Unrealised Potential

When I first started sewing is 2014 I was never far from my machine. My brain was filled with wild ideas and creations, and I would spend every spare minute crafting them into physical designs. I look back over the clothes I was making in those early days, and it makes me sad a little. I miss the enthusiasm and the joy I took from the process.

These days, my creativity has taken a back seat. Actually if I’m being honest, it got kicked out of the back seat months ago, and left stranded on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. And the truth is, I feel so cut off from that essential part of me that I don’t even really feel like me anymore. It’s like, somewhere along the line I got caught up in the day to day life stuff – and no small amount of bitterness about a whole bunch of that life stuff – and then, without me even noticing, my wild creativity just became more and more stifled.

I don’t know what it is. There is a passion within me that I feel has been wrenched out of me. And in its place is a gaping, jagged wound. What the hell happened to me, that I ended up here?

I don’t write anymore. Not for years, actually. Once, I had notebooks filled with stories and folders full of ideas. These days the only writing I do is here and for my job. Again, a part of me that has slowly been obliterated over time.

I need to start making time for being creative again. It’s essential for my wellbeing, my mental health, my very existence. I think a big part of the reason I’ve struggled so much in recent months is because I’ve not allowed myself the time to create. I’m going to be out of a job in two weeks, and then…I’m making a promise to myself. I’m going to make sure that I find ways to reignite my passion for creating. In whatever way that presents. There’s far too many projects unmade, and far too much unrealised potential.

I’m happier when I’m making something. Calmer in my person, and my mind. Better. More content. So here’s to finding the spark again, and to finding myself.

On Not Being Good at Things

I’ve been thinking about being good at things.

You look at talented people. Artists, musicians, singers, dancers, actors, authors. People who are really good at design, or carpentry, or sewing. And you think, damn I wish I could do that.

The thing is, all those talented people started out untalented. No one just wakes up one day and knows how to play the piano, or paint a realistic portrait. People develop their skills over time, and with practice. When I first started sewing years ago, the garments I was making were barely fit to be worn out of the house. These days, I have a wedding dress under my belt and another scheduled. I’ve made costumes for plays. I’ve made and altered clothing for friends, family, and people who just happened to hear that I sew. And I’m pretty good at it, if I do say so myself. I’m not expert, but I’ve learned and improved over time.

A couple of years ago, I decided I wanted to learn how to paint with watercolour. Every so often I sit and create something, and sometimes it’s good, and sometimes it’s awful. And that’s OK. Because at least I can say I’m doing it. Again, I’m by no means an expert. In fact, I’m not even remotely talented where painting is concerned! But I enjoy the process, and sometimes I think that’s all that matters. Not comparing myself to talented artists who have spent years honing their craft. For me, it’s not a passion, but a hobby. And therein lies the difference, I think.

In the same way that I own four different string instruments and still can’t play a single one. The truth is that whilst I love the idea of being able to play an instrument to go with my singing, I’ve never dedicated the time to learn. I get frustrated when I can’t learn 20 songs in an hour, and then eventually give up. But if I spent time and effort learning them, in the same way that all the talented musicians I admire have learned their instruments, then I could add that to my small list of things I’m not-bad-but-not-awful at.

I blame my lack of time. I blame the fact that I’m not good at a thing (despite not being able to GET good at it if I don’t practice). I blame life, and commitments, and work and a myriad of other things. But hey, in 3 weeks I’m gonna be made redundant anyway. So maybe I can start actually putting in some time and effort to learn a skill properly. Instead of just trying it out every few months and giving up after a day. Maybe I’ll take a class or something, I dunno.

Anyway. The point is, that skills rarely come naturally. And even the ones that do still need to be worked on. And it’s OK to not be good at everything. And it’s also OK to admire in others, skills you would like to have yourself. But if you want to have those skills, you’ve gotta be prepared to work at them. But don’t let not begin good at something stop you from trying it. We’ve all gotta start somewhere.

Practice makes perfect, or something.

20.02.21

Fuck I wish it would rain.

