Let me start off by saying the intention of what I am about to say is not to tell you what to do. Or maybe it is....That will depend on how you decide to absorb this.
Getting the insane thoughts (or what you might call creativity) out of my head has been one of most continually rewarding experiences in my life. Being able to share that with other women who are on the same level is such a bonus and it drives a lot of my inspiration.
As you might imagine I am in a unique position to interact with a lot of women on a daily basis through email, blogs, and other social media outlets.
I have learned through years of being in "the biz" that when I approach my office and my inbox that it's best to leave my emotions on the other side of the doorway. This allows me to continue living happily after absorbing the general frustrations stemming from printing issues or designing for hours on end and then finding out I've missed something and have to start all over or yadda yadda yada. But, hey, don't forget all that goodness I get to take in too! Thanks for that! :)
There are specific instances though, which no matter how I prepare myself before diving into the day that still catch me off balance.
"I must not be proportioned correctly."
"Please excuse the mess in my kitchen."
"Sorry, I didn't have time to do my hair."
"Sorry, the lighting isn't that great."
"Please excuse my ignorance. I'm 65."
"Sorry, I've put on a few pounds this season."
"My body must be the wrong shape."
"Sorry, I didn't have time to take good pictures"
"Sorry, it's my fault. My shoulders are too big."
"Sorry for the bad picture"
Mind you, these are only a few examples from the last WEEK that I can pull from after receiving emails, viewing blogs or social media postings.
In general most of us don't even realize we do it but when we begin a sentence with "sorry about" or "please excuse" we are being self deprecating. You wouldn't let someone else deprecate your body, your age, or your dirty kitchen so let's not deprecate ourselves.
These words are soul crushing. As if there is forgiveness to pay out; as if the bodies you are moving through this existence in are not good enough; as if I would expect the lighting in your home to equal that of a pottery barn catalogue so much so that for me to formally view what you have shared I deserve an apology.
To that I say - SHUSH -
As if you have anything to apologize for except being too awesome.
When done in large forums, such as in sewing blogs and sewing forums, this kind of language is stigmatizing and it bleeds into other realms. It feeds others to continue on stigmatizing dirty kitchens, muffin tops, messy hair, makeup-less faces...the list goes on. We don't even realize that it spreads, like a germ, to other aspects of our daily conversations.
Speaking specifically to those of you who make your own clothing. You are in a unique position to understand more about your body and how it wears clothes than most. How your body compares to the set of averages a pattern designer pulls from is not something that deserves any more attention than a measuring tape and size guide. It's most definitely not something that needs to be addressed with an apology attached.
To those of you mothers who make your own clothes or your children clothes. When you take a picture of yourself or your child in the said clothing with a "dirty" kitchen in the background, it doesn't make me believe you are anything less than a great mother. It's just a reminder of the fact that you were busy "making" rather than cleaning up that damn kitchen. And lets face it....No matter how much you clean that kitchen, your children will not allow it! So, give up and drink some wine already!
For those of you who have spent your energies focusing on other exciting aspects of existence rather than the specifics of a DSLR, you're doing just fine and we still want to see what you're excited to share even if it's conveyed through a blurry photo or it's crooked. Or heck if the lights are turned off and not one ray of glorious light has reached that lens of your camera, if you want to share it I want to see!
From now on...And this goes for me too...Let's collectively focus on being indifferent to stigmatizing aspects of your reality. Let's focus on being more matter of fact, rather than being strict and judgmental of ...EVERYTHING.
Here's a little practice run I'll do to show you how easy it is!
Instead of - "please excuse the mess"
Try "My desk is a mess, but I am getting shit done!"
Instead of - "Sorry about my knees. They are too big and got in the way of my face"
Try - Whoopsies. Darn knees.
See. Easy peasy! Now...You try!