I’m so excited that Me Made May is starting soon! When I read the post about it on Zoe’s blog, I felt a finger pointing in my face:
“This is YOUR challenge, write the script any way you want, just remember: IT IS A CHALLENGE. It is really annoying when these challenges receive the odd comment saying ‘Oh, I already do this so I may as well sign up’, which is clearly missing the point of challenging yourself. Also, THIS IS NOT A COMPETITION. It is a personal attempt to achieve a better relationship with your handmade creations, which you may or may not choose to share with the creative online community.”
A pointing finger, shaking a little bit, perhaps attended with a strident tone. And rightly so. I am sure I said that at least once when signing up for a Me Made Challenge, and Zoe’s completely right. If it’s not a challenge, then stay out of it. I can see now that was a completely twitty thing to say.
I thought about what she wrote- I thought about my relationship to my work and I thought about my own attitude, how I should challenge myself and where I want to go with my sewing. I made a pledge:
‘I, StephC of 3 Hours Past the Edge of the World, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’12. I will endeavor to wear head-to-toe self stitched clothing made in the past 6 months each day for the duration of May 2012’
Here’s where it gets sharey- the space inside my head can be a little scary, so if you’d rather not know much about it please don’t read any further. I don’t blame you, I’d rather opt out, too. Come back tomorrow or this weekend- I promise promise I’ll have that post on neckline alterations ready to go!
I was depressed most of last year. Super depressed. Dark, bleak, scary depression that wraps around itself and blocks out everything good. That’s why I quit blogging and more or less fell off the internets map. Of course, nothing chases away the blues like a depressant so I spent my evenings drinking rather than sewing or writing. I didn’t drink enough to have my head in the toilet or get in the way of my job or being a mommy, but I drank enough to gain 15 pounds (which mostly went away when I quit drinking). I didn’t fit into my clothes anymore and I was *NOT* about to make bigger ones. (Also, my photos for blogging and Me Made September look all kinds of Angry Face. I look back and shake my head.) I made almost nothing in that time. I didn’t like my body, I didn’t have any idea of where I wanted to be 6 months, a year, or five years in the future, and I was completely uninspired.
Then I quit my job. For a lot of reasons, but at least in part because I wanted to turn my attention to sharing what I do “in person” with a wider audience through the wonder of the internets and my boss was not happy about that. Not in the slightest. I quit.
After I quit my job and stopped drinking, my creativity came back. I had ideas on top of ideas on top of ideas, and I spent most of my free time sketching pattern pieces and outlining ideas to use later. I’m really lucky- my husband, his family, my family and my friends (and you all!) stood behind my decision or I’d be working in a retail clothing shop right now. More than the thrill of a creative rush, I felt myself changing as a person. I still don’t know how to describe it, but I felt a shift in my thinking.
Colors looked brighter (remember my summer flowers Christmas headers? I was suddenly enchanted by the world around me), I saw inspiration everywhere, I started listening to music again and most importantly I realized that blogging is a collaborative experience. It’s not about me making up some weird sh*t and convincing other people to go along, it’s about listening to the needs and wants of others and showing how those things are possible. It’s about trusting my instincts, keeping my eye on my goals and working hard. It’s not about being some twitty show-off who boasts about her sewing during a challenge. I’m sorry, internets. I’ll try to be better.
That’s why I’m doing Me Made May with only items I’ve made in the past 6 months. It’s symbolic for me. I never wrote much about the shift I went through as a person during that time, but it was big for me. And it’s scary to share!
Once I started working from home, I saw I had a deficit of “regular/casual” clothes. Sure, I had plenty of prim vintage blouses made from flocked cheesecloth and matronly woven skirts, but nothing I wanted to wear on a daily basis while I hunched over a laptop learning to digitize patterns. I found myself inside someone else’s wardrobe and I had to change it. I think I can clothe myself in the month of May with nothing but my newer stuff, even though most of it comes in eye-blinding shades of aqua, red, and pink. When you see those colors, you’ll know the person inside them. Those are the clothes I changed into, and I think I’m ready to wear them.