I’m out of sorts, man. I’m just so fucking sick of everything. I took a tally of how many times I’ve thought about dying this week, and so far we’re at 17. Wait. Now it’s 18.

When it’s not the void, it’s the misery, and if not that, then it’s the rage.

So what do you do with all that anger? Masturbation is a good way to vent it out, sure. But an orgasm or two doesn’t keep the emptiness at bay. Sooner or later (usually the former) it comes back, and then you’re right back where you started.

What do you do when you realise that your life just isn’t gonna be anything other than mundane? How do you get up every day, knowing that today is going to be just the same as yesterday? Running away is a good idea in theory, but it’s a temporary solution at best. Clean slate? Never. You always bring some baggage with you, that’s the inevitability of existence.

I’m just so goddamn tired of being alive.

Small seemingly insignificant things hurt far more than they reasonably should. It’s like having your heart gouged out with a wooden spoon. Splinters are the worst, right? I wish I could just scrub the memory from my brain, but it’s there like a neon light in the darkness. Stupid light.

There’s so much I wish I could say. Not that it would make a difference even if I could speak the words aloud. But the things left unsaid are sometimes the heaviest burdens to carry. So we stay silent. I guess this is just the way things are.

Fuck I wish it would rain.

Escape

Lately I’ve been feeling overcome by the overwhelming urge to escape. I am in urgent need of some time alone, away somewhere far outside the reach of people or communication.

I feel like I’m drowning a little, if I’m being honest. My two jobs are draining all the energy out of me and even the people I love are becoming hard to spend time with or talk to. I am in this constant state of physical and mental exhaustion, and desperate for just a few quiet days on my own.

I want to shed all responsibility for a couple of days. Not have anything demanded or expected of me. No one asking me to give them my time or my energy or my focus. I want to be somewhere surrounded by trees, or somewhere near the ocean perhaps. Just anywhere that doesn’t involve people. I need to ground myself, and reconnect with the Amy that isn’t a weary ball of tension and stress. I like that Amy. She’s much more content than me.

The state of things here aren’t helping any either. We’re still forced to wear masks and now our government has sent us into another lockdown. It’s tiring and frustrating and I’m sure I’m not the only one who has, frankly, has enough.

I just need a break. A step away from my current reality. A well deserved escape. Hey, you never know; with just four weeks until my redundancy takes effect (woo!) maybe going away somewhere can be my celebration.

Redundancy, and Change

I’ve been made redundant. Or I will be in five weeks.

I work for a company that has many franchises. My shop, which has been up to this point company owned, is about to be bought out. We just started a new guy this week, and he will go with the shop. I, on the other hand, will be let go.

Sounds like I got the raw deal in this whole scenario. And the truth is, I suppose I did. My six years with this company doesn’t appear to count for much, despite the insistence of my area manager that he would do all he could to find work for me. On the surface, it looks bad. But the thing is, I was getting ready to quit anyway.

My last trainee just quit. I got lumped with a new guy, a reject from an interview with my sister store in the other shopping centre. I had no say in the hiring process and effectively got stuck with the dregs of the last interview. The new guy is…creepy. And I don’t have the energy or the patience to spend the next 12 months training him, when I just finished training the last person we hired. But that aside, I’ve long felt that my time with this company was coming to an end anyway. There is a shift coming, and a big one. I’ve been struggling with where I’m at, and wrestling with the choice to stay or go. This change in my work situation was just the catalyst for a bigger change in my life.

I have no idea what I’m going to do next. But I feel liberated. I feel a weight lifted. I am ready for whatever the Universe throws at me. I think I’ve been ready for this for some time, and now that things are changing, I expect that things will start to fall into place. I am, for once, letting go of the reigns and putting it all in the hands of fate.

A Thousand Deaths

The thing they never tell you about life, is that it’s agonizing. The very weight of being is painful in a way that cannot be defined by words alone.

I hurt. I ache. I feel everything and nothing. And it’s endless.

We exist in these finite bodies, each passing day bringing us ever closer to our slow, inevitable descent into decay.

I endure. A thousand times over, and a thousand times again.

This great, glorified existence. No one ever told me that it will kill me long before I die.

