My last post was over 6 months ago. Then I gave myself (more) permission to stop following a strict plan, trust my gut, and do what felt right.
And then things got really tough. And I shut everything down – all the social media pages. I stopped knitting. I stopped blogging. And for awhile I stopped living, I was just existing. I had no path, no plan, no call to action.
Right now? I can’t say that has entirely changed. However – I had a bit of a light bulb moment recently which is why you are reading this today.
A few days ago I was engaging in another medium that I enjoy (not knitting – and I’m not sure if/when I might mention it here), but regardless it is something I have had a passion and interest in for awhile and, like my knitting mojo, has gone through it’s own ebb and flow. And while I was working with this nothing was going right. And it wasn’t the first time I felt this way doing it, but I was reaching a breaking point. I couldn’t figure it out, I couldn’t understand things, and I was getting pretty upset with myself over it.
So I reached out to one of my best friends, like she had done herself earlier that night, and confessed I needed help. That in and of itself is hard for me – I’m the lone wolf leader of the pack. Right or wrong for the last few years I’ve felt that it is expected of me to always have it together, always know how to do things, always be able to figure it out. So the other day, when I have been struggling at work, at bowling, at knitting, at cooking, at eating, and now this? I could feel the seams unraveling a bit.
So we talked about the thing I was trying to understand and she gave her interpretations on what she thought it was. As we talked I thought I was just gaining clarity about the situation at hand, but after a few days I realized that it was about so much more.
One very potent thing I said to her was “I was feel like a Salieri surrounded by Mozarts”. I was feeling mediocre and inadequate, that if I couldn’t excel at this thing and be the best then what was the point? LIGHTBULB – turns out I feel this way about everything in my life. I don’t just assume that everyone expects me to be the expert, but I also assume I can and will be. As you (and I logically) know, life doesn’t work that way. I know logically that someone will always be better than you, and someone will be worst … my twisted brain sometimes says “But someone still has to be the very best“, regardless of the fact that I know it won’t be me. Still struggling at anything – especially something that has been in my life for awhile – is incredibly difficult for me. Part of my self-worth has become tied to whether I can do something well or not, and if others know/acknowledge that.
Isn’t that a bit messed up? Oh, you bet.
So the next night I tried again. And again, I reached out to her because I was struggling. This time, she said something (well, a lot of things) that really hit home. I was focused and overwhelmed with anxieties. She reminded me that I’m excellent with facts and figures – when things have a right answer or a right way of doing them I excel. When things are more open, more “no one path” I struggle – not because I can’t figure out which path, but that I see them all and try to figure out “the most right one”. I get stuck with indecision and I spend all this time stuck at the forks and crossroads, crippled by anxiety and indecision … and then stuck at feeling mediocre and inadequate because I see others moving forward and I’m stuck. I’m only stuck because I won’t make a choice, not because I’m doing anything wrong. I’m so scared of being wrong and making mistakes that I don’t make choices.
It’s not that I didn’t necessarily know all these things, but having them laid out so obviously over a couple of days really resonated with me.
One last thing she pointed out while we we’re trying to figure things out was that maybe I was getting a sign that I need to be writing/blogging again. Writing is something I enjoy that (I think) I’m good at. And I acknowledge there’s a part of me that wants to be really good at it … which means that one day I write and publish a book. But, like the other things in my life, I get stuck on options and planning and choices and nothing moves forward.
But Jenn, how does this all relate to knitting, social media, this blog, and why you’re coming back after 6+ months away?
I’m glad you asked! What this means is I need to embrace the idea of doing things for me because I want to, forging my own path without worrying about what others think, and doing things just because they make me happy. Sure, I might have said this before … and sure, I might have said I resolve to do this … but honestly? I was more excited about planning the plan than executing the plan. With my therapist I have made an honest solid commitment to work on the things he gives me (read the books, do the workbooks, actually put it into practice) and I commit to the same here. I want to stop looking at all the options and pick one – if it works, great! if not, then maybe I can backtrack and choice something else.
Thus I’ve reactivated all my social media profiles. I’ll write more often. I’ll post more pictures. Hell, I’ll even organize an event (Knit in Public Day ~ June!). But most importantly, I’ll do the work and make decisions. And with some luck and a lot of hardwork … maybe this will stick this time.
And just a quick update on those plans I mentioned in my last post? The dinner went great – I didn’t burn the turkey AND it was edible! My next dinner party is next week! That opera? I went – it was amazing and I loved every moment of it. I need to see more.