Sunday, July 29, 2018

In Which I Bury the Lede (As per Usual)

I should be doing many things right now, namely: unpacking my clothes (which means I have to find the majority my clothes), massive clean up of M's bedframe (that was somehow removed from under protective plastic at the beginning of the demolition and can't be moved till "de-hazmatized"), reorging a basement that's so full one requires gold-standard tetris skills to manage it (and till this is done, furniture that isn't supposed to live upstairs is piled in a corner of my living room) - I could go on...

The thing is, I'm exhausted. I'm exhausted on pretty-well every level. I'm about to go back to work tomorrow (after a two-week "break") and I don't even know how my intellectual self is going to resurface. I'm trying to find the spark but I'm like a lighter at the end of its fluid.

My nature is compelling me - I'm scared shitless that, if I don't get up and work on everything right fucking now, I'm going to lose my will (already rather non-existent) and I can't bear to spend the rest of my life in this state of chaos. In case you're wondering about the veracity of one's mind being a bad neighbourhood that one shouldn't visit alone, I'm the very instrument of this misery. I'm the bomb I need to detonate. Scott keeps promising me that he won't lose his will and that, if we do even two hours a week, things will get done eventually. I just didn't think that things would continue to be so challenging, even though Scott warned me constantly, in an effort to prep me for ongoing stimulus.

On the flip side, I'm sure I'm learning many excellent life lessons I'm going to appreciate next year.

But talk about burying the lede. This post is about how - despite the flaws in my brain-state - my broken faith in humanity is being restored - in large measure because I am the most fortunate person on the planet when it comes to friendship.

Let's take a moment to dwell on that: I have awesome friends who show me love and acceptance and support at every turn. They call me to check in. They lift hundreds of pounds in boxes and furniture. They manage my work portfolios when I'm on vacation. They buy me dinner and dessert and listen to me chatter incessantly. They give me beautiful bottles of pink bubbles (that are real Champagne!). They inspire me with their diverse experiences and philosophies.

I have always said that, when it comes to friendship, I won the freakin' lottery. They should write on my gravestone: She reveled in friendship because she had the best friends.

Which brings me to the most fantastic experience I had yesterday. Gillian - who truly is as adorable in real life as she is in your blog feed - made a point of it to invite me to a sewing meet up (despite my not having looked at a machine in 18 months) and sweetened the deal by a) picking me up / taking me there, b) making me a NEW dress that actually fits (Lady Skater, my fave design ever) and a gorgeously-fitting new black T-shirt, c) cutting me out a Camino Cap T pattern plus fabric while d) standing by me with confidence-inspiring words while I serged it together amongst a group of utterly lovely women. And then she gifted me a copy of the "dress of the summer" pattern: The Fiona Sundress. Can you imagine such generosity?

Not only did Gillian take me away from the overwhelming in my own environment, but she guided me through an experience that might have been differently overwhelming, but wasn't, by making it normal. That's the mark of a terrific teacher and an excellent friend.

But let's go back to the part where she made me a dress and a top. I freakin' need that dress and top! They fit so beautifully. She chose perfect fabrics (I will post photos soon, I just have to take a shower before anyone sees me in anything). The dress is in animal print! What I learned yesterday, what metaphorically smacked me in the head, is that I have to stop with the goddamn fitting perfectionism. Lord, people - Gillian didn't even have my body there when she cut out these patterns, and the clothes fit.

Let me say this in front of an audience so I cannot back track in the future: Perfection is the enemy of the good because there ain't no good once you slice it to shreds - 3/8 of an inch at a time.

My goal as a sewist, over the coming months, is to go slowly (I don't need to make a capsule wardrobe in a weekend - not that this ever worked, given my natural pace) and to make the assumption that I'm not so much a special snowflake on the fitting front that I can't make a change or two to the vertical dimensions and call it a day.

If I want to be different - and I do - if I want to grow as a person and as an artist - then I need to see things through a different lens. If I can sever myself from perfectionism when it comes to the things I make - the things that are supposed to bring me joy - then I will be able to transfer that awareness to the other areas of my life.

Yesterday Gillian gave me a wonderful gift that I will not forget, one in lieu of the beautiful clothes that she made for me. She brought me closer to myself, and for that I am very, very grateful.


  1. What a lovely tribute to Gillian, whose blog I love, and also to yourself!

  2. Gillian sounds amazing! So glad you have people like her. Also Scott sounds pretty amazing too. I agree perfectionism can stifle creativity. I bet there were many pictures painted before the Mona Lisa...some of which were very so so. Take care.
    PS...down 25lbs now. I will need new clothes soon, as well as a bra fitting :-)

  3. I'm so happy you had a good day! I really enjoyed sewing for you, and I'm thrilled that they all fit so well! You are a good model!
    I really enjoyed my day yesterday - such a joy to hang out with smart, ambitious, creative women! Something I don't feel like I fit in that well with the suburban mom crowd in the staffroom at work, so it was lovely to be reminded that there are more inspiring people out there! Glad you had fun, too.

    (And anytime you do want a capsule wardrobe in a weekend, that is literally my favourite kind of sewing, so invite me over and feed me snacks, and I"ll make it happen! ;)

  4. She sounds wonderful, and I’m not even saying that just because we share the same first name.

  5. How did you learn to sew? By taking classes? I've been thinking of learning because I'm tired of not finding clothes that I like and/or fit.

  6. Dear Gillian, have you ever wanted to visit the southern most US? It’s very hot right now, but I’ve a pool and I’ll feed you whatever you want. I’ve a huge stash, just need fitting help, encouragement and inspiration. I’ll share my stash, too! Fly into Atlanta and I’ll pick you up there and it’s about an hour and 15 minutes to my place in Alabama in the country.

    1. Ahahaha - a tempting offer! Sadly, I'm too busy sewing for all my aunts and cousins, who have realised that I like a sewing for others! :P

  7. Kristin, I deeply envy your friendship with Gillian. If you yourself weren't such an awesome person, I'd resent you for it!

    Gillian, let us know if you want to move to California and make more friends. :)

  8. We all need a Gillian in our lives, good mates are beyond rubies.

  9. What a wonderful tribute, and I am happy for you. Friends and wonderful and I don't know how I'd get by without them, and they get us outside of ourselves and show us things that lead to new discoveries, besides being just fun and caring and loved. Or maybe that is all linked together.

  10. I'm always terribly sad that we are so far apart. And always terribly happy that you have awesome friends nearby.
    As a younger woman I really didn't 'get' women friends...I missed out on so much! Now I have some truly amazing ones and they some of the greatest blessings of my life. I'm glad you have the same blessings in yours.

  11. What a lovely experience! Gillian is obviously the bee's knees, but it's so great to hear about the particulars, as well as to hear that you're being so caringly tended by friends. In times like those you're going through, it's invaluable. Looking forward to sunnier days for you (figuratively AND literally)!

  12. Aww!!! Look at you go! Also I’m totally, unreasonably excited over the idea of you letting go of your sewing perfectionism because I’ve seen you make so many things that seem great from this end! Also totally jealous of that meetup. Anyway! Take care and take it easy. Of course you won’t live in chaos forever. (I will, but that’s a personality feature ;) ) you’ll get your house sorted, piece by piece. It’s alreafy looking lovely. Also isn’t the kid going to Katimavik? Shove everything in her room til she comes back. 😂