In the months preceding my departure, some vital piece of my work persona had crumpled. It’s not important what caused the destruction, only that it happened, and more importantly I let it happen. I’d had no idea I was so fragile, which might have been the most disconcerting part.
It was a shocking realization; I’d ostensibly left to more thoroughly pursue my dreams, but I was utterly bewildered because the launch of this new chapter in my life was fueled equally by, “My time is NOW! I'm ready!” and, “When did my heart fall to pieces?”
I’ll be honest: there were several distressingly long chunks of time where I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I had to use tools I’d never used before to create something I didn’t have much experience crafting. Thankfully, I had the iron embrace of a contract pulling me towards action. I had to figure that s**t out.
Careworn, sad, broken 2015 me looked up from the scarf she was knitting and said, “Oh...?”
People were surprised at self-taught knitting and the unraveling because I've found that the older we get, the harder it is to not be good at things, by which I mean, we have less time to gain additional mastery and less inclination to be a novice all over again, because it might somehow cast doubt on all our past achievements. It’s very uncomfortable to start from zero. I see most of us spending our lives in pursuit of excellence, which is an entirely worthy endeavor, though I've also seen excellence and arrogance go hand in hand--a combination that is the deepest enemy of being good at failing. I am trying hard to be a confident, humble fool. Now that knitting is in my arsenal, it’s time for me to choose a new thing I can fail at repeatedly, to hone my hard-earned skill of celebrating the potential of ignorance.