread my wings and fly.

 

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