Time and time again I catch myself coming to this earth-shattering revelation: creativity comes in spurts.
I am taking a currently taking a break from something that I just got back into yesterday after an eight-month long hiatus from knitting. It has been about two years since I started knitting and I technically only have one finished project to show for it (but in three different colours), but I love the process. It keeps my hands busy and in the end I have something beautiful and useful to show for it!
Being creative and/or finding the energy to rediscover it is one of the most nourishing things one can do to keep the anxiety at bay. It is also one of the hardest things to do when we are at the eye of the storm.
One of the best books out there to get started is Knit How published by the well-known Pom Pom Magazine.
Their drawings are intuitive and easy to understand. They also have loads of interesting starter projects to inspire you and to get you motivated. My thing right now is to start from the very beginning of the book and move my way through the book until I “graduate”, wherein I’ll knit myself a sash and then I’ll get started on my long-awaited funnel neck jumper. Currently I am working on my baby project: fingerless mitts.
I write today to stop escaping and to start documenting.
To document the reasons that made me escape in the first place. To document the numerous checklists that I made in my head to make me stay grounded (but let’s be honest. If they worked, I wouldn’t be here). To document the darkness. To document the light. In doing so, I can come back here when the whirling dervishes of my head try to drown me, when I feel like I have nothing more to give, that it is okay because like everything else, it will all pass. When I am at my most stable, I know there are others out there like me, with worry and doubt behind their eyes, hoping for a kindred spirit out there.
I write today to start something.
When life comes at an unstoppable speed, when I feel like a grain of rice being washed, with both hand and water pushing me towards something greater than you, I just want to hit the stop button. If not “stop”, then “pause”. It is times like these when I would escape: into a book, under my covers, in my thoughts. A shelter for my brain so I can breathe again. This sort of escapism saved me from the worst of myself, but also made me incredibly vulnerable. I want to stop running and start living.
I write today to fight back.
There are often multiple sides to one story and there are moments, especially in this time that we live in, where it seems as if that whoever screams the loudest wins. Where I would once keep my head down low and my mouth shout, now I wonder why I feel as if I should do that? Would I not be complicit in shutting my voice down? Don’t I also deserve to be heard?
I do, we do.
I have always had the habit of making checklists in my head. It was/is a crutch for me when dealing with anxiety and when I was recovering from my rapes. Maybe I will stop making them one day, but until that time I am going to document them here. In doing so maybe it will banalise the process, free up some much needed headspace and also it’s all part of the archive.