Thursday, June 9, 2011

on beginnings

Eagerly I share photos of  my finished projects and successes, but I often hesitate to write the frustrations. So, in efforts to share this whole journey, the good, the bad, and the ugly.. today I made ugly pants. The ease that I envisioned in my head of how these pants would come together was a big fat lie.  I became grumpy with my machine, my child, myself, and my dream.
For a few moments, in my own emotional frenzy, I felt like if I couldn’t make this fabric into the perfectly chic piece of clothing, then how would I ever be able to make anything.  
I threw the unfinished pants into an angry pile on my desk, turned off my machine, ate some lunch, and climbed into my bed as the babies slept.  As I pulled my cozy blanket in close to protect me from all that was wrong in the world, I slowly returned to a functional state of existence. 
I remembered that this was the very first pair of pants that I was making, on my own, ever. No patterns, no instructions. I remembered that beginnings can be rough. I remembered that those stupid, elegant, flowy, sailor type pants in catalogues were the result of years of hard work and many failed attempts.  I reminded myself of dozens of clichés that were horrible and true. 
And then, as the fog lifted, I said to myself, HEY SELF, they might not be perfect, but they look like freakin’ pants, pants with legs and holes for your legs and room in the derrière  for you to sit down and move and walk  and hey… YOU MADE PANTS, slightly ugly, but still pants.  You are designing clothes.  You are walking down the path. 
Then I told God I was sorry for my horrible attitude and I took a nap. 
When I woke up and drank some wildly strong, black coffee, no longer were those unfinished, less than ideal pants a spawn of the failure monster, but simply a lesson, an attempt, a step in the right direction.
I write all of this to remember that beginnings are hard, full of trial and error, but they do not define us and we keep striving, re-working, and creating, because it’s all part of the dream.  We all have to start somewhere and sadly some never start. 
Here’s to beginnings and enough grace to continue.
And as Claire Colburn says in Elizabethtown,
So you failed. Alright, you really failed. You failed. You failed. You failed. You failed. You failed. You failed. You failed. You failed. You failed. You failed. You failed. You failed. You think I care about that? I do understand. You wanna be really great? Then have the courage to fail big and stick around. Make them wonder why you're still smiling.”


  1. GREAT reminder. We all get a little crackly sometimes. It's good to remember how hard it can be to un-crackle.

    p.s. Love that movie! So much.

  2. I love that movie. And while (in the moment) failing seems like the suckiest of sucky, I'm glad you allowed yourself the pity party to wallow in for a bit, then reminded yourself that failure happens, and can be a great lesson in moving in a new direction. When I fail, I try to remember all of the products out there that are the result of a failure. Most recently while watching "Unwrapped" I found out that "Turkish Taffy" was the result of the guy messing up a recipe in a huge way. But something really cool came out of it that is now a part of many people's childhood memories.

    Good luck in your adventure! Good luck on the hits and the misses. :)


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