IN THIS ARTICLE:
dad’s words of wisdom, the rebirth of the blog,
how crafting helps my social anxiety and
maybe it can help yours
Saturday, August 26th, was my dad’s 73rd birthday. To honor the occasion, my younger sister Liesl and her husband Kenny threw a celebratory lunch at their apartment. Though I didn’t make it for the meal (I’ve got dietary restrictions up the wazoo), I arrived as the dishes were being cleared and my sister’s chocolate cupcakes were being served. While taking my place at the the table, Kenny told me that he’d just asked my dad to reveal what he felt to be the most valuable piece of advice he’d been given in all his years — and I’d arrived just in time to hear it.
“I’m still thinking about it,” my dad said in his usual measured tone. I didn’t blame him for taking his time. It was a weighty request. The traditional birthday song and candle blowout was performed once and then twice when it was discovered that no one had bothered to record a video of the first round.
The cupcakes were served. The conversation spanned the 50th anniversary of Woodstock and the state of civil rights, then and now. After about an hour, my dad announced that he’d finally made his decision regarding which pearls of wisdom, of the great many he’d accumulated in his lifetime, he would bequeath upon us. And they were: “Always be true to yourself.”
Words we’ve all heard plenty of times before that occasion, but when they came from my dad at that particular moment, after he’d spent some time weighing his options, that oft-used phrase bore considerable weight. Not just for me, I suspect, but everyone around that table.
It dawned on me that there was no real way to write about crafts and DIY without writing about why I find them so rewarding in the first place. They soothed my socially anxious soul!
And that brings me, dear reader, to the reason why I decided to resurrect this humble blog. Yes, it will still focus on DIY and crafting pursuits, but with a very important difference: I’m going to bare a lot more of my inner truth than I’ve ever done before. And that truth is, it’s taken me a long, long time to embrace my introversion as well as to get a grip on my social anxiety and clinical depression. The latter will be a lifelong struggle, but thankfully, since introversion has been much celebrated in recent years via myriad memes, Ted Talks, and popular psychology articles and books, I can wear my Introvert badge with pride.
It dawned on me that there was no real way to write about crafts and DIY without writing about why I find them so rewarding in the first place. They soothed my socially anxious soul! Yes, they offer a creative outlet, but above and beyond that: they provide stress relief, a sense of accomplishment, goal-setting, a means of perpetual learning/problem solving — all things that stop an anxious mind from unhealthy ruminations.
Can you relate? If so, I want to hear from you. More than anything, I want this blog to be a communicative experience. An ongoing discussion between fellow socially-awkward, DIY-ing, coffee-drinking, TV-bingeing, book-loving, etc. souls. From the comfort of our own homes, of course.