Thursday, November 1, 2007

Intentions & Intimidation

I have such great intentions. There's a list a mile long of things I aim to do . . . work out regularly, drop someone a note, send a gift, take a class to learn something new and/or rediscover something old . . . and the list goes on and on. I always regret not acting on my good intentions . . . . I've found it's these "should've done's" that I regret far more than anything I've actually done.

So when I started knitting at the beginning of this year, I though it would be great for me to take a class of some sort, to take me from beginner to . . . . more skilled beginner !?!?!! I've intended to do it for all these months . . . and now I've finally done it.

About 2 weeks ago I started going to the "Beginner Bunch Sweater Class" at a local knitting and yarn store. So this lovely yarn below will someday (soon, I hope !) be a wonderful sweater !!!!

It's a work-at-your-own-pace type of class, where Pam (the owner) helps you choose a pattern according to your skill level, and gets you started with all the supplies and techniques. The actual class time is basically like a "knitting bee", with everyone perched on comfy overstuffed couches and chairs, in a circle, working on their own projects. Pam is there to help in any and every way, answering everyone's questions and demonstrating techniques . . . I've come to think of her as something like the Jedi Master of knitting !!! She's amazing !! And it's a really great atmosphere, with people sharing knitting tips and stories and helping each other out, and just chatting whenever. And I was pleasantly surprised to see women of all ages and abilities . . . for once I'm not the youngest !! And talk about inspiring: just looking at some of the projects these ladies are working on or have completed baffles my mind !!

But then the intimidation creeps in . . . ! On one hand, I'm so inspired and amazed and in awe of those more experienced than me. But on the other, I'm green with envy at their skill and knowledge, and start to feel intimidated. I fight the feeling that this is something I'll never be good at, that I could never possibly just pick up a pattern book like they do and be able to create anything in it that catches my eye. From somewhere in my life I've gotten this notion that I have to be a natural, a superstar, gifted at things from the get-go . . . not sure where this came from or how it's stuck all these years, but I find myself fighting against it quite a bit. Maybe it's because of my gymnastics experience, taking to it so naturally and moving up the ranks so quickly . . . I found such a strong, clear talent at such a young age that I wonder if I subconsciously expect myself to be so talented at everything I try. As a child, there was no intimidation . . . the whole world is open to you and you feel like anything is possible, but as an adult, you realize just how much you don't know and how much work it will take to get you where you want to be . . . and that leaves me intimidated sometimes. Anyone else experience this ????

The good news is that this intimidation thing seems to be lessening as I continue on in my thirties (ouch . . . am I really in my 30's ?). . . . it's still present, but in a lower dose, and it's easier to get past. "Acknowledge; move on", as a friend once said !

So, back to my knitting needles . . . can't wait to show off the sweater when it's done !!!

1 comment:

Jennifer/The Word Cellar said...

Acknowledge, move on. Indeed.

I've recently replaced that mantra with a similar one: "Feel the fear. Then do it anyway."

I completely understand this cycle of wanting to do things and then feeling intimidated. Like you said, being good at one thing makes me think I should be good at all things that interest me. And if I'm not, well then maybe I shouldn't bother with it. I've been working to overcome these feelings. And from what I read on a lot of other blogs, it's a common problem for creative women. But I think I'm finally getting a better handle on things here in my 30s! :)

I wish we lived closer. You can show me what you know about knitting and I'd regard *you* as the Jedi Master! I've like a pre-beginner.