Today I want to tell you a story.
There was a girl that used to work for the DirecTV tracking office. She hated the job, but about twice a month it was a great job. She worked with people who adored her. She was a supervisor and had gotten the promotion after being there for less than a year and tediously completing all of her work by the book, applying every time there was an opening, and keeping her head held high even after she was turned down three times. On her fourth interview she got it! She made decent money, all of her bills were paid up one month in advance, she had money in savings, and she could even have whiskey after work whenever she came home. Her finances were superb - the best they had been in her entire life. She lived in a sturdy old house on a ridge. It was surrounded by trees and grass and the nearest neighbor was a good stroll from the driveway (and there was a driveway). On one side of her house was a garden with plenty of vegetables that her boyfriend kept maintained and harvested and enjoyed every minute of it. It was a huge garden. Squash, cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, pumpkins, potatoes, the list went on and on... Then one day, the girl found out she was going to have a baby.
She told her boyfriend very calmly, having already relieved herself of the tears of fear while he was at work. He accepted the news. They went on about their lives, all the while trying to find a way to put back enough in savings for the baby. One day the girl's boyfriend told her that he'd found a great opportunity. There was an animal sanctuary that needed him for marketing and web development, his specialty. It wasn't much money ($600 a month), but the housing, electricity, water, internet, TV, trash pick up, sewer, everything was covered. He would make commission from any donations that were made and in a month or two they would have a house built on a three acre lot that they could draw up the blueprints for. They could raise their baby there, and the man who ran the sanctuary claimed that they could make over $2,000 a month after commission. As a couple, they decided to take the risk. It placed the girl closer to her own family and if the opportunity wasn't a bust it would be the best thing that could have ever happened to them.
It was a bust.
After two months of trying to tough it out at the foundation, savings spent through, donations not coming, the housing project delayed and delayed and delayed.. the couple had to give it up. They moved back in with the boyfriend's parents and tried to start life over.
So here I am. Yep, that fool-headed girl was me. I'm being turned down by landlords left and right. My boyfriend is working his @$$ off at two different Pizza Hut stores to make ends barely tickle one another. I have no baby nursery. No walls to paint, no dresser to fill with the tiny hats and onesies and booties that I have gotten as gifts for him. I'm a mother bird, sitting on an egg, with no nest...
I took a risk. Then I ate dirt, and here I sit, on my future in-laws couch talking to you fine people. About what? A pity story? No... About how your craft can help your mental health.
After a full financial bust, with a baby on the way, and a previous history of OCD, life has been a little difficult with a complete and total spiraling loss of control. How am I coping? By counting stitches. I count and I count and I learn a new stitch and I count and I count and I finish a project. Then what? Then I congratulate myself.
"You did this. That ball of yarn - you made it this. Good job. You did good."
Slowly, very slowly, I'm keeping my sanity through knitting and crochet. The moral of the story? Obviously, if it's too good to be true, it probably is. But there's something else. When life seems out of control it will come back around. It will be okay. Just breathe. Channel your frustration into your craft. If you're feeling chaotic and you're a painter, create a spatter painting. If you're a knitter, knit something crazy. If you're a crocheter, make some scrumbles. Be spontaneous. Take a run. Take a leap. Take a breath. Center yourself. Life is not over. Really. Truly. You're here, reading this, are you not? Yes. So breathe. It will be alright. How do I know? Because it isn't over. And if it isn't over, then you can change it. You are strong. You are powerful. You can do this...
May muses whisper to you always,