Sunday Musings

Things are starting to heat up. No, not a euphemism. It’s summer in Australia, and whilst the last month was reasonably free of super hot days, January seems determined to remedy that. Today it’s expected to get to 37, and the same again tomorrow. Which is fine, if you don’t live in an ancient house with no air conditioning and a tendency to retain heat long after the sun has gone down.

I had plans to sew today, because I haven’t had any free time to do any this week, but I’m dreading the notion of slaving away over the machine in this kind of oppressive heat. So I might make the shirt I was planning to piece together this morning before it gets too hot, and then spend my afternoon watching Friends under the fan or something.

I always dread this time of year. I’m a cold weather person, you see. I like winter, and autumn, and those lovely spring days that don’t get above 25. But summer is a torrid time, and it is guaranteed that I’ll be easily irritated, sleep deprived and uncomfortable. But, I’m still chipping away at my savings, so maybe by next summer I will be able to afford to put a deposit on a house with actual air conditioning. It’s the dream!

But it’s not just the heat that has me restless and losing sleep. I am looking for a new job too. See, things at my current job are about to get a whole lot more unbearable. The girl I trained for 12 months is about to move to the city, and therefore she can no longer work for me. Which means I got stuck this week trialling two different men, neither of which I was particularly thrilled about. Unfortunately I had no choice, and was forced to settle on the slightly less underwhelming of the two. But the guy they’re going to hire – that I will now get stuck training for the next 12 months unless I do find a new job – has the attitude of one who will try and be the superior person in the shop. I have a sneaking suspicion that I am going to be spending my time bringing him back down to reality, and reminding him that I am the boss. In addition to this, my area manager is leaving as well, which means I now have to deal with a newcomer who will unboubtedly be out there trying to prove himself (because it’s never a woman) and turn into a real pain in my ass.

This week has, for various reasons, been stressful. I’ve cried. I’ve gotten overwhelmed. I’ve gotten angry. And we’re only 10 days into the year! I hope this isn’t a precursor to the next 12 months because I tell you, I am so not here for that kind of energy! No, honestly I think it’s just going to be a bit of a rough patch until I can sort a few things out. Until then, I’ll battle on, with the vague promise of better things to come to keep me going (it’s good to think positively, no?)

That being said, if anyone would like to buy a winning lottery ticket and post it to me, I’d be eternally grateful! Anyway, I’ma go have some breakfast, and do something productive before the heat gets too much and I give up on the notion! Happy Sunday, everyone!

Letting Go

I let you go, not because I wanted to, not because it was easy, but because it was the only way I could survive.

I shattered the illusion of happiness in that single message, and brought into sharp relief that which had been weighing heavy on my heart for the longest time.

I told myself I could live with it if everything stayed the same, but I knew in my heart I was lying to myself. I couldn’t do it. I knew only that my happiness would be temporary, until such time as I became overwhelmed with sadness again.

I let you go, not because I no longer love you, not because I have found someone else, but because it was the only way I could try to move forward.

I broke the foundation of this thing we have created together, and left us both to pick up the pieces and try to forge this new reality from the shards of the old one.

I have hated myself, and the decision I made, from the very second I made it. I wish things were different. I wish things were simple. I am sorry that I have hurt you, that I have ruined things so spectacularly. I have to live with it, and that is my punishment.

I let you go, and I wish, desperately, that I didn’t have to. But I know that the one thing I want more than anything, is the one thing I can never have.

Just Call Me Amy Valentine

I got a notification today. Apparently I have been blogging with WordPress for seven years. That definitely takes the medal for the longest relationship I’ve ever had! Not that it’s much of a competition, mind. You are reading the words of the more serially single person to have ever walked the planet! *and we laugh, because let’s not take ourselves too seriously here, OK?*

I’ve been getting a lot of hassle from people lately about the fact that I’m single. It’s like that quote from Shirley Valentine – a most excellent film from 1989 starring Pauline Collins that you should immediately go out and watch. The quote always comes to me when someone makes a big deal about the fact that I’m not dating.

