Sunday, September 1, 2013

A Third Life Crisis

Turning 27 was sort of depressing for me.  At 27, I felt like I should have accomplished more--achieved a graduate degree, married, birthed some babies, or done something big and life-changing.  Instead, I was living with my sister, working as an temporary administrative assistant, and applying to graduate school for the third consecutive year.  I felt very stagnant with little or no personal growth happening.

Luckily, my holding pattern didn't last much longer. Life quickly changed and I was finally accepted into a graduate program.  A number of significant events followed in swift succession.

Fast forward seven years........

I am feeling much like my 27 year old self these days--a bit stagnant and stale.  My life is this strange dichotomy of being, on one hand, extremely chaotic and out of control, but also insanely repetitive and boring.  Do, I want any life-changing events to come my way?  No.  No indeed.  Do I want to think about other things than "What comes after Monday?" "When is daddy home?" and "When is [Enna] going down for a nap?"  Yes, yes I do.   I feel caught in a rut where any skill I might have acquired pre-children has deteriorated into a state of dilapidation, and there is just no time to develop any new ones.

I am 34.  I get panicky thinking about my age.  There have been new hobbies I have wanted to try, new skills I have wanted to learn, and I have put them off until the time was more convenient.  However, 34 strikes me as rather old.  Not, like "I have one foot in the grave" kind of old (although who knows), but old for becoming proficient in any new skill that I might pick up.  For example, I have always wanted to learn how to make clothes--clothing that people might actually want to wear.  My sewing skills are rudimentary and have basically involved straight lines (shades, gift bags, easy quilts, etc.)  However, I would love to learn how to sew with different fabrics and alter clothes or patterns so that they might actually fit me or my family.  (It is near impossible to find clothes that actually fit my husband and son.)  These ambitions though come after much practice.  I have tried to reason it away by saying, "Now is not the time to invest in learning a new skill.  Wait until your kids are in school, or you magically have more free time."  But when is that going to happen?  When I am 50+ and my kids are all away at college?  Then am I going to learn how to make clothes?  That seems a little late--like the ship has already sailed.

So, I decided to seize the day.  Despite having absolutely no time to myself, now is actually a really ideal time to learn how to sew.  I can learn by sewing clothes for my kids.  This is ideal on many levels.  1) Less time commitment since the patterns are smaller and simpler (for the most part.)  2) Less financial commitment for the same previously mentioned reasons. 3) Less at stake if I mess up.  Let's face it, my kids are young enough not to notice the mistakes I make as I learn the ropes.

So far, I have completed a whopping 1 item.  It is cute despite the numerous mistakes I made and are apparent on close inspection.  I am getting quite familiar with my seam ripper.  Behold some less-than-ideal phone pictures:

Blurry, but oh!  How I love that sweet smile.
It is the beginning of a long, slow, process.  But!  I have started it, and that is enough for right now.


Carol said...

Fantastic start! The dress is really cute (which is also helped by the fact that Enna is really cute too)

Jaimee said...

That dress is super cute! Great job! Congrats on just doing it!! I feel exactly as you do about your current life state and often rely on others for help when doing something new. Do you have some friends or maybe older neighbors that could assist you? Assistance could come in the form of childcare while you work or tips on the skill itself to make things more efficient. If you have some friends that also want to learn new skills or get things done around the house, you can set up a time exchange where you watch their kids with yours while they get some time and vice versa. We used to do this in the person's home so it was more like being a mother's helper- entertaining the kids in another room.

Angela said...

That dress is absolutely adorable! I'm impressed. I am only good at sewing straight lines, gathering is difficult for me. I have made clothes in the past but ALWAYS with my mother's help.

MBC said...

Looks great! And yay for you for just going ahead and doing it. I keep saying that I'll start to sew again once I have a spot set up for my sewing machine, but then instead of finding a spot for my sewing machine, I go eat cookies. Very impressed.

Chariot said...

Great dress! Good for you. Keep following your passions.


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