Wednesday, November 11, 2009
I've previously written about my astounding ability to be sort of a somewhat-above-average Jane at many things, but master of not-much. Wait -- that makes my skillz sound slightly substandard. How about 'renaissance woman'? Yeah, that has a much more chic vibe to it. Anyway, I'll start out by saying that I'll try most anything...and have. I'm not afraid to take risks and dive in when I am completely ill-prepared, and learn what I need to know along the way. The exception to this rule is that I will not attempt any activity that involves heights or the possibility of my developing motion sickness. And no haunted houses or scary movies. There -- anything else, I'm in. I've started and ran my own business, learning what I needed to know as I went. When I fell in love with beading, I decided to create and teach classes on how to bead. Once, I had an idea for a newspaper column, pitched it, and thus became a regular columnist (with no formal writing experience).
When I don't know how to do something, I figure out how to do it. I don't always excel at everything I try, but I've never been afraid to try and possibly fail -- quite the opposite. Here's the interesting part: I jump in head-first with high expectations that I will absolutely exceed in whatever I try. That sounds great, right? Well, if I attempted new things, set an intention for success, and just released all expectations, I'd be fine. Instead, I undoubtedly expect myself to be perfect right away and don't allow myself any ramp-up time to gradually get better at the undertaking. This is why I'm a tough new employee. I want to know everything immediately. I always wished there were a chip of information that could be implanted in my brain when I started a new job -- or for anything, really. I would be elated if there were a brain download for learning Spanish, painting, math aptitude, or knitting.
I learned to sew in college and only recently picked it up again. Some of my friends can sew really well and I feel like many things I do have flaws and take me ten times longer than they should to create. I know that I'll get better with time, but I feel so impatient and want my work to look fantastic... pronto! So, with the training wheels still on my sewing machine, I agreed to share a table with a friend at several craft fairs this fall. OK...enter my psyche:
Somewhat of a beginner in the realm of sewing
High expectations that I should produce Martha Stewartesque quality work from the word 'go'
Signed on for multiple craft fairs, when (due to my skill level) I truly needed more prep time
Thinking "I can easily do all of this in this amount of time!"
Adding new products at the last minute
Scheduling 283979123 other things in the meantime
Based on what you've read so far, can you imagine why I've been out of my head the past month? Today I decided to let everything go -- it is what it is. I officially surrender. What is already created for this weekend's craft show is what will arrive there on Saturday morning. And next year I will begin preparations much earlier so there's not so much rush-time in the fall. And over the next year, my skills will improve and I'll be happier with my output. I've decided to look at this whole craft fair experience as a wake-up call that I can give myself a break and not be perfect right away...or at all, even. I love that I enthusiastically embrace each endeavor and I never want to lose that part of me; however, surrendering to 'what is' and giving myself permission to be a beginner is the key. Oh, and not over-scheduling myself is important too. A renaissance woman is a beautiful thing -- a freaked-out woman with 15 lists is not.