I discovered something about myself today that was at once exciting and also depressing. That thing is that when I am in a corner or I feel out of control, I create. I create like freakin' mad. I cook, I sew, I write, I knit like a banshee (if banshees knit - and if they don't, they should) and crochet like a fiend. Because I can't do anything else with the outside world, but I can make something with my own two hands. I can shape it, form it, complete it, and look upon it happily. It is mine, it is something that I saw from start to finish, and it was something that I was absolutely certain of how to work with the entire way.
Exciting, yes? When I'm feeling trapped, I MAKE stuff. I create because I can't NOT create, but there's something about not being able to move in other parts of my life that shunts all of that nervous energy in to this under-dwelling, subconscious drive that. Which also means when I experience an explosion of creativity, it's when I feel most lost in my life.
May not hold 100% true, but in looking back over the last few months I note a pretty decent correlation between times I was frustrated or panicked and the wave of created things floating around the house. Starting new socks projects? Check. Cooking crazy foreign concoctions for multiple dinners in one week? Check. Learning about a new hobby? Double-check. Some of this did come on the tails of being freed from 2.5 years of hell courtesy of college online, and another when I was excited to send small gifts to a friend overseas. But for the most part, I grab for paper or brushes or yarn when I feel like life is kicking me in the gut and leaving me in the alley in the rain.
Fantastic and awesome Buddhist-esque revelation from this: NONE. It simply is, its what I do, although the acknowledgment in and of itself that it simply is does border a bit on the Zen attitude.
There really is nothing to be "done" about this realization, as it doesn't really detract from every day life. It does bring a little stress in when I think about all of the projects I might have going that are unfinished - we won't offer a number of how many that is, you'd balk and wonder if I'm nuts- but I am okay with dropping things to the back burner to work on them later. I have a crocheted sweater that I've been waiting to finish for over a year. I'm okay with that, and once Bob's sweater is done I'm going to sashay over and finish that puppy since I'm just one more sleeve away from completion on the entire thing.
If anything I can slowly figure out how to turn it to my advantage. If I know it's a habit of mine, I can set up projects in bundles and have them waiting so I'm not casting about helplessly. Or I could keep a running list of what's out there waiting for completion and just slam through it, checking them off like a pro. But in the end, it's just something I do, it's my outlet for nervous energy; and thank god that I immediately look to a skein of yarn or my Copic markers and not to a bottle of alcohol or a syringe of dream juice to deal with it.
I suppose if there was anything to take away from this, then it would be the thing that hit me upside the head today.
Ever have one of those moments where your brain seems to yell at you like you're an idiot in a voice that sounds almost like you, but somehow older, wiser, and as if it's rolling its eyes at you every time you hear it? This occurs to me sometimes. Today, as I was sitting here going in circles over my lack of employment and the lack of job openings, this voice came to me. And it said
STOP TRYING TO HAVE CONTROL. YOU DON'T HAVE ANY AND YOU'RE WASTING YOUR ENERGY.
There was a subtext of wearing myself out emotionally, of being foolish to tire myself by trying to grasp at straws in the illusion of giving myself control over a situation with too many factors out of my reach.
GIVE UP CONTROL. YOU'VE ALREADY DONE EVERYTHING YOU CAN.
And I immediately realized that I had... I've been doing my best, I've been trying hard, and the unique percolation of my history, the economy, the geographic location and what I want for my life are clashing right now. One of these things will have to shift before I will be able to move forward. It's easiest for me to shift, so I'm pondering what I'm willing to give up in my goals for now in order to get where I want to go eventually, but still be able to do reasonable adult things like pay bills and eat.
And in the meantime, while I'm frustrated that things just ain't shifting, I'm just going to knit a shit-ton of socks and sweaters and small toys. It's just not really a loosing situation in that light.