Jul 27, 2013

How crafting made me.

I've decided to write a condensed version of why and how I started crafting, because I've been thinking about my life lately and honestly, I'd like to move on. Typing things out often make me feel better more than talking things out, plus I think my friends are a bit bored with my complaints anyways. I wish I had some pictures to show for this post, maybe of things I've made in the past, but I live with my dad and my mom was the one who documented things with cameras.

Recently, I got the chance to visit my mom. This is a rare occurrence, and we ended up talking a lot about why I didn't end up living with her after the divorce like we planned. I told her how moving from one school to another, even though the school districts were literally right next to each other, fucked up my education. My first district taught division in 4th grade, the second one taught it in 3rd grade. I learned how to divide in 6th grade. She told me how, at the time, she didn't have a place to stay, and wasn't financially stable. My dad had a job opportunity in Oregon, and took it, and took me with him. I didn't do any school work that year, and yet was moved on to the next grade because it was "understandable" that I didn't do anything.

I managed to graduate high school on time, regardless of the fact that I spent most of my time between 4th and 10th grade not doing any school work. My relationship with my dad bordered on friendship, instead of father and daughter. My stepmom seemed to stop trying to care for me when I stayed holed up in my room for years.

I was always encouraged to draw. My entire family would draw. So, I drew. I still do, but I don't like my particular style of art, and I can't draw realistically. So I don't do that as much. When I lived with my older sister for a while, I got a bracelet made of shoe laces and pop tabs. I started making those out of boredom and even sold them at school. During one spring break, I was taught how to knit by my stepmoms mother. I knit one short scarf and then stopped because I didn't have any more yarn. After a while, I somehow found craft websites, such as craftster.org and cutoutandkeep.net. These inspired me to start reconstructing my clothes. I made a few cute things, but ended up ruining others. Then, I started to get bolder and go to Joannes for fabric. I mostly ruined that too.

Then, I found a website that sold chainmaille rings for cheap. I decided I wanted to try that. I got my dad to order some, and I made some bracelets and a choker. Then I started realizing that I wanted to learn how to make all kinds of things. I threw myself into crafting because I didn't have any friends in my neighborhood to ride bikes with, as I had in the past. I was a loner, because I had a hard time thinking of words to say to people.

I started knitting again. I learned and learned and learned. I didn't have people to help me, I just had the internet. Then I started connecting to people because I would be making something, and they would ask me about it. Or, I would be wearing something I made, and they would compliment me, and all I had to say was "I made it" and it would start a whole conversation.

I don't always make the coolest things, or things that look interesting, or even functioning things, but people loved it all because it was something they couldn't do. They would be amazed at my talents. I had something in me that was worth working on and improving! So, I brought that into the rest of my life and improved that too.

So. that is how I started crafting. I was depressed and alone, and needed something to do. It brought me out of my depression enough to connect to people when they spoke to me. I still have a hard time with thinking positively a lot, but it's better than it was before. I'm really trying to let myself be happy. I can lose myself in crafting and come out with some kind of productive work to show for it. That's better than wallowing about, letting myself get down.

Does anybody have an inspirational story about crafting to share? I'd like to hear it! Hopefully there are some out there that isn't as sad and annoying as mine is.

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