The Life Pursuit
When I first started this blog, I was determined that it would be solely devoted to my sewing pursuits. Nothing too personal. The craft of making. I announced my blog to friends and family, then immediately stumbled. I wasn’t producing much, and with my personal no-personal-posting rule, there wasn’t much to say. Well, I’ve opened up a bit. Been sewing more. And while this blog is still primarily a tale of triumphs and defeats at my sewing machine, it’s also written by me. A person. So, we’re about to get personal for a moment here. If you’d rather not read this post, stop now. I understand if readers only want to see projects, and I’ll never be the wiser if you click away. For the curious, here’s a peek behind the curtain.
Loss informed my life from a very young age onward. Although I don’t know the person I’d be without it, looking back I could say that it led to a sense of spontaneity. Of adventure. A why-not-life-is-short mentality. Maybe a bit of a wild streak. Eager, yes. Career-focused, no. In fact, I switched majors half way through college, from the slightly more practical photojournalism path to fine art photography. And then I left the country for a year. Because, why not. And then the student loans set in, the price tag of the American education system a topic I’d rather not get into. I don’t regret my art degree one bit, and am loath to call it useless. I use it every day, from the way I view the world to the deep relationships I have with my friends. Furthermore, I was fine working a day job in order to pay for my “silver habit”, as certain professors used to muse. (Would they call it a pixel habit these days? And presently, a fabric habit?) Note the past tense. Was fine.
Last year, Christmas morning, my family was hit hard with loss again. My siblings’ dad, and father figure to me, passed away from a brief, surprise battle with cancer. My daddy is living in the late stages of Alzheimer’s disease. Life is short. I’ve paid off my debt and it’s time to focus again on what is important in my life. Today was my last day at my office. I’ll miss my coworkers. We’re a motley family of sorts, and it was a really fun group to be around. The work, not one bit. To say I haven’t learned anything there would be a lie, and I’m certain many of the daily responsibilities I had will be very useful in the future.
There are still bills to pay, of course. And loafing around the house in a flimsy gown, powder puff heels, stuffing bon-bons in my face isn’t exactly my idea of a good time. Wait a minute…
I know it won’t be easy. I’m not deluded by the false promise of the American Dream. Most people in the world work jobs they aren’t passionate about, and I don’t think I’m some grand exception. My posts have been disjointed of late, the projects started and put aside. Obviously I’ve had a lot on my mind as I’ve been coming to terms with my own decision, training my replacement, eyeing the unused Ott lamp at work, thinking how fabulous of a parting gift it would make. I should start writing passive aggressive notes to hang in the bathroom, so the apartment truly does feel like a work zone.
And listen to a favorite RadioLab episode a few more times. I especially love the You v. You section of that episode. I also made a little quitting mixtape, to pump myself up. A bit tongue in cheek, but I couldn’t resist. (You can see the tracks below if you’re not a Spotify member)
To borrow from Townes, here’s to shaking the dust off and hoping I don’t dig too many holes.
- Smog – Hit The Ground Running
- Merle Haggard – Big City
- Modest Mouse – Interstate 8
- Arcade Fire – Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)
- Johnny Paycheck – Take This Job And Shove It
- The Replacements – Unsatisfied
- Andrew Bird – Plasticities
- Queen – I Want To Break Free
- Nada Surf – Whose Authority
- Thin Lizzy – Do Anything You Want To
- David Bowie – Changes
- Queen – I Want It All
- Yo La Tengo – Blue Line Swinger
- Townes Van Zandt – To Live Is To Fly