Funny, isn’t it? That if you’re a woman on your own, it doesn’t half seem to upset people.

My singleness is like a beacon. Like the worst bat signal ever. It means that I have to endure countless lectures from insistent, if well meaning people, all under the guise of “we just want you to be happy”. As if what they want should be more important than how I feel. But really, it’s not about me. It’s about the fact that apparently everyone else knows more about me and what I want than I do. Because if I say I’m fine being on my own, and I’m not looking for a relationship, then it’s clearly nothing more than the sad ramblings of a lonely person who is just saying those things to hide the fact that she wants to be like everyone else. Cue the eye roll and heaving sigh of irritation.

The pushiness always comes with an explanation. It’s the “I was like you once, and then I met Bob…” which effectively means I’m in a position to lecture because one day you’ll be just like me. Or it’s the “I just think you’re running away” which means I can’t comprehend that you and I have differing opinions. Or my personal favourite, the good old “you just need to put yourself out there” which means hey, you better put yourself in uncomfortable situations with strangers and try to force a connection, because the fact that you’re not actively seeking a partner is just, like, really weird, man.

It’s always the same. Like my singleness makes the couples in the world uncomfortable. Because they’re all sooo happy and so everyone else should be too, right? And you can’t possibly be happy on your own, right? It’s infuriating. I don’t want to be set up, or even persistently nudged toward someone that another person has gotten into their head that I would be a good match with. I am 28 and far beyond the adolescent game playing and match making that was rife in my teenage years. And the annoying part is, if I do end up in a relationship with someone at any point, I’m just going to have to endure all the “I told you so” comments that will inevitably follow. There’s just no winning.

I think what it comes down to is a basic lack of understanding. Society has drilled into us that happiness lies in the partner, and the kids, and the white picket fence. But amidst all these romantic notions, the idea of being happy alone is persistently overlooked. Happiness and contentment come in many forms. And for me, that just happens to look like a single woman in her late twenties, just out here trying to live her best life.

Maybe I’ll just follow Shirley’s lead, and run away to a foreign country and enjoy romance with my own damn self. It’s bound to be less taxing than having to deal with the heavy expectations and well meaning demands of the people who keep trying to force their coupledom on me.

Paranoia or Thievery?

One of my favourite dresses has gone missing.

This might seem a trivial problem. You’re probably thinking “come on, Amy. Who cares about a dress anyway?” The issue is however, that I have a strong suspicion that my dress has not just gone missing. I firmly believe that it has been stolen.

My friend thinks I’m paranoid, but I’ve looked literally everywhere the dress could possibly have ended up, and the one thing I HAVE found is the very distinct absence of said dress. And here’s the thing. I remember hanging it out to dry on the line a couple of weeks ago, but I don’t recall pulling it in or putting it away. It was only when I went to find it to wear yesterday that I noticed it was gone. And we’ve recently had a number of thefts at home. Just a month or so ago, someone jacked up my dad’s car which was parked on the street, and stole an entire wheel. So the idea that someone walked into the backyard and casually took my dress off the line is not as far fetched as it sounds.

The thing is, I had resigned myself to the fact that it has vanished and, despite the fact that it’s only new, and the fact that it cost me about $70, I was prepared to buy a new one. But the more I think about it, the angrier I become. I purchased the dress as a kind of treat to myself, not something I often do. And it’s one of the few items of clothing I own that I don’t feel uncomfortable in. So the notion that someone has stolen it is fuel to a slow burning rage bubbling beneath the surface of my skin.

People are honestly just shit. Who steals stuff?! If it is, as I suspect, an act of thievery in the strangest and most creepy sense (I don’t like the idea of anyone coming into my space that I haven’t granted permission to), I wish I had have caught the person. Like Vincent Vega says in Pulp Fiction, it would almost be worth them doing it, just so I could catch them in the act.

If it was indeed stolen, I hope the thief gets hit in the face by karma. And if it is, in fact, just misplaced – though if it shows up now, I may still believe it was stolen, just by fairies instead of a person – then I will not only be greatly surprised, but I will concede to the fact that I’m just paranoid.