Each weekend I try to break myself out of my comfort zone and try at least one new thing. Some weekends that may be jumping from eleven thousand feet in the air, or something like attempting to make a bowtie.
Now I love a good bow tie, and equally I enjoy expressing my creativity by analog means. Growing up I spent a lot of time around seamstresses. I was always fascinated by their ability to see patterns and detailed designs in just a piece of cloth. So when the opportunity arose for me to do something of my own in this area, I didn't hesitate.
As I set out on what would later turn into a detailed lesson on sewing machines and the importance of taking one's time to do things right, a few lessons jumped out at me.
Starting can be hard but isn't impossible
The hardest part of sewing together a bowtie is the initial stitch, it always seems daunting at the start. Worries regarding not having enough time, money or not knowing enough may plague us, but if we don't start, we'll never get anywhere. Once you start it's easier to keep going.
Curves and obstacles strengthen us
Sometimes we end up going fast on a path that we think is a straight line, only to find out it ends up being a path that takes us wildly off course. The unexpected curves life throws us aren't meant to hinder us from success. If anything, they make the end result that much more worthwhile.
Just because we may not be on the course we've planned for ourselves doesn't mean the path we're currently on isn't the right one for us. Life has an odd way of teaching us lessons, but we can miss them because of how busy we are focusing on the mistakes we've made.
The threads in life are fragile
Thread happens to be a very fragile thing when put up against a sewing machine. It gets tangled, fails to stitch correctly if a setting on the machine is incorrect, comes loose from the needle if not enough of it is fed through and will even break. Much like thread, our lives can get tangles in all sorts of directions, and in turn it can cause us to not connect correctly to others or even our own emotions. If our mental, emotional, spiritual and physical states aren't properly fed we'll end up malnourished or even worse, and if we fail to ask for help when our stress levels are too high, we can end up snapping or breaking.
It's important to take special care of these parts of our humanity, as this is the only way to achieve peak performance as a creative.
Even though my bowtie didn't come out exactly like I pictured it would, the experience is one that reminded me that the journey is just as important as the destination.
Nothing can be rushed. Failure will happen, but just because it has happened doesn't mean that it's the end.
Some days will seem more daunting than others, and some tasks will seem downright impossible, but that doesn't mean you should give up or run away in fear. The journey upward isn't one that is easy. If it were, everyone would have done it.
None of us know how the end of our lives will turn out. What we do know is that right now, in this very moment, the choices we make, whether we decide to push forward and live a life that raises the bar or to give up and complain, will set into motion where we will be tomorrow.
Being a creative is tough work. Regardless of whether you're making a bow tie or building an internet related experience, it doesn't always go the way we intend it to, but there is always a lesson that we can take away from the experience.