As most of you can tell by my absence, I’ve been having a tough time lately. Simply put, I haven’t been able to sew. At all. As in, I was the point where I would sit at my machine not knowing what to do next…not even sure I remembered how to thread it.
It was bad. Really really bad. I would look at my refashion rack and I couldn’t see any of the possibilities that used to be so obvious to me. The more I thought about it, the worse it got. I didn’t even want to share other people’s refashions, as these were folks who were able to do something that I was somehow not able to do anymore.
I don’t know how to explain losing the ability to do something that you’ve done for years that is a part of your identity. I am a SlipsKnute. I want to change the way the world thinks about fashion. But what happens when you know you’re getting in your own way, and don’t know how to stop overthinking, and just do what you’ve always done?
I remember listening to This American Life months ago when they aired a segment titled, “My Own Worst Enemy”. In this segment, they talk about the strange phenomenon of really amazing professional baseball pitchers who suddenly choke. They simply can’t throw strikes anymore. They fall apart for purely psychological reasons. You can listen to this really fascinating segment. This phenomenon has been nicknamed “Steve Blass Disease” after the most famous incident of this.
There’s a 50% chance of getting your mojo back after you first experience Steve Blass Disease.
I hope none of this sounds melodramatic. Most of my recent creative opportunities and successes have been a result of this blog, however indirect. Years ago, this blog gave me confidence when I didn’t have very much, and I wouldn’t be the person I am today without it, and you. You, just for reading this silly blog, have made me a better person. And I don’t care if that sounds lame, because it’s true.
When I left work yesterday, I texted my friend Erin who I had made plans with to see a show later that night. She asked if I wanted to swing by her house for a glass of wine before heading out.
My response: “I’m going to try to sew something (ha) beforehand. I’ll let you know how that goes.”
Erin’s Response: “Oh you still do that? lol”
Nothing mean was meant by this. Erin just thought I had been busy and hadn’t felt like refashioning lately. But something in that acronym made me angry. Not at her, but at myself. I was livid. I blasted angry music in my car during my drive home.
“lol?” I thought to myself. “F*ck that. F*ck all of this.”
This is an old before pic of a refashion I hadn’t gotten around to actually starting.
I grabbed it, and without really thinking about it, began ripping off the sleeves.
They were quickly discarded.
“LOL”, I muttered angrily, tossing the dress on my form.
I snipped off the pockets, as they’d be going buhbye in the taking-in process.
At this point, I wasn’t thinking about anything other than the challenge of completing this refashion in time to meet my friend. I worked quickly.
I gave my new dress a good press, and texted Erin.
“On my way to your place in my new dress!”
It felt way too incredibly good to send that text.
I feel like my sewjo has returned. I mean it.
Now…if only I could remember how to pose properly…
I enjoyed a bit of victory wine after the show.
And Erin sat across from me…having no idea how she inadvertently inspired me that day.
I don’t think I’ll tell her.