So today, I want to talk about insecurities. We all have them. Some are probably so ingrained, we don’t even know that we have them.
Last weekend was amazing, by the way. For many reasons, but chiefly…
I learned how to sew.
Ok, so my grandmother taught me the basics of how to sew when I was five, Mom taught me how to mend my clothes at seven, and I’ve probably absorbed a bit with a lifetime spent around amazing seamstresses. Gram’s quilts are an art form, and my sister is just disgustingly talented. Me? Up until a couple of years ago, I was vehemently not in that club.
My sister is 15 months older. This meant that everything was a competition to me (she did not feel the same), and she had that automatic 15-month advantage. She also had insane fine motor control, even as a toddler. Gram started teaching her how to sew at about four years old.
Everyone told me that in a year or two, it would be my turn to learn, but I saw how much praise she received, and how amazing all the adults were and knew I wouldn’t get the same reactions. So I decided it wasn’t my thing and went outside to teach myself how to swing without anyone to push me.
There is a very fine distinction here that I want to make clear: my sister’s talent did not intimidate me (even at that age, I could beat her up, so she never intimidated me), it was how everyone else reacted to it. In that way, I could not compete, so I took myself out of the running.
But sewing is a skill I should have. It’s one I very much want to learn from my grandmother. Her Christmas present to me was a sewing machine and the sewing basket her grandmother had given to her as a girl. Last weekend, I finally used them.
After a lifetime of saying, “It’s not my thing,” turning around and saying, “It can be my thing,” isn’t so easy. I wasn’t doing anything complicated, but I wanted to swear, scream, cry. I wanted to rip everything apart because I couldn’t do it, it was pointless, I was ruining it, I would break the machine, I was wasting everyone’s time, I could be doing something else — something I knew was my thing.
I don’t think I’d felt like that since high school.
Insecurity is a bitch. Especially when it’s an insecurity you have internalized for decades and come to believe as fact, rather than fear.
And I got through it. I did a damn good job. The second project was a breeze. While I wouldn’t say I’ve fully conquered my insecurity, I’ve made a fairly good start.
In case you haven’t figured it out by now, I like to take the things I’m afraid of and run at them, screaming and flailing. Yet again, it has proven to work. I can’t recommend it enough.
Unless you’re afraid of something like a big angry